FO: Franny Cardigan

Franny Cardigan

Franny 037b.jpg

FO:  Franny Cardigan
(I listened to two audiobooks by totally different authors while knitting this sweater.  Both featured characters with the unusual name Franny.  So I figured it was destiny that this cardigan should be so named.
Yarn:  Shokay Orient (organic yak/bamboo blend), colorway Peony, 5 skeins (about 1250 yards)
Needles:  US Size 3 32 inch, US size 5 9 inch and 32 inch.

Franny 019b.jpg

Construction:  I knitted this sweater seamlessly from the bottom up, starting with a provisional cast-on on size 3 needles.  I worked for a couple of inches, then switched to a size 5 needle.  I also started working an i-cord edging at this point.  When the fabric knit on the larger needles was the same length as that knit on the smaller, I carefully undid the provisional cast-on and placed the live stitches on a spare needle.  I then knit one stitch from the main needle and one from the spare needle together, all the way across the garment, creating a folded hem.  Next I knit a ton of rows of stockinette stitch with no shaping whatsover.  When the fabric was the right length from my underarm to where I wanted the hem to hang, I started the sleeves.  I began with an i-cord cast on, and then increased rapidly over several rows to form the billowy shape of the sleeve.  I worked in stockinette with no shaping until the sleeve reached the underarm, then transferred the sleeve to a spare needle and worked the second sleeve the same way.  Next I joined the sleeves and body together, leaving a few stitches on waste yarn for the underarm.  I worked a few rows, decreasing rapidly, and then began the smocking pattern.  I won't give away the secret of how it's done, but a cabling needle is involved.  Incorporated into the smocking are decreases for the neckline.  Finally, I worked an i-cord bind-off.  I made sewn button loops on one side of the yoke and sewed the buttons to the other.

This is the sweater I thought would be great as a maternity garment, because it is open from the sternum down, so it could be worn during pregnany or at any other time. Also, like a lot of maternity clothes, it's loose, comfy, and a bit billowy.

The yarn was one of the most luxurious (and, naturally, one of the most expensive) I've ever worked with.  In all those yards of yarn I did not find one flaw or knot.  However the sweater grew a lot during blocking, due to the bamboo content.  I ended up having to shrink it in the dryer to make it fit.  But it does fit now, and I adore it.

Franny 034b.jpg


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