I’ve finally finished Gwendolyn! It’ll be nice to have a new sweater for fall.
The yarn is Beaverslide 100% merino it’s so ridiculously soft, but still has that farm-spun yarn look that I love so much. The colorways are Wood Rose and Chokecherry. It shows off cables perfectly, and did I mention it’s soft? I have only good things to say about this yarn.
The pattern is Gwendolyn by Fiona Ellis and published in Twist Collective’s Fall 2010 issue. A great pattern by a great designer. Like all the other Twist patterns I’ve knit it has readable charts, lovely photography, is well formatted, and error free.
But of course I made some changes. Because that’s just what I do. I knit the CC a bit longer than the pattern recommended along the hem of the body and a LOT longer than recommended in the sleeves. I also skipped the hood, and worked a collar in the CC as well. The collar was a very simple addition. I set it up just as the pattern directed I should for the hood, but then bound off the ribbing after 3 inches, easy-peasy!
I also made some adjustments for shaping in this sweater. I wanted a 37 or 38″ bust for this cardigan so it would be fitted but not gape at the button band. However the pattern size options were 36 and 40″. Rather than screw around with math and cable placements I worked different sizes for the back and front halves. I followed the size 36 directions for the back which gave a width of 18″. For the fronts I followed the size 40 directions giving a front width of 20″ (except where the body length was given in inches, in those places I followed the lengths for the 36″ still)
20 + 18 = 38 = perfect!
And I added 4 sets of short rows at the bust to add a little length to the front. This was the change I was least certain about. They weren’t spaced evenly because I wanted the wrapped stitches to fall in the purl fields between cables. And I couldn’t decide between 3 and 4 sets until the last moment. Once they’d been worked the cables were all on different rows which made following the charts… interesting. Luckily I have one of those magnetic chart keepers so I could have multiple magnets all over the place. But looking at the finished sweater I think the short rows were totally worth the trouble.
And finally, there are the buttons. I got the plain birch buttons from Peace Fleece, but I didn’t want them to stand out so much.
So I thought I’d dye them with beet juice. I think it was going to work too, but then I got impatient and dried them in the oven* and accidentally toasted them. But I think they look pretty nice in brown too. I polished them with a little cabinetmakers wax, which adds a simple, matted sort of gloss.
*don’t laugh, I do this with swatches all the time.