abalone. [noun]. any of various large edible marine gastropods.
Please be patient while I self-deprecate for a moment. I have the resolve of a gnat. Yes, I am comparing myself to a mosquito. I had promised myself that I would not engage in any knitting or projects, for that matter, for other people for a while because I was in a mad rush in December with the Christmas knitting – it really stressed me out. So, what do I do on January 25th, exactly one month after Christmas? I cast on a project for someone else. A very special someone else, but someone else. I am very naughty. The project means stash busting but I am very naughty indeed.
Okay. I am glad I got that off my chest. Abalone. I have to say, black is hard to photograph so I am sorry for the not so clear photos of what it looks like but it fits perfectly!
Onto the project details! Abalone is designed by Beata Jezekova, which is a cardigan/shrug/wrap/I’m not sure what exactly it is. It’s awesome. I had some Cascade Eco+ sitting around needing a sweater home to be a part of, so I cast on for Abalone since I had been gazing at it wondrously over the past few months. Thankfully, Beata published the pattern and I have knit one up for the special someone mentioned above. Unfortunately, she has had a tough week, so although this is a birthday gift, it is also a feel-better-you-amazing-thing-and-we-are-praying-for-you-but-this-is-a-small-token-of-what-you-mean-to-us-sweater.
When I make this for myself, I would like to cast on more stitches across the back. I am quite curvy so not having enough length across the back is a problem because the corners don’t come out nicely. Instead of 55%, I think I will do more like 65%. But again, I am curvy so I need that to go across the bum. The recipient is taller than I am and not quite so curvy although we are the same size, so I cast on 68 stitches and increased to 120 stitches for 28” nipple-to-nipple. I would not have made it any bigger or smaller – the 120 stitches was perfect but for myself, like I said, I would start with more like 78 stitches (65%).
I had gauge with 5.5mm circs and cast on immediately after washing the swatch (it wasn’t dry yet) and deciding, “Close enough.” Turns out that it pays to listen to your gut because low-and-behold, I did have gauge after all. Thank goodness. I followed the pattern, the only thing I did differently was that rather than grafting the sleeves, I did a 3-needle bind off. That’s it! No other changes – can you believe it? I know.
Off to gift-wrap.
Update: The lovely recipient loved it. She said she had been looking for a cardigan like this for a while and hadn’t found one yet and was thankful. Task accomplished.