Saturday, August 27, 2011

Baroque Poet’s Cardigan

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Are you a middle-aged librarian with a wardrobe full of age-inappropriate dresses from Forever 21 and super-long arms?  Or maybe you’re looking for just the layering piece to go with your high-necked Oscar Wilde ruffle blouse and colonial jodhpurs?  Either way, this is the sweater for you! 

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I have long harbored the dream of doing a sweater from the sheep on down, and short of raising a sheep myself and learning to shear him (my friend Debbie did all that dirty work for me, and gave me this beautiful fleece) I have done it.  I made this sweater myself, in every way possible.

There was a lot of spinning;  the fleece never seemed to get any smaller, but I was getting a lot of yarn out of it.  Looking at the not-diminishing pile of fleece, Dean said, “Why does the world even need more than just the one sheep?”  Eventually, I started knitting--without knowing where I was really headed—a pattern I made up as I went, beginning with measuring myself and working a top-down cardigan with no front increases.  I originally knit the sleeves with a ruffled cuff and right away knew that was wrong, so I unraveled that and then finished the body of the sweater with no clear idea in mind about the edging.  But it had to be something good, something more than just ribbing or seed stitch.  It had to be something befitting all the hours Cody, Debbie, and I had put into the project.  Oh yeah, I love crochet!  That’s it!

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I settled on an edging from this book, and crocheted it in rounds all the way around the sweater body, centering one of the points at the back neck and figuring out the front corners on the fly.   Then I did the cuffs too, knowing it would make them ridiculously long and not being one bit sorry.   I love love LOVE how it turned out!  This sweater is dressy and romantic.  It is more than just a cardigan. 

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After it was all done and the ends were sewn in, I knew it needed blocking, and I was scared to death to put it in the water—Cody’s Lambswool wants to stick to itself so bad—but it survived a quick dunk in room temp water before laying flat to dry.  Blocking is key, people, don’t skimp on the blocking.  It’s the difference between handmade and homemade.  

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Makes me want to go off and write a bunch of poetry or something.