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!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Arwen's back is covered

I finished the back, seamed, hemmed, and worked in most of my ends. I like to do a lot of finishing before the end of the knitting. Sometimes, it takes me forever to finish if I don't have the finishing started.


This may be a blinding flash of obvious to most, but when I was hemming, I was unhappy with the big lump where the side seams lay, one on top of the other. I decided to pick out the seam for the hem, and begin the side seam at the purl stitch which forms the fold. I then hemmed each section in between those seam lines, and to the selvage stitches. Thus, no lumps at the side for the hem.

I'm not sure the picture actually helps, but here it is anyway. Make sense?

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Originally uploaded by behold_the_muse.

Here's the closest I could get to true color. I'm using KP Swish Superwash in Jade. I love this color!

I'm thinking about buying a reproduction of the Elven pins the guys wear in the movies for this sweater. Any thoughts on that?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Getting my act together

Hello all,

After a long time lurking around this knit-a-long I am finally going to start Arwen. I've been swatching, and hope to cast on this weekend. The yarn is Karabella Aurora 8 in a gray/brown sort of color. Neither of these pictures is quite right, but you can get a vague idea.

Has anyone added waist shaping?

There's a more extensive post about my yarn choice on my blog.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Member

Hello everyone! This is my first knit-along. I'm very excited about this sweater, as I generally am about Kate Gilbert's work. I used a bit of the cable chart as a swatch and I was stunned. Reversible cables? I didn't know that was even possible! I'm in the middle of the back piece now, but I'll post pictures as soon as I get to something more interesting.


What a terrible picture of me. That is my 1st thought. My vanity gets the better of me a lot. I still think I am a size 6/8 and 17 years old. It is always a SHOCK to see the truth. But this post is not about my body image..... It as about ARWEN!!

As I informed you a couple of days ago. I finished Knitting Arwen. Then, I ATTEMPTED to sew her together. My experience with sweaters is limited at best and with all the 'clever' knitting construction and, IMHO, unclear directions on how to put it together...... Let's just say, I could get the sweater on, but it looked strange. I don't even know what I did wrong!!!!

Well.......... I was fully prepared to live with her the way she was, but, I had put too much emotional energy into her. So, I thought I would go visit my friend Robin F. and see what she thought. I ended up NOT doing that and am glad I didn't inflict that on her because I went to my local LYS and found Brenda. She ripped out all my seaming and puzzled it back together. At first, Brenda thought it was my cast off that was too tight. However, I HAD SEWN UP THE NECK INTO THE HOOD. Zounds. I am so stupid. I had been prepared to rip out co's and re-co, but this was much easier. It took 2 hours just to pull it apart and figure out how it should be constructed. Then she pinned it in place and I went home and spent an hour and a half mattress seaming. The results were blissful!! Arwen is beautiful!!!!! I have never had a sweater her equal.

................... you'll have to wait for the unveiling tomorrow when dh can take a picture of it with me in it.

So now I am snug in my home wearing Arwen. Me and the kids have finished school for the day and room time is only 1.5 hours away. I need to find another project that has captured my attention like Arwen did. I had the best time with her.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Arwen update

Here's the left front so far. I spent all of Sunday working on the really long front/sleeve rows. I am knitting the back of the sleeve now. I feel like I'm at least halfway done. Yay!

Fronts are finished.

Two fronts, looking for a back. The back is on the needles. and moving along. I plan to do the hood in one piece at the end, rather than follow the directions.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Off the Needles!!!


I can hardly believe it!!! Yesterday at 6ish pm, I finished the last cable row of Arwen and began the kitchener stitch for the top of the hood. I have a confession to make. I don't know how to block OR put a sweater together. You see, that is why I knit sweaters in the round. No stitching up. Well....... Arwen is special, so I thought I would figure out how to do her right. Thank God for the internet.

I did a steam block with a wet towel and iron. I chose that method as I don't have the tools for the pin it out method. It worked OK, but I think I am going to get some of those cool T pins for another project.

Then, I tried the mattress stitch on my newly blocked sweater. %$#^%$#$^#@^%
It didn't work on my 1st try out, so I made something up for the underarm of one sleeve. The results were pretty bad. Back to the computer, this time with Arwen in my lap. I sort of got it, and it is beautiful. Like magic. You would think there wasn't a seam there. The wrong side even looked like the article pix from Knitty. I stopped last night at 10pm because I needed to figure out how to attach the shoulders to the back. It's not straight forward as the hood, sleeves, and fronts are all knit in one piece and I needed to go to bed.

So let's review...... reversible cables, backward co, kitchener stitch, short row shaping, blocking and mattress stitch..... I have learned a lot. Sorry no pix, I need to take a shower before church and no time with all the mattress stitching I am doing.

Praise the Lord!!! catie

Arwen in one piece

Right, I'm about midway through the first set of short rows on the right sleeve, and so far so good. That's both fronts and the back on the gray needles, and then the right front and sleeve on the bamboo needles - none of my needles are really long enough to accommodate everything comfortably, so I decided to use one set as a holder and another set for working the sleeve. I have some thin white ribbon I bought at a quilting shop to use as a holder, and um, I may get around to using it at some point, but for now the gray needles are fine where they are.

