I opted for a turned hem on the bottom and on the sleeves. I did that partly to use up a bit more yardage (I’ve been concerned about meeting the 800yd requirement for Camp Loopy, although according the pattern I should be using more than 4 skeins), but mostly because I think the turned hem is a cleaner, more tailored look than a garter stitch border and helps the cardigan dress up better.
I picked up more than the number of stitches called for in the pattern. I think the number recommended would have made the collar pull in more than I would have liked, so I picked up a stitch for each stitch in the original neckline, plus 14 across the top of each lace panel.
The lace front band patterns were a bit unclear to me. It said to work 2-8 row repeats, and then to work until row 6 of the lace pattern. At first I wasn’t sure if that meant a) to do one full lace pattern and stop the 2nd at row six, or b) to do a 3rd (partial) lace pattern, but looking at the pictures, it’s option b.
I went barely over 4 skeins; had I not done the turned hems on the bottom and sleeves, I would have had plenty of yarn to knit the neckline without breaking into the 5th skein.
For anyone who, like me, prefers top down sweaters because you can try on as you go - it’s important to remember that until the lace panels are added, this might fit really weirdly. I spent a lot of time wondering if I shouldn’t just frog and start over because the fit seemed so poor and I couldn’t get the raglan lines to lie properly. Adding the lace panels was magic.
Also, the 2nd picture makes it look like there’s extra material bunching under the arm, but that’s just because of the awkward way I’m holding my arm back for the picture. :-)
6/27, 12:30am - Cast on! Well, for the swatch, anyway; I lost track of the start date and didn’t get my swatching done in advance. Oops.
6/27, 12:44pm - After an abbreviated night’s sleep while my swatch dried, it was time to cast on for real! Fortunately, my first needle size choice worked, so I didn’t have to swatch up again.
6/30 - Not going as fast as I would have liked…but part of the problem is I’m trying to knit another sweater (for the same wedding, this one for my mom) at the same time. But I’m halfway through the raglan increases.
6/30, later - Camp Loopy went to Victory Lane! I love to knit while watching NASCAR, but when your favorite driver (Brad Keselowski!) takes the lead with 47 laps to go, it’s hard to keep your tension even! I had to stop trying to knit with 3 to go, and when Brad took the checkered flag, my knitting went flying. I’m lucky I didn’t drop a stitch on the way to Victory Lane.
7/2 - Ok, so I admit it. I was knitting as I watched the action on Centre Court at Wimbledon. Of course, I wasn’t that knitter - but like her (despite the inaccurate reporting) I kept my eyes glued to the tennis match while I was knitting and enjoyed every serve and volley. Multi-tasking for the game, set, and match!
7/3 - And Camp Loopy went to…the auto glass repair shop. Yay for landscapers who hit rocks with their riding mowers having good insurance… But they were very helpful, the shop got me a next day appointment, and the repair took only an hour and a half. Of course, it was long enough for me to determine:
- I had lost track of how many rows of the raglan I’d knit - I was much further along than I realized.
- I had also off by either 3 stitches too many or 5 stitches too few. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find more than 1 increase that I’d missed. Fortunately, the finer gauge of DK means I can just add another set of increase rows to get those missing increases done.
7/4 - Happy Independence Day from Camp Loopy! Bubbles are a family tradition for 4th of July.
7/5 - Reached that last extra set of rows of increases (to get to 348 stitches, gasp), but while I was holding my knitting up to figure out where those increases needed to go, I saw what looked like hole in the middle of the back. It wasn’t a hole, but a wonky stitch that was pulling to the side and leaving a gap. Naturally, it was 25 rows back. Time to play hook and ladder at Camp Loopy!
7/6 - Finally - sleeve split time at Camp Loopy! The cardi looks pretty wonky at this point, between the missing lace panels in front (added last), the excessive roll on the side from the stockinette stitch, and the fact that I was trying to do a self portrait. But it looks better in real life, and I’m down to 200 stitches per row.
7/12 - Camp Loopy went to the beach today! Yes, I’m at a beach, in the sun, and wearing a sweater (my Campy Copper Abalone from project one) and I’m not melting. Camp in the Pacific Northwest is a little chilly still! In fact, I had to sit in the sun to warm up…and of course, got sunburned. But that’s a usual camp tradition, right?
7/17 - And the body is done! I opted not to add the extra inches - the pattern as written was long enough for me - but I did change the edging. The pattern calls for garter stitch, but I really prefer the tailored look of a turned hem and I think it’ll look better with this pattern. Just the sleeves and the lace edging on the fronts to go.
I was fairly concerned about knitting enough yardage with this pattern. It calls for 5 skeins of the Ultra Pima, which is 1100 yds. Even if I only knit just over 4 skeins, that would be over 880 yds…but at various points of the body I had a lot more yarn left than I felt I should. At this point, I’m no longer concerned about that since I’m in to the 4th skein, but I’ll be surprised if I break open the 5th skein.
7/20 - I do like the look of a turned hem! I think this will give the sweater a more tailored and dressy look than the garter stitch border the pattern called for, but it will still be casual enough for everyday wear. The body and both sleeves are now finished, so all I’ve got left are the lace fronts. My goal - finish today!
7/20 (7 pm) - Picked up all 104 sts on the right front and started knitting merrily away on the lace panel…only to realize 3 rows in (the set up row plus 2 lace rows) that I’m on the RIGHT front and the pattern says LEFT front…so I’m working the lace upside down. Wouldn’t be a problem except that the bottom of the panel has a 4 st garter border that the top doesn’t (since sts will be picked up around the neck). Don’t want to just rip it out because I don’t want to have to pick up those stitches again…so time to tink 108 sts (I can fix the set up row from the row above, at least). Yay me.
7/21 - Tinking didn’t work. I ended up having to just rip it out and pick the 104 stitches back up, but I persevered and have one finished lace panel! I needed to pull up the linked projects to take a good look at the panels on everyone’s sweaters - the pattern was slightly unclear as to whether it was one full lace repeat and one partial, or two full repeats and one partial. Ravelry’s linked databases for the win - everyone’s pictures made it clear that was it was the 2nd option. One more lace panel and the neckline to go!
7/21 (later) - The danger of getting into a grove: when you have a pattern that recommends picking up stitches with a much smaller needle, you might forget to switch back to the proper needle size for the actual knitting. It happened to me on the 2nd lace panel - I was doing the picking up with US3s and the knitting with US5s…but I was 6 rows into the first repeat when I realized I still had the 3s in my hand. At that side I decided a) I wasn’t going backwards one more time and b) it was lace - if need be, I’ll block it to within an inch of its life.
It was clear while knitting that 2nd panel that I was definitely going to meet the minimum yardage requirements with no problem. And, in fact, I finished it with about a foot and a half of yarn left. If I hadn’t done the turned hems I would have had enough to finish the sweater without breaking into the 5th skein, but I still prefer the look.
7/22 - And I’m done! Apologies for the crappy picture, but I had to take it using a camera app with a timer on my tablet. :-) It needs a good blocking anyway before the official picture is taken…but it’s done!
7/23 - Crappy picture has now been replaced with good picture by my personal photographer (aka husband) with a properly blocked sweater. I love it. REALLY love it. Fits great, looks great. I’ll be wearing the heck outta of this, I know, and I’m already planning several in other colors.
This project is named in honor of the cousin at whose wedding I’ll be wearing this…an outdoor wedding at the end of July in Maryland. (Love her, but dear goodness, what was she thinking?) I’m already regretting not having picked white instead of blue from the flag for my Camp Loopy Project 2, although this will be more useful in the long run.