Single Skein September has not been nearly as productive as I had hoped. I have so far finished two single skein projects: the tipless mitts (thanks so much for the kind comments, BTW) and a beret about which I will blog later. My knitting has been scattered and a little frazzled, just like my life, thanks for the Back to School gauntlet of meetings, homework, practices, and getting dinner on the table at a decent hour.
Life has really changed in our home, as my daughter is now in school full-time, for the first time. She's also on a soccer team, and she's lost a front tooth. There's been a lot swirling around her, and so it seems appropriate that when I really had a chance to focus my knitting energy, I focused it on Rosebud's cropped cardigan.
This was actually designed as a stash buster, but only if you are willing to stretch the definition of "stash busting" to mean purchasing three new balls of yarn to make the majority of the piece. I've had the pink contrast yarn hanging around in my stash for almost a year now, and when I went to the yarn shop looking for a purple yarn to make a little sweater for my newly-obsessed-with-purple daughter, I spotted the same Louisa Harding Kashmir DK in a pretty deep lavender, the same as that pink single skein. I considered a pullover sweater, using the pink as a wide stripe detail, but I wanted to stick with the four balls of yarn I had and knew I was pushing the yardage for a full-sized sweater, thus a cropped cardi.
I began this project thinking I would make a top-down raglan, to maximize the yarn I did have. I could knit the bodice and the sleeves, and if I had any yarn left over, I could add length to the body of the sweater. However, I was just in love with this subtle little stitch pattern, and it was becoming a headache trying to figure out how to incorporate the stitch pattern neatly and symmetrically into the raglan increases. I ended up relying a bit on Ann Budd and made a modified-drop sleeve in pieces. I really don't mind seaming, and it was fairly to quick to knit the individual pieces.
The biggest challenge was adding an edging that didn't make the curved fronts all puckered or bulging. I originally planned a reverse-stockinette rolled edge (one of my favorites), and then attempted an applied i-cord, but neither worked. Instead, as I have been dabbling a bit in crochet, I thought I could add a ruffled edge that would sort of camouflage any weird flares. the fact that crochet eats yarn was not lost on me, because I really wanted to use all that pink yarn. I think the crochet is really cute, and it was much more forgiving as an edging.
As with most of my attempts at design, it isn't perfect. The shoulders are too narrow, and the sweater is just not quite big enough. My ease calculations were just a bit off, and I also realize that I did not account for selvages when determining my stitch counts. But designing for my daughter is just so forgiving. It still looks awfully cute on her, and she, as predicted, loves it.
Thankfully, you don't have to be perfect to be loved.