Behold

I have finished the sweater!

Neckdown Wrap Sweater 

Neckdown Wrap Cardigan (#263) from Knitting Pure & Simple. Yarn used: Dream in Color Classy in color Good Luck Jade.

It seems like I’ve been working on this thing FOREVER. And I still need to block it (I think) in order to make the neck edging lay down completely flat.

Where do I start with explaining the challenges I had with this seemingly simple pattern?

I wanted to add waist shaping, but apparenly made this decision a bit late in the pattern. So, I ended up ripping back several inches in order to start at the right place (just after the underarm). Then I had to rip it back again when I realized I miscalculated when to start the increases again.

At this point, the “frog count” was 2.

After I finished the bottom garter stitch edging and cast off very loosely (using a loose cast off often used for lace: K1, slip stitch back to left needle, K2tog, repeat endlessly), I realized that the cast off was TOO lose. The bottom was sort of wavy. Hmmm…I’d fix that later.

Next, I picked up stitches for the first arm. Once I had finished all the decrease rounds, I tried it on. Hmmm…the arm seems kind of tight. I ripped it back.

The frog count is now 3.

My stitch gauge was spot on, so I decided to alter the decrease rounds a bit. Instead of knitting one round plain between the decrease round while do the initial decreases, I knit 2 rounds plain. I also decreased every 6th row, instead of every 5th row as called for in the pattern. The arm still seemed sort of tight at the top, but I was done with ripping on this sweater, so I just hoped it would feel a bit looser after wearing and/or blocking. If I made this again, I’d adjust the decreases again to be further apart, and I wouldn’t decrease as many stitches, either. 

I don’t have large upper arms, so this issue with the sleeve width stumps me. Anyone else have the same problem with this pattern?

I would have knit the sleeves about 1/2 inch longer if did this pattern again. Even though I tried it on, because the sleeves were so tight at the top of the arm it was hard to determine the best length very accurately.

After the sleeves, I made the i-cord ties. The pattern calls for very long i-cord ties. I made them the length called for, then I tried the sweaer on. They were way too long for my comfort, so I ripped them back several inches.

Now the frog count is 4.

Finally, I undid the bind off on the bottom, tinked back the garter stitch border, and re-knit it on the smaller needles (US 7). I bound off in my usual fashion: Lucy Neatby’s ingenious bind-off, which makes a decently stretchy bind-off for everything but toe-up socks.

Total frog count = 5

Is that bad for a hand-knit, custom fit sweater?

The fit is close and it accentuates my curves quite well, I think. However, I wish there was a bit more coverage on the back of the neck. Some short rows would have really helped there.

My final problem with this pattern was the yarn calculations. Even though the pattern said I only needed 1120 yards of yarn, I used a bit over 1250 yards on the sweater. I ordered a last minute skein from The Loopy Ewe so I could knit the i-cord in the same weight of yarn.

IF I had used my yarn extremely frugally (e.g. carefully left only the bare minimum length of tails needed to weave in ends) I may have been able to use only the original 1250 yards.

I guess that color name — Good Luck Jade — didn’t work it’s magic for me, eh?

But it looks great, doesn’t it? 🙂

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