I finished the first sleeve on the Katherine Hepburn cardigan, and it turns out my stitch and row gauge are spot on. How often does that happen? I'm so happy to just blindly knit the pattern without thinking of adjustments all the time, it's a nice rest from my usual self-designed knitting.
The other nice change is being able to talk about the process as it's happening and more in depth. This pattern, like many commercial ones, tells you to increase at both sides of a RS row but leaves it up to you to decide what increase to do. Normally I would always champion the M1 lifted increase. But since it's so hard to see the stitches and rows on black (thin!) yarn, and since the sweater is highly patterned anyway, I decided to do a knit into the front & back increase, worked 1 stitch in from the edge, instead. I don't like this increase in stockinette because it results in a purl bump, but in this highly textured pattern it melts right in. And it's much easier because you don't really have to see what you're doing!
The other pattern instruction that gave me pause was to work the seam stitch in garter stitch. I normally do edge stitches in stockinette, having tried other methods and found that stockinette is the easiest to seam, doesn't leave holes (like slipping the stitch does) and doesn't cause the fabric to buckle at the edge (like garter stitch can). So when I first read that part of the instructions, I thought for sure I would change it. But I decided to try it, figuring that if it would work on any sweater, this would be the one, given the dark color and the super-textured fabric.
I found out that I was half right and half wrong in my assumptions. The edge is fine for most of the sleeve, but when it got to the sleeve cap there is definitely some buckling of the edges. Which is what I had feared, since garter stitch has a very tight row gauge it tends to pull in more than the surrounding stitch. No biggie, though, since this yarn is so stretchy I will just block that tendency right out with a steamer. But it's nice to have tried it and found it works sometimes. If this sweater were stockinette I definitely wouldn't have done it, but in this instance it's pretty much OK.
In other news, this sweater is eating up yarn like CRAZY. I used almost 2 full skeins for this 3/4 length sleeve! I bought 12 and I may end up having to get a few more. I'll know for sure once I finish the back, which I've already cast on for but haven't even gotten out of the ribbing yet.
Oh, and the Kersti sweater is really close to done. The 2nd sleeve is a few inches from completion and I already sewed the first one in. I hope to get a picture up before the week is over.
OH, and I'm this close to done with the pattern for Laura. I decided to offer a wider range of sizes than I usually do because this cardigan would work on various sized people, unlike many of my other designs. So it's taking a little more work to size and edit, I have to go over it more than usual to make sure all the sizes are right. Maybe I'll put it up for sale next week!