Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cardigan for the return of the polar vortex

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The Rocky Road sweater is done already.  You can use this fact as data in assessing how much TV I watch during the Olympics—hint:  it’s a LOT.  Maybe the faster they ski, the faster I knit?  I don’t know.  [Cross-country skiing looks like so much work, doesn’t it?  Jeesh, I can’t imagine doing that for even two minutes.  Those guys are animals.]  Anyway.

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Blocking made those changing stitch patterns look so great, so neat and orderly.  I gave the whole thing a soak in the sink, then rolled it in a towel and smoothed it out flat on the rug—no pins necessary.   It dried in half a day because [resolves not to talk about the weather] um, it’s very dry right now, and also tres cozy on the rug in front of the fire.  I really do wonder why anybody would skip blocking.  It makes such a tremendous difference.  I sewed in the ends last night during Jimmy Fallon, then crawled up to bed, where I slept the sleep of the just in the tropical oasis that is now my bedroom.  My goodness, I love my new stove so much. 

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You know Yogi Berra?  Yogi Berra is my favorite source of sage advice.  That guy was honestly overflowing with wisdom.  One of his best is this: “You got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”  People often mistake Yogi-isms as goofy malaprops, but they’re not, they’re chock-full of good sense when you think about it.  See, with this one, what he really meant was this:  “Kristen, I know you think you don’t have to do a gauge swatch, but if you don’t, you’ll probably be sorry.”  Cue ominous music:

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Oh Yogi.  As ever, you were right.  I chose the wrong size, and I did not check my gauge.  I did not know where I was going.  Dang, when I think of what this sweater could’ve been.  I hope I don’t feel too compelled to unravel it and start again in a size (or two!) smaller.  (Nice to know I’m not as big as I think I am, anyway.  That’s something.)

Me, casting on, and feeling smugHeidi Kirrmaier totally has me in her back pocket.  I feel we are like this, Heidi and me.  We understand each other.  If she says use an 8, I’m using an 8.  Even though I am substituting a different yarn [Plymouth Galway, color 171—dove gray], I will not question.  Row gauge?  Who cares about row gauge?  I got this.  Gauge.  [shakes head, laughing]. 

Sweater, with evil smirk:  Foolish girl. 

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Note to self, because everyone else already knows this by now:  youse got to swatch, and then youse got to block your swatch.  How else are you gonna know how big it will get?  Duh.  It’s a foot longer than I thought it would be!  And with a sweater like this, who needs mittens?  Jeepers. 

Dean said, “You could wear it backwards, like a Snuggie.”  Yargh.  I guess I could do that.  Probably it will become one of those big ol’ sweaters I wear like a bathrobe, pretty much every day, with pajamas or yoga pants or whatever else I have on.  I’ll wear it when it’s damp outside and I’m chilled through, or when I don’t want the UPS man to know I haven’t gotten dressed yet, or when I want to wear a blanket with sleeves.  This will probably get more use than anything else I’ve ever made.  I’ll get my revenge on it by loving it more than anything.  Ha!  Take that. 

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There’s no denying it—this sweater is extremely comfy, and while way too big, huge, even, it is cozy.  Yep, that’s a win.

40 comments:

  1. Love Yogi! We have a book of all his quotes on our library shelf at home! Wise man! Pretty sweater, the extra size just makes it easier to bury yourself in it when your cold next week when the Polar Vortex hits us again! It's 50 degrees out here today and we are just lapping up all the warm sun that is shining down this afternoon! God knows it will be back to frozen tundra weather next week! Come on Spring!!! :)

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    1. Forgot to say I LOVE your new blog header! :)

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  2. hello Kristen
    I don't know him at all but that Yogi chap sounds wise! That is a lovely jacket ...right so it is too big for you but won't it fit somebody else in the family?? It really is a smashing jacket and really should be worn. It look super warm too. Perhaps it won't be so big for you if you use it as an outer jacket and plenty of hefty warm gear underneath for those arctic days!!!

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

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  3. Roll back the sleeves, grab a nice wide belt - your sweater looks fab and cozy and yes, you'll probably love it to bits. It's perfect for the next vortex!

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  4. Kristen, I love it! My favorite sweatshirt is two sizes too big and I wear it all of the time too. Love your blog it is so inspiring.

    Kristin

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  5. No, swatching lies. I never paid more attention to all the details than when I made a pair of socks. End result about 3 sizes too big. So next ones I guessed the needle size and the stitch number. Got a perfect result. Measuring knitting is just not true as it moves and sidles off to one side, or shrinks or grows when you are not looking. It just doesn't give good information that you can use, it's too much of a moveable feast. Contrary to what is generally thought, it isn't very mathematical and can give dodgier results than when other thought processes are used..

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  6. Fold the sleeves back! Just Right. The only sad thing is perhaps realizing the sweater could have been done sooner? Helen

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  7. Sometimes a big comfy sweater is just what is needed. Snuggle on in! :)

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  8. To me this cardigan (beautiful work!) looks like a car coat style. Maybe tack the cuffs back to a manageable length, add the buttons farther over, and add another set parallel to give it a double breasted look...there's your spring coat! Only you would be the wiser...

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  9. This will definitely become the most used cardi in your wardrobe!!! ENJOY! xxx (ps love life's mistakes....)

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  10. Thank goodness it's not just me that does this kind of thing. I'm limiting myself to scarves, shawls and blankets now. But if it was mine, I know I would wear it a lot, it's lovely. Just the thing when it's you against the world.

