Around Christmas I mentioned a sweater I finished in mid-December for a secret/special someone. That secret/special someone is my mom – it was a gift for Christmas. Between you and me, this was a very stressful knit for a couple of reasons. First, it wasn’t the type of knit that took a few evenings. If it didn’t fit, it was kind of a big deal – there would be no easy fixes. Second, I had evening after evening to work on it. This meant I sat there stewing about the fact that it might not fit and wouldn’t look nice. Third, and perhaps the most agonizing of the whole project – what if she didn’t like it when I gave it to her? Thankfully, I worried in vain. There were no such disasters.
I bought Kim Hargreave’s Breeze collection in the Fall after looking through it many times. My favourite patterns in the book are actually Daisy and Georgie but I am saving each of them for rainy day knits – and I am not casting on any sweaters for a while. Ruby caught my eye because I was looking for a cardigan with simple lines, a belt and a shawl-like collar.
I didn’t actually modify the pattern much – I used the stitch counts provided (although I didn’t have gauge so I had to adjust for my gauge). The difference was I knit it in one piece from the bottom-up. The sleeves were too baggy for what my mom would want, so I changed those using the instructions from Laura Chau’s Amelia cardigan in Knitty’s Winter 2008 issue (which is in my queue for 2011 as one of 3 sweaters I would like to knit).
Unfortunately the photos aren’t great but I think you can see the sheen of the Berroco Lustra [colour 3156] in the photo above. The yarn was quite difficult to work with since it splices often. The effect of the yarn, however, makes it worthwhile to deal with the splitting since the sheen and drape is irrefutable. I was hoping to get some photos of Mom actually wearing the cardigan so I will continue to work on that – it did fit her well, though.
Overall, I am very happy with this sweater. I would sort of like one for myself but I’m not sure I can cope with all of the St st again. I enjoyed working the raglan decreases in one piece – it made the finishing work minimal since weaving in ends doesn’t take long. I loved that the button band was knit along with it – no picking up for more finishing work at the end. You can tell I was anxious to have it finished!
One note about this colour of Lustra – it bleeds. As I was knitting, it stained my wooden needles and a cream shirt I was wearing while it rested on my lap. Beware! I have instructed my mom to wear dark colours underneath until I can get some colour-seal wash for it.