It's official. Although I blocked the pieces nearly two weeks ago and seamed pretty much the entire thing last weekend, today I wove in the last two ends (having decided that the lower parts of the front pieces were connected well enough to the side seams and that the last couple of inches of each will hang free as the pattern sort of hints at) and took pictures.
I didn't claim they were great pictures, but I have no assistants around at present and didn't bother to get out of my lazy Sunday clothes either. The bookcase had to suffice for holding the camera in place while the self-timer clicked off its ten seconds, and a well-placed candle underneath got the height just about right.
Yesterday at the local natural food store CK and I found a lovely shawl pin masquerading as a hair decoration and snapped it up. It could hold a pinch of hair in it (useless!), or the front pieces of a cardigan (perfect!).
A few quick notes on mods before I forget. Ah, and materials: Patons Classic Merino in Peacock. About five skeins, at 223 yards each. I used size 8 needles and got gauge while swatching but then found that my knitting was coming out too wide so I backed up and figured out that by knitting the smallest size my finished measurements would come out at the second size, which is what I was aiming for. That's my favorite kind of math, as rather than reworking all the st counts myself, I could just use the numbers for the smallest size and come out at the size I wanted. I do find that when I get going on an actual piece of a project my gauge loosens up a bit so even if I get gauge while swatching I can't trust myself.
This pattern is quite forgiving in terms of bust size, as it drapes so loosely in front. I like the short back a lot, and knit the sleeves shorter than called for, as I didn't want the massive cuffs at my wrists. I worked them 16 inches before starting the raglan decreases, and they're 23 inches long shoulder to cuff.
The back was the only tricky bit, really. The st count was incredibly wide, so there was some modification needed. I figured out how wide I wanted the bottom to be, and then looked for a corresponding st number in one of the other pieces. I saw that largest sized front piece called for casting on 129 sts, which was close to the width that I wanted, so rather than cast on 159 for the smallest size back piece as the pattern called for, I knit the directions for the 129 width. You could get the same result by simply subtracting a few berry-in-a-box repeats but this seemed to do the trick as well. In the end, the bottom part is 22.5 inches wide.
After working the 4.5 inches in patt as called for I knew I needed to be careful with my reduced number of sts as if I decreased every other row in st st up the raglan back portion, I would end up with a point at the neck rather than a sawed of triangle. Does that make sense? I would have lost all my sts by the time I reached the correct length, and it would have been ridiculous. In retrospect, skipping the triple decreases in the pattern that happen four times after finished the berry border would have solved much of my problem. I didn't figure that out in time, doing three of the alternate row sssk/k3tog bits before realizing I was hemorrhaging sts.
After that I decreased every fourth row (rather than every other) four times and then every other row as called for, ending up with about 27 sts for the neckline, as desired. I'm getting more comfortable with spacing out my decreases, so that is a good thing. I also wanted the slope of the upper back to match the raglan slope of the sleeves so that was a consideration.
All in all, it turned out well. The back is still plenty wide even though I knit the smallest size and took out 30 sts!
Here is another project, not yet finished, the Teahouse Sling. I've done some of the embellishing now that the Origami Cardi is not demanding my attention. I chose some leftover satin bamboo for the detail and did my own freehand-ish crocheted stitching. I also single crocheted the straps edges for support and contrast. I like it. I want to do the other size in similar fashion and then do the three needle bindoff for the bottom. I plan to line this, just have to find some suitable fabric.
One last side note -- I've just ordered Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature, and started queuing up some of the gorgeous projects from that book on Ravelry! I've had my eye on this book for awhile and look forward to getting some new ideas!