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  11. I'm terrible for not doing swatches/blocking etc. I really like your cardigan - even if it is a tad large - I think the length looks great with jeans and the sleeves will look fine rolled up a bit.
    Love the header!

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  12. I know it seems like a waist of time to do a swatch but I swear it works ... Althought I have to confess that most of the time I doent do one either... Your sweater looks absolutely amazing and it looks like the most comfy and cozy sweater ever... After all size does not matter at all especially if you are comfy and happy. Love all ten different stitches ... It's a winner like you said :)

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  13. Its gorgeous - DO NOT unpick it ! It'll be the most loved cardigan you have just because it is so big and snuggly and far better for the sleeves to be too long than too short ! Just off to block a shawl this morning - bit nervous now !
    Kate x

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  14. I particularly love that you still blogged it, still love it and haven't pretended to be perfect. I'm knitting Heidi's Shellseeker and although I did do a tension square I am not totally convinced it's big enough. Better too big than too small I say!

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  15. What a shame! But you'll turn it to positive Kristen, and apart from the sleeves length (and you could turn those cuffs back to the length you want and stitch them in place for double warmth!) it is beautiful! I love the pattern. And we all feel cosier in something big and snuggly!
    Gill xx

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  16. Your post gave me a good laugh. Thanks! It looks very snuggly.

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  17. You have certainly hit the brief of your blog title - that is a crazy thing. Jo x

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  18. It looks SO cosy. I think you will wear this one alot!!

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  19. I blooming love it! And I hate guaging too :) x

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  20. here i sit working on the ribbing of a new sweater, did not do a gauge, just did a blog post about how any sweater i knit never fits. hahahaha! i feel a little sick :) but! you sweater looks so cozy and lovely! you're a knitting wizard!

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  21. yep...yogi nailed this one, but it REALLY is lovely, looks great on you...and giant rolled cuffs for the sleeves will do wonders for your ability to knit while wearing it. enjoy that huge wooly hug!

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  22. this is why i hate to knit actual garments. i have never yet managed to make something i feel good in, something a friend would beg me to make again for her ! i have given it up, i am an addict but i am fighting back with shawls and toys and baby clothes... you are a knitting whiz and that jacket looks lovely and i can't believe how fast you are but i will not be tempted, i will not !

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  23. I think it is perfect and better too big than too small which is what I seem to do all the time lately and that is with a gauge swatch. Roll up the sleeves, knit a nice little belt and you are good to go. It is your go to soft comfy sweater and we all need one of those. Like a giant soft hug.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  24. It's fabulous! I love oversize sweaters. Wearing one now, as a matter of fact. It is beautiful, and perfect for the kind of winter we are having (southern Ontario).

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  25. Don't you DARE unravel that, you hear! I'd rather have you ship it to South Africa :-)
    It is gorgeous. It has Long Sleeves! Perfect to cuddle and slouch in.
    I love it.

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  26. I love it even with too big sleeves. Maybe even more because of them, it's just extra cozy.

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  27. If it is super wash while you can felt it a little bit but it is gorgeous even set even still.

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  28. It might be a little large, but it will be super cosy for snuggling up in!! It looks lovely. xx

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  29. It's really beautiful. It will be very snuggly. My husband once heard Yogi Berra speak at a dinner for Boy Scout volunteers and he really enjoyed the speech. He still refers to a few key points years later so it must have made an impression.

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  30. I love it, it looks soooo cosy:-)

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  31. Oh Kristen, I like the looks of your generous sweater. I am swatch adverse, and definitely don't think that I have every blocked a swatch. Do real folks actually do this?

    All the texture in your generous cardi is lovely, and I also like the appearance of that subtle contrast color line. Please do not unravel this one. Love its warmth and all the styling possibilities it offers.

    i am just finishing up a month's knitting project and about to start another. Swatching has not, and most likely will not, figure in either of these. Photos may get posted...next time the sun returns. More bad weather on the way, I hear.

    xo

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  32. Hi Kristen, Love your new blog header. The sweater is gorgeous even if it is large. So many different patterns, must have been a lot of hard work. I am afraid I will make things too small, so I have never ventured beyond scarves and blankets! Love your writing always makes me smile.

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  33. That sweater would be a GREAT cardi-coat. A wide belt and some cute boots and there you go! Love it as is too! Looks so comfy!

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  34. Hi - just blog hopping ... Lovely cardigan ... sweet lesson on gauges :) - I'm learning to crochet and have mastered the Tunisian stitch. Now trying my hand at the Tunisian Lace Stitch ... first time working with clusters and chain 3 spaces *doodly eyes* lol ... but I love the calmness and soft feeling of yarn! I enjoyed my visit!

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  35. Brilliant post! Such a shame about the gauge but I think there's a lot to be said for something to really envelopes you for winter. Perfect for cozying up in!

    S x

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  36. I love your cardigan. And I love the lesson about swatching and blocking. I have only fairly recently returned to knitting after years of not seeming to have time for anything but work and children. I have learnt the hard way about gauge. Your cardigan seems to have come off fine, in a huge, cuddly sort of way. My mistake was the other way and left me with something that is just too small - much, much more of a pain!

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  37. OMG, I love this sweater so much. Roll up those sleeves and keep going. I think it's CO-Z.

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  38. Regardless of size, I think it is beautiful and I am in awe of people who knit. I'd love to make time to learn. I'm also really pleased to hear that wearing something large so the post delivery person doesn't know that you're not dressed yet is a global phenomenon!

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  39. Lindo casaco e lindas fotos.
    Parabéns.
    Rosangela / Brasil

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