Prior to heading off to Puglia, I set myself the goal of finally finishing my Geodesic cardigan, so that I could go to the retreat with the decks cleared, all ready to start new projects. Things didn’t quite work out like that, but I got the last sleeve finished while I was there. A fellow knitter, Tracey, kindly provided proof (please excuse my slouch):
Yarn: Madelinetosh Prairie, Tart colourway. 1.1 skeins (130 grams)
Finished: April 30, 2010
I worked the pattern on smaller needles and at a tighter gauge, as I was concerned the fabric would be too open (it still is a bit loose!). I didn’t like the garter stitch rows on the top of the tucks, so I omitted those. I also knit only seven tucks on each side, but it finished a bit lower than expected, so eight tucks may have been better. Decided to add front closures. I made the sleeves a bit shorter, not really as a design feature, but rather because I couldn’t face knitting any more. I made the sleeves much wider due to my crazy gauge.
There is an awful lot of different shaping going on at the same time in this pattern. Because it’s mostly stocking stitch, I found myself knitting away happily, only to realise that I was an inch or two past the point where shaping was to begin. I couldn’t face ripping back, so the cardi ended up a bit longer than planned.
Fellow Ravellers who have knit this all seem to have had overwhelmingly positive experiences knitting this, so I don’t know what my problem was! I wasn’t quite sure about the yarn choice in the first place, and I don’t think it was ideal. In theory, the Prairie should be a good substitute for Malabrigo Lace: they’re both single spun laceweight merino yarns. However the Prairie is much more tightly spun, so it hasn’t ‘fluffed up’ (technical term) as much as I’d hoped, and even though I knit the yarn at a considerably tighter gauge, the fabric is still very open and airy.
The original sample garment is shown in the pattern with the fronts resting gently open. I knew that there was no way that a cardigan would stay so neatly placed, so I figured that I wear it with the fronts falling naturally to the sides. It wasn’t until I had finished knitting that it dawned on me that this wouldn’t work: there is quite alot of shaping in the cardigan, which results in bunching at the sides when open. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a snug fit to get the cardi closed, but I think it’s still the best option. I can’t help but think of all the work that Connie must have put in to designing all the shaping for this pattern.
I’ve now sewn in a couple of vintage ‘Newey’s World-Famed’ hooks and eyes, which do the job perfectly (as opposed to sewing the fronts together as per the first first photo).
All in all I’m of the view that knitting a cardigan in single spun laceweight is a bit ridiculous, and I think a slightly thicker yarn would be much more doable (or the Prairie held double would make a gorgeous fabric). I’ll happily wear it though, if only out of a sense of sheer achievement! I think it will actually be very wearable over summer.
I haven’t yet worn this out in general public so I’ll be interested in what non-knitters think of it.