A Cardigan for Arwen KAL

The Knit-Along for A Cardigan for Arwen by Kate Gilbert from Interweave Knits, Winter 2006. Come join the Fellowship!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Hi fellow knitters,
I'm Kat, and I just joined the knitalong. I've started the left front of the sweater with some recycled yarn from two goodwill merino/angora sweaters. No pictures of it knit up yet, but I have pictures on my (infantile) blog: wheelandneedle.blogspot.com. Speaking of which, could anyone explain briefly to me how to put one of these pretty buttons on said blog? I just can't seem to figure it out.
Everyone's work looks so beautiful already! I can't wait to see how the sweaters all progress!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I finished the back!

I was knitting along and had a feeling it was time to stop and measure and somehow I got lucky and was at the exact correct length when I stopped. So tomorrow I plan to cast off the back and cast on the left front. I'm so excited to finally get to the cables, but I'm glad I got the boring back done and out of the way at least. I'm using Knit Picks Main Line and I'm still loving it. Today we had the most amazing weather and I was wishing I could wear this cardigan. It would have been just the right weight to take the tiny bit of chill off when I was outside knitting in just a t-shirt and track pants.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We have dropped stitches in cables!

Last night I was feeling rather pleased with my knitting, so of course disaster soon struck. Well, maybe not disaster, but for me a knitting mess. I dropped three count 'em three stitches in my pretty arwen cables, and can't figure out how to pick them up. I have stared at it, turned it over, studied the chart, etc, but all I have to show for it is a headache. I've considered frogging, but I'm afraid I won't be able to pick up those stitches either. As evidenced by this post, I am a cable novice. Any advice is welcome.

PS: Femiknitmafia, thanks for the link on knitting photos!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

We Have Cable(s)!

Arwen's back panel is finished, and I've started the left front. A very poor photo:

Having just taken my first ever knitting photo, I now have a great deal of respect for all knit bloggers! I had no clue it was so challenging to get a decent photo. The color is nowhere near close: instead of being raspberry parfait, the color is instead much more deep, truly a wine color.

To make matters even more interesting, I have assiduously followed Gumperina's tutorial for knitting without cable needles. What a pleasure it is!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Hi Everybody

I'm Sharon, I just joined. I fell in love with this cardigan the moment I opened my IK magazine. But I still have not settled on what yarn to use. I'm almost going for the Swish Superwash (color Dublin-- that color name almost has me convinced) but now my husband Jaya is making noises about us not spending any extra money right now (we just bought a house), so it may take me a couple days to convince him! Really, he wants me to finish a project for HIM first.

This is my first knitalong, I think it's a great idea. Since I am still in the yarn purchasing stage, I am eagerly reading how each type of yarn is working out for everyone. Happy knitting!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

new member

Hi there I just joined :) I already started the back and am nearly done with it. I'm using Knit Picks Main Line in dusty lavender and love it. There is a pic on my blog of a few inches of it. I cannot WAIT to get started on those cables though!!!!! :)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Swatches done

I think I'm ready to cast on... this yarn is perfect for me. I tend to knit too tightly sometimes, and I found this yarn has enough give to keep my tension even.

KP Andean Silk Cornflower


My IK arrived yesterday and I have the yarn now all ready to go. Can't wait to start this! I can't believe the progress some of made already, that's great! I must admit, I'm a very slow knitter and right now I have the cold that is going around everywhere, so even the thought of knitting hurts. At least, however, I have all I need to get started when I feel better.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Cast on/first row?

I've managed to totally confuse myself about the beginning of this pattern. (Which clearly bodes well for the rest of it. Sigh.) What cast on are you all using? I tend towards the cable cast on, which sets you up for a knit row. But according to the pattern, the first row is supposed to be a wrong side (purl) row. Will something bad happen if I start with a knit row? I feel like I'm missing something here.

new yarn ordered and old yarn sent back

hi all, vanessa here. i had ordered knitpicks wool of the andes in firecracker, but didn't like the color when it arrived, so back it went.
after much agonizing, decided on queensland katmandu color 146. it was on sale at carodan farm.
hopefully the yarn and magazine will both get here soon!
p.s. i picked red so i could kill 2 birds with one stone. red sweater along ;-)

I have yarn!

I was planning to buy yarn, but I really don't have the money to do that within the next few weeks. So I followed Femiknit's example below and went stash-diving, and came up with a bunch of Bartlett 2-ply in Natural. I bought this years ago, and apparently got over whatever pattern I'd originally planned. So Arwen it shall be. Gauge seems perfect. I am going to wind it all up on my ballwinder before I start, though, because it has moved with me several times and not always lived under the best of conditions, and I want to make sure it's... intact, if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My Yarn Arrived

My yarn arrived today! But still no IK. It seems to be really late getting here this time. Maybe because I'm anxious to get started on this sweater. Something like a watched pot never boils! Hopefully, it will be in my mailbox by the end of the week.


Random Admin

Masthead Design Needed
Does anyone know how to creat a masthead? Our buttons are fantastic (thanks Kimberly and Beth!), but we need to jazz up the blog itself. Can we simply transfer a button to the masthead? Should we use a different image? If so, I have another one to toss into the mix:

However, to keep the "brand" consistent, perhaps we should pick one? We could do a poll...

Another KAL
Great minds think alike. A couple weeks ago, SavannahChik started another Arwen KAL without realizing that we existed. Her KAL is hosted on her blog, with a corresponding Yahoo group. Jody and I chatted over email, considered merging the KALs, but decided not to merge. Since a traditional blog and a Yahoo email group are such different animals, we expect that people will migrate to their chosen format.

