Ella Cardigan – WIP #3

Ella Cardigan Front

Almost done!  I have everything done except the final collar ribbing and some finishing.  Best of all it fits!  It needs the 3″ ribbing to fit completely but I can tell it’s the right size and I can wear it.  I did mess up the raglan sleeves a bit.  It was only supposed to have 2 knit stitches on the diagonal slope but I didn’t interpret the pattern correctly and ended up with a 4 stitch wide diagonal. But, it fits!  I’ll take it.

Next, picking up 368 stitches here I come!

Ella Cardigan – WIP # 2

Ella Sleeves

I finished the sleeves up to the underarms for the Ella cardigan but they seem too short. I know there’s still more sleeve to knit after they’ve been joined to the body but it feels weird.  My doll cardigan’s sleeves were too long so maybe that means it’s perfect!

Both sleeves were knit at the same time in the round.  I didn’t want to worry about different sizes from incorrect stitch counts or slight gauge differences from one day to the next.  It was very similar to knitting two socks at once. Except I knit toe up. My cast on wasn’t the most elegant process but after I fixed that it was easy going.

I was very impressed with my speed on this cardigan until I ran across a Steam sale for Pillars of Eternity.  Now I’m a bit distracted.  I just have to win the game a couple times and I’ll get back on track!

Ella Cardigan – WIP #1

Ella Cardigan Body

I’m having a lot of fun with this cardigan.  I’ve worked up to the armholes for the cardigan body and I’m ready for the sleeves.  Knitting the doll version first was a great idea.  I have a lot more confidence and can relax and enjoy it instead of worrying if I’m following the pattern correctly.

This yarn, Quince & Co Piper, feels amazing both as a skein and knitted.  I’ve been disappointed with yarn that felt wonderful before knitted but not so much afterwards.  That is not the case here.  I’m still having my embarrassing yarn petting moments topped with yarn squishing moments.

Oddly enough Piper is a single ply yarn.  Typically I avoid single ply like the plague.  I’m glad I didn’t this time!  Maybe I like the excuse for my less than ideal tension, just blame it on the single ply yarn.  Maybe the lace weight single ply doesn’t have as much variation in thickness as a worsted weight single ply.  Either way, I love it and I’m glad I found it.

Ella Cardigan – Planning

Ella Swatch

With the Ella doll version complete I’m planning my Ella cardigan project. First, I knit a swatch.  Really.  Not only did I knit the swatch I blocked it too.  I’m getting dual use out of this swatch: checking gauge and picking up stitches practice.

I love this yarn, Quince & Co Piper.  The Knit Pick’s Aloft yarn was not a good replacement. They’re both lace weight with mohair but they’re nothing alike. Piper has a heavier weight, closer to fingering, and much better stitch definition. It also feels amazing.  This was the yarn I was petting in the store and refused to put down.

Next I need to pick a size.  I read in Knit to Flatter by Amy Herzog that you should use your upper torso measurement instead of your bust when choosing a size. That allows for a good shoulder fit which is the hardest part to modify.  With an open cardigan I won’t even have to make bust modifications.  Following that rule I’m looking at the 38″ size cardigan.

My gauge was off at 5 sts & 7 rows per inch instead of 6 sts & 8 rows per inch. Luckily going down a size is a perfect fit for my gauge so I don’t have to do any modifications. That gets me to the 34″ bust size.  We’ll have to see if my planning was a success since this is not the size I would have picked for myself at the beginning!

That’s enough to get me started.  Here’s some references when I get to those tricky parts I didn’t do well on the first time around:

Underarm Holes

Picking Up Stitches

American Girl Sized Ella Cardigan

AG Ella Combo

  • Yarn: 10 g (out of 25) Knit Pick’s Aloft  – Silver
  • Yarn Weight: Lace
  • Needles: US Size 1 dpns & 3 circular
  • Size: Approx. 30% of smallest size
  • Pattern:  Ella Cardigan
  • Time Spent: 8.5 hours
  • Dates: 12/12/2015 – 12/25/2015

I picked out this pattern during the Chicago Yarn Crawl in August.  I’m not confident I can successfully make a garment so I decided to make a smaller doll version first.  This way I’m familiar with the pattern and less likely to mess up the one I want to wear!

The cardigan turned out alright.  I took the pattern, kept the gauge, and then used about 30% of the stitches it said for the smallest size.  With just a couple tweaks the sizing worked out.  The portions aren’t perfect and I’m not a fan of the yarn itself but I accomplished my goal.  I know the pattern now and I know what I’m not good at.

Here’s my list of things to research so my cardigan turns out better:

  1. How to avoid holes in the underarm closures
  2. Picking up stitches more neatly (maybe I should have blocked first like the pattern said)
  3. Best way to increase/decrease while keeping the double seed stitch pattern intact

Next, the full sized Ella for me!