FO: Franny Cardigan
Posted on November 23, 2009 - 7:13pm
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.
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.