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Christmas was a whirlwind, but I’m slowly recovering.  And I promised that I’d be able to show you my Vine Yoke Cardigan soon and here it is.

Pattern: Vine Yoke Cardigan (ravelry)

Source: Twist Collective Fall 2009

Yarn: Madelinetosh, Tosh Worsted

Needles: US 8

Started: September 16, 2009

Finished: November 26, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

The second this pattern was released I knew I wanted to make it.  But I could also tell from the get go that the bell effect created by the vine lace edging on the sleeves and hem just wasn’t for me.  So I decided I’d make it but with some mods to the cuff and hem.  I went ahead and ordered a boat load of Tosh Worsted and set out scheming.  At first I thought maybe I’d put ribbing on the cuffs and hem, to give the sweater more of a close fit, but then I decided that plan was likely to screw the whole thing up.  So I came up with the idea to use perpendicular garter bands as a sleeve and hem edging.

I did this by simply leaving off the vine lace edging when I worked the sweater and picking up around the edges at the end.  The pattern is worked back and forth from the neckline to the bottom of the sweater, creating the vertical garter stitch.  The vine lace edging is worked at the end of the rightside rows.  For sizes 30-42 the edging is worked over 10 stitches.  So the stitches had to be accounted for in the length of each row.  When I cast on, I cast on 10 fewer stitches than I was instructed to and continued to work 10 fewer stitches throughout the sweater, including when casting on later for the sleeves. I worked in garter stitch right up to the bottom edge, since I had eliminated the edging.  Then after knitting the whole sweater but before seaming i picked up stitches around the bottom of each sleeve and the bottom of the body, one stitch for each garter ridge.  I worked in garter stitch until each band measure about 1 1/2″ and then bound off.  It was actually quite simple and gives the sweater a sleeker look that I think suits me better than the original.

I’m incredibly pleased with the result, thanks in no small part to the yarn.  This was my first time working with Tosh Worsted and I often felt like I might never need to knit with any other yarn again.  Of course I’m far too fickle to ever truly devote myself to one yarn, but it is seriously beautiful stuff.  The colors are of course to die for.  This one is copper penny, which I bought as the perfect Fall color and am now wearing as a way to spice up the slightly dreary winter world.  And the yarn feels great in your hands.  and creates an incredibly soft, sleek and smooth garment.  My only complaint is that during blocking, despite being incredibly well supported it grew like crazy after being pulled from the water.  I had to push the sweater back in on itself while on my blocking mats to keep it from turning out 8 sizes too large.  In the end it dried in it’s original size, having gotten only a little longer.  Which I actually think was a blessing in disguise.

After blocking, I waited for some time for buttons to arrive from Beijing.  They were slow, so it sat round for a few weeks.  But I wore it for the first time to Thanksgiving dinner and I’ve been wearing it loads since.  It gets loads of compliments, which certainly makes a girl feel good.  So my first truly successful sweater is truly a success.  Yay!

So those of you who know me IRL know that I haven’t been quite my fully mobile self of late.  For those of you that haven’t heard, about a month ago I had a minor accident that lead to a seemingly minor injury that turned out to be not so minor.  As a result I’ve been on crutches for 4 weeks.  No need to worry, I am convinced I will be fine sooner or later, but I’m still not fully healed and the truth is it’s been a total drag what with starting classes and everything.  But here’s the good news: about a week ago in Philly the weather turned a bit colder (although it’s likely temporary).  There was also a great deal of rain, much of which happened to coincide perfectly with the days I didn’t have class, and I honestly didn’t have too much homework (relatively speaking).  This combined with a need to stay in bed with an elevated foot more often than not has led to a lot of knitting of late.  So I’ve got some nicely progressing WIPs to show you.

This little pile of ribbing is the start of a cardigan I cast on ages ago.  It seemed like a good idea to get started on the Sixteen Button Cardigan in May so I’d have plenty of time to power through for Fall.  Of course since I’m making it out of the amazingly sheepy Black Welsh Mountain yarn I picked up from Prick Your Finger in London, the heat that arrived not so long after I got started made it completely unbearable to touch.  But the chilly drafts and cozy covers made it just the thing to pick back up this week and I’ve made a few inches of progress since.

The sweater has been splitting time with a few other things.  Here’s the start of my versions of westknits’s Daybreak shawl. The dark green is Sunshine Yarns Soft Sock in Thicket. I have had this yarn for some time and I think it is so beautiful, but for whatever reason I’ve had a hell of a time trying to figure out what to do with it.  It’s started to become at least four different things and I’m never quite happy.  I refuse to accept that it is cursed though so I keep trying.  This time I think it has finally stuck. I had the idea to use it for this shawl and I wanted to pair it with an oatmeal colored yarn so one day I managed to make it out to an LYS not too far from my new place and I picked up some Plymouth Prima Alpaca.  My friend asked what I thought about the difference in fiber and I actually like it. Soft sock is on the fuzzy side for a sock yarn so while the alpaca is fuzzier yet it doesn’t seem mismatched.  It’s going to be a very cozy shawl once it’s finished.

The last project that’s been getting some face time is a Cairn hat for my guy who has gone above and beyond the call of helpfulness over the past few months.  I’m just beginning to try and repay him, because as he’s reminded me once or twice I owe him big time.

I also have a stack of things sitting around that are fully knit up and waiting to be blocked.  I’m not yet ready for anything as labor intensive as blocking (ha! shows you how limited my activities really are) and I haven’t been able to unpack enough to find my blocking mats yet, but soon hopefully those can become real, true life FOs.  So keep your fingers crossed that I’m on the mend.