After four months of knitting, procrastinating, dragging feet and knitting, I'm happy to say that we have finished our Channel Sweaters. HOORAY!
I'm not sure why it took us as long as it did to finish this project. Sure, it is a lot of knitting, but more than that, I think the four of us had a hard time enjoying the process of knitting this sweater.
The pattern is rated as difficult. I don't necessarily think that's accurate. The stitches are very basic. The charts are all knits and purls. No cabling. No lace. Nothing unusual.
In my opinion, the only difficult part of this pattern is navigating it. It's long. Eighteen pages!
I very much appreciate a pattern loaded with special techniques. With so many free patterns available, it's nice to get something extra for a pattern with a price tag.
What annoys me is having to flip flop through pages to find information. This is further annoying, because I don't print my patterns.
I prefer to read my patterns on either my phone or iPad. It makes sense to me that patterns being sold in digital formats should be more compatible for use on devices. For instance, special technique links embedded in the pattern where I need them. If that's not possible, easy to read bold faced text identifying pattern sections would make all the scrolling more bearable.
While I didn't enjoy the process of knitting this sweater, I'm absolutely thrilled with the product this project produced. Knowing that I would love this sweater when I finished it helped keep me motivated.
I chose to follow the recommendation and knit my sweater to incorporate 4 inches of overall positive ease.
This cardigan is going to be wonderful for layering! And, I know I'm going to wear it a lot.
Lately, I've been trying to choose my yarn color based on gaps in my closet. I have a large percentage of neutrals and few colorful options.
For this project, I used HiKoo Kenzie. It took me nearly 11 skeins(1,760 yards) to finish the cardigan. It was a pricey project, at roughly $10 a skein, but I'm really thrilled with this yarn.
The yarn is 50% merino, 25%nylon, 10% angora, 10% alpaca and 5% silk- all my favorite things rolled into one. I think each of the fibers contributes to the blend. The merino gives good definition, the nylon give strength, the alpaca gives a little drape, the angora provides a slight haze, and the silk gives a little luster. It's beautiful yarn.
I do think my collar could do with a bit more structure, but I like it fine the way it is.
I got perfect gague using Kenzie to knit this sweater. I didn't have to make any modifications, which was delightful! However, I decided not to block my sleeves to the sizes in the schematic- read Liz's post to know why! (We have some theories on why there are no rear views of this sweater on the project page!)
While we were knitting, Liz repeatedly referred to her Channel as a housecoat. It was her plan, from the very start to have a cardigan she could throw on while she was at home. I think it's worthy for wear beyond! The neutral color looks wonderful with everything. Liz even added little pockets to to the front for extra functionality. Liz made a whole MESS of modifications to the sizing of this pattern in order to get it to fit. Hop over to her post to read more about them!
Meg chose to knit her sweater with closer to zero ease. Oddly, she and Liz used the same variety of yarn on this project and they had extremely different gague. And, where Liz had to make adjustments, Meg was able to knit directly from the pattern without issue. It goes to show, it's important to swatch! Poor Meg will always have to knit more sweater than most in order to make sure sleeves and hemlines are long enough. In the end, it's well worth the extra headache!
Mari started to knit her sweater with the suggested ease but found that her sleeves were much larger than she had hoped. When Mari dropped down sizes to accommodate her gague, she got better fitting sleeves, but the body of her sweater ended up tighter than she had expected.
Ultimately, I think we're all happy with our sweaters. Or, maybe we're happy to be done. Or both! Be sure to check out what the other girls have to say about knitting the Channel Cardigan by following the links above.
Also, swing over to see Sara's Channel! Sara jumped in on the knitting about the time we finished our sleeves. And, she schooled us all by finishing first!
We finished just in time for summer! No bother, we'll be glad to have our wooly warm cardigans once fall rolls in. And winter. Oh gosh. Winter. It's too soon. I'm still hurting from the abuse last winter brought with it. I can't even think about cold weather!
Mike and Felix. Our lovely and talented photographers! They make us look good!
We had another friend enter the world recently. In typical fashion, I felt the strong urge to welcome her into the fold by presenting her with knitted gifts.
Her name is Lola. She's really cute, and already very in touch with her girly side, so I tried to knit her something to suit her bounding femininity and love of the color pink (I hear she's also a big fan of Tiffany blue).
The I knit directly as indicate for the newborn size of Elsie's Petal dress. The only change I made was to eliminate the button holes at the rear. Instead, I sewed on some snaps. Babies spend a lot of time on their backs, and I worry that buttons at the rear could be uncomfortable. I know my back buttoning blouses can sometimes be annoying when I lean against a seat back. Maybe I over-think these things.
The yarn is Lion Brand Baby Soft in Parfait Print. I wasn't sure how it would behave, but it self striped in this pattern. I really like it. I only wish I had pulled out some extra length to make sure I was starting at the same point in the color repeats for the sleeves. Instead, my sleeves don't match. I doubt anyone who isn't a knitter would notice. It only affects the garter edge of the left. I could have made it pink to line up with the right sleeve and coordinating garter empire waistline in the body of the dress. Next time.
In total, this little dress used less than a skein of yarn. It's a really quick little knit. If I didn't have so many baby girl knitting patterns in my Ravelry favorites, I'd knit it again right away!
I gifted myself a week away from work and the internet in celebration of my birthday last week (the big 3-0!). By week's end, I was drawn back. It seems that I missed a lot of conversation during my absence. I received an email from Heather over at Closet Case Files, reaching out, as she put it, to make sure I didn't feel picked on or attacked by her recent posts on pattern testing. Huh?, I thought.
I got online and started reading. First I read Heather's posts(1 & 2). Next I jumped over to Cashmerette's post where I was linked to Charlotte's post. Holy smokes. You guys. There's a lot of chatter happening! And, you know what? I think it's really awesome.
I didn't read all of the comments, but I did read a good deal of them. I didn't see anyone making personal attacks against... anyone, actually. From what I can tell lots of people have been able to express their points of view on a topic that they have opinions about. Aside from a bit of Hamleting, it looks like there's been a really great conversation taking place. Also, it looks like there's already been a good deal of responsiveness to feedback on both sides of the line as a result. That's cool, right?
Heather's email and expressed concern got me thinking about the way we communicate online. I think it's really difficult to know exactly what someone is saying and how they are saying it by solely reading words on a screen. While a lot of us know of each other online, most of us don't know each other in real life, and there's a lot of room for projection and (mis)interpretation. We all communicate differently.
In real life, I work as a litigation assistant. It's my daily experience to listen to persons expressing opposing points of view in a well organized and respectful manner. This method of communication is very normal for me; I am very aware that it's not the way a lot of other people carry-on discussions. But, I most certainly do not take offense to general statements of opinion. I also probably think that you're a good person, even if we disagree.
I would feel differently if I was singled out, called names, etc... That's not what I see happening. I hope we can all continue on this way. I truly think it's wonderfully beneficial to maintain open channels of communication. And, I think it makes our community better and stronger to feel comfortable enough to start this type of dialogue.
That is all. I'm not a fan of posts without pictures, so here's a little snippet from my birthday shenanigans. And, as an aside, holy shit! I'm 30!!!!