To ensure strong ties to our fellow Arwenites, I've subscribed to the Yahoo group. Whenever I see an excellent suggestion, I'll post it here too (with credits to the author, of course).

Happy clicking!

Swatch Positive

After some knashing of teeth about my empty bank account, the cost of yarn these days (said in my best old lady voice), and much time spent picking colors on KnitPicks, Beth asked if I had any good stash yarn. Well, there's this DK weight Jo Sharp and that DK weight cone attached to the unfinished Eris collar, and the cones destined for a sweater for my Little Man. There's no worsted. Wait ... there is!

A year ago, I bought two cones for a Rogue, which then became two cones for an Eris, and then my two cones mellowed in the stash, until last night.

Newly inspired by my train-chat with Beth, I swatched. I popped Two Towers into the DVD, plopped down on the couch, and grabbed my needles. I cast on 36 stitches, in vain hope of my washed swatch measuring 8" and knit until Arwen's first scene (1h 20m), washed and blocked the little puppy, and measured a 5 sts gauge. Argh. In the morning, I grabbed the swatch, boarded the train and re-measured. Amen! 4.5 sts! I will be knitting my Arwen with a stashed coned closeout yarn from Webs called Brora Softspun in a beautiful steely tweedy gray wool.

After such successful stash-diving, I feel the urge to buy a brooch!

Got yarn!

The box was waiting at my door when I got home from work. It's so soft and shiny, and I love the color! :)

I'm going to try a few more swatches, just to be sure. And I haven't knitted cables before (other than swatches for class at Stitches and K & C), so it'll be slow going until I get used to the pattern.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Also waiting...

According to KnitPicks, my yarn will arrive today...

In the meantime, I've typed the pattern in Word (easier to read), and I'm doing cable swatches...

I may be the last one to finish this sweater... :)

I chose Andean Silk Cornflower, mostly because I like the color and the fabric content, but also because of the color's similarity to Arwen's 'Rivendell farewell' dress, Dream gown, Arch dress, and Lavender beaded gown.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Almost ready to start

I'm really looking forward to starting this sweater. First I have to finish a sweater I'm knitting for my husband's birthday -- 10 days from now. I'm hoping to get the Arwen swatch done in the next couple of days. I'm planning to use Elann's Highland wool in electric blue from my stash.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Still waiting

I'm still waiting for my IK to arrive. I'm going to knit the cardigan with stash yarn. I bought 17 balls of Debbie Bliss Cathay earlier this year and didn't like the pattern I originally planned. Now I just have to wait to see if I can get the correct tension.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cast on!

My yarn arrived yesterday, and cast-on accomplished! I love the KnitPicks Andean Silk. Sangria is a rich, deep, and lively color. More like cabernet sauvignon than sangria, but that's okay with me. Unlike others, I didn't swatch the cables, but when I swatched my stockinette it was right on. The swatch washed well also. For now, it's just mindless knitting, perfect for finding a litle peace.

I may need a little hand-holding later on in the pattern, however!

Starting Off

Here I go. Two days of knitting, a whole lot of frogging (blush), and more knitting and now I'm on the road. The real color isn't quite this dark. The Cashmerino Aran is soooo soft.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Here are three repeats of the cable pattern, plus a bit of stockinette for good measure.

(forget the color--it's not even close)

There's a close-up of the cable on my blog.

I haven't washed the swatch yet, but what do you think? Enough stitch definition?...

Edited to add: Didn't get gauge, went down a needle size. I've now done about six inches of the back, but it's just plain stockinette and therefore not very photogenic. It does go quickly, though!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Let's Get Started!

I meant to start swatching with my Beaverslide Dry Goods yarn this evening, but instead, I got carried away with my graphics program.

If you see one you like, go ahead and take it! (But save it to your own server, okay?...)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Hi Everyone!

I love this cardigan and can't wait to get the issue with it in it. I've ordered the yarn that they recommended, only because I'm not good at substituting. That's my one downfall in knitting! It's nice to meet all of you and be a part of something wonderful!


Friday, November 03, 2006


I made a couple of buttons. Well, both are the same button in two different sizes. Hope you approve! And a kind reminder to please make sure you copy them to your server.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I got it!!

I got my IK Winter '06 in the mail today!! Since I know you're all dying to know how the Arwen is constructed, I'll type out the description.

... drum roll, please ...

"Reversible bands of Celtic knot cables, worked at the same time as the body of the garment, edge the fronts and continue seamlessly into the hood. Each front-and-sleeve unit is worked as one piece; the sleeve stitches are cast on at the armhole and worked as part of the front."

"The sweater is worked in three pieces. The back is worked as a rectangle from hemmed lower edge to shoulders. Each front is worked to the armhole, then stitches are cast on for the sleeve, which is worked up and over the shoulder to the sleeve seam. Stitches along the neck edge for each front are continued to the top of the head for the hood, casting on extra stitches in the first hood row for the back of the head."

Finished sizes: 33-1/2, 37-3/4, 41, 45-3/4, 49, 53-1/4

Gauge: 18 sts and 26 rows = 4" in St st on size 8 (5 mm) straight needles; 24 stitches of either cable chart measure 2-3/4" wide on larger straight needles.

Yarn Options & Welcome

I'm still mulling yarn options. Any thoughts on these two?

1. Classic Elite Skye Tweed (on overstock sale at Webs)
2. KnitPicks Wool of the Andes (no doubt the least expensive option on the market)

In other news, WELCOME to everyone who joined in our first two weeks:
Denise, Donna, Dyann, Hanne-Maria, Jessica, Kat with a K, Kimberly, Linda, Marina, Melanie, and Tink.

Our little KAL is up to 13 people, before the pattern is even published. Hooray!