My weekend in Boston was great, very low key with lots of hanging out with the family. We managed to see the lunar eclipse from a rest stop parking lot, so that was also cool. And I got a lot of knitting done on my Kersti sweater, I finished the back and front and most of the first sleeve.
And then I started something new . . .
Instead of starting the project I thought I would start from Lace Style, I started the Katherine Hepburn cardigan. And even weirder, I'm making it in Zara, which is what I thought I would use for the other project . . . but this isn't the same Zara, I went and bought enough black Zara for the KH, keeping the forest green bag for the other sweater. Very logical of me, don't you think? Don't answer that. I have no explanation.
What you see up there is a sleeve, which is what I like to start with when I'm not entirely sure of my gauge. On size 6's my gauge was too big and on size 5's it seemed pretty close but still a tiny bit loose. So I decided to play it safe and start with a sleeve, which is much less painful to tear out if it turned out pretty close isn't close enough. I have about 5" knit and the stitch gauge is good but my row gauge is a little tight, so I'll be adjusting the shaping a tiny bit to make up for that.
Speaking of adjusting, I'm making the 36.5" size and I'm actually really happy with the pattern's proportions. Usually I have to readjust commercial patterns but this one is pretty close to perfect. The only thing I'm changing is adding slight waist shaping, because I think it's more flattering on a close-fitting cardigan.
I'm really enjoying this cable and lace pattern, it's easy to memorize and has a good rhythm. The only thing that's a challenge is that smart me decided to make this sweater in black yarn . . . so it's hard to see what row I'm on for shaping purposes. Which is why you see that green marker on the upper right, it's marking the row where I last increased. This is a trick I picked up somewhere along the way that I rarely see explained, so here goes:
Many patterns have wrong side rows that are what I like to call "resting rows," meaning you knit the stitches as they lay (knit the knits and purl the purls). Plus, most patterns tell you to do the shaping on right side rows. When these 2 factors are true, there is no reason to think about your WS rows at all for tracking purposes. So there are only RS rows to worry about.
In this pattern, there is a cable that crosses every 4th row. Obviously, half of those rows are WS rows, so we don't have to worry about them. So that means that the cross is every other right side row. This is key, because it means that if you're on a RS row, there are only 2 choices: Cross or No Cross. And it's really easy to tell which you're on, because the row right below it tells you (think about how you do seed stitch, it's the same idea).
SO, where am I going with this? The sleeve calls for increasing every 8th row. I did my first increase on a No Cross row. So I know that I have to increase on every other No Cross row. So all I did was stick a locking stitch marker in the No Cross row where I last increased, and when I have 2 cable crosses above that marker, I know I will have to increase on the next No Cross row. Then I will move the marker to that row and repeat the process.
I just read over this explanation and I'm not sure it's very clear . . . let me know if it doesn't make sense!