All righty then. Excelsior! I'll post another pic when the right sleeve is done, or when disaster strikes, whichever happens first.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

cuff ponderings

I cast on the left sleeve and I've finished all the short rows. I have knit 2 repeats of the chart for the cuff and casually checked the gauge. In the magazine photos, the cuff just fits around the model's wrist. By my calculations (and the chart in the magazine), the finished cuff will be 10" around. I held the measuring tape around my wrist and I'm going to end up with a really loose cuff. So does the model have thick wrists or does the knitted sample have a cuff smaller than 10"?

I have a cast on question... When you do a backwards loop cast on, do you cast on with the needle in your right or left hand? The glossary shows the needle in your right hand. Does it matter? Which way are you doing it and how does it look?

per request

Here's a scan of the seed-stitch edge FemiKnitMafia requested - yes, I couldn't hold the camera still enough to get a non-blurry shot, so I stuck my knitting in the scanner. Still a bit lumpy, but I think blocking will fix that.

Also, awhile back, some people asked me to write more about knitting Arwen in one piece. At the time there was nothing to write, because you just cast on the front-right, back, and front-left stitches, then work even for the first 12 inches. Which I have done. And now it's time to take the leap.

Right. So. I placed blue ring markers where the side seams would be if I weren't so averse to sewing, so the next thing to do is knit across the right front, slip the blue marker, and backloop 90 stitches. The back and left-front will just sit on the needles until they are needed, I suppose, or I'll put them on ribbon.

Wish me luck. Here we go!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Another Newcomer

Hello everyone!

I too have jumped on the Arwen train, albeit accidentally. I bought all the yarn to make the Provincial Waistcoat from the same issue of IK but I couldn't even figure out the gauge swatch. I liked Arwen a lot and my gauge was almost the same so away I went. This is not necessarily the yarn I would have chosen for this sweater but you got to work with what you got. It's Berroco Ultra Alpaca. Here are some pics:
Arwen Sleeve and back
I've finished the back and started in on the left front. Please excuse the junk on my dresser. I meant to crop it out and forgot in my rush to post here. I'm really venturing out of my purple comfort zone with this project.

Arwen Cable
The cables aren't looking quite as crisp as I'd like them too but I'm sure a little blocking will help that.

You know people who complain about having to do rows and rows of stockinette? I never got those people. You can watch all the movies you want and never screw up, I thought. I was wrong.
Arwen Stockinette
Man, I found this soul crushing for some reason. Perhaps because there were no increases or anything.

Still, I'll take it over my last major project, the Marseilles Pullover any day. THAT was a lot of cables

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hey! I'm here

Many thanks to our hostesses for putting up with this Blogger upgrade. I started this girl on Christmas, and hope to be complete by the end of January. We shall see.

I am amused by this "reversible" cable. It never occured to me that purl side crosses would look like regular purl background to the casual observer. I was not amused to discover that the crosses could look correct on one side of the fabric, but wrong on the other side. Spent some time figuring that one out.

Well, I'm almost done with the very long row section of the right front. The left front is done, and you can see that on my blog. The back is waiting for a business trip next week.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another Arwen, imagine that.

Here is my beloved Arwen coming along in Berroco Pleasure (66% Angora, 29% Merino and 5% Nylon) which is an aptly named yarn. I was on the mend last week and found that knitting this while watching a LOTR home marathon was a great way to recuperate. I started with this piece and am saving the back for last. I'm so glad that our hosts, or one of them anyway, were able to move this over to the new blogger because I feel as if I've been knitting in a vacuum and am absolutely thrilled to be able to show this off! My kitty agreed that the cable shows well in shadow and helped out with the second shot. I found that the cuff was tricky to graft only because I did such a sloppy job with the backward loop cast on. When I did the extra cast on at the hood I reviewed the directions for that sort of cast on and had an "Ah-HA" moment realizing that I didn't do it quite right the first time. A little fancy needlework ensued on the cuff (something like crewel embroidery) and it's not bad. But you're not seeing a picture of it!

The Contest WINNER!!

Since my co-host Beth is out in BloggerSiberia* and completely unable to participate (grr Blogger grr! get it together, will ya?), she asked me to post the following:
"I am stuck on the wrong side of Blogger for the time being, but I haven't forgotten about our contest! The winner of the drawing is ...


Congratulations, Dotty!

Please drop me a line (beth95 at gmail dot com) with your address and your favorite color(s), and I'll check the stash for something suitable."

*Siberia is a rough place. If you leave a comment about how beautiful her new Swallowtail Shawl is, she might feel a little better. [hint, hint]

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I'm making great progress now

I've got about 6" of the left front done now (the colour in this picture is more accurate than yesterdays). I've almost got the cabling memorized so it's going quite quickly. It was a bit of a rocky start - I must've restarted the cable part 4 times because I read the chart wrong or... I'm working this afternoon and Tuesdays are supposed to be quiet at the store so hopefully, I'll get more knitting done on the front.

Oh - I've figured out that I don't need to make modifications to the sleeve. If I knit it using the printed instructions, I will get the right width for my upper arm because my row gauge is 22 rows/4". One less thing to worry about.


My dh and I took a trip to see my mother in New Bern, NC this weekend. I took Arwen along with me. I am currently working on the right side and am about done with the sleeve portion. Late yesterday, as we were driving back and the light was fading...... I noticed it. I had made 2 HUGE mistakes in the cabling. I must have gone cf instead of cb and in tandem too. The thing about me is, that I have put so much work into this thing, that I won't fix it. It will just become part of the story of Arwen that I tell people when they comment on her. Hope y'all are cabling along. Have a great day!!! catie in roanoke


As promised, here's my progress on Arwen's left front. I have a few more inches on the hood and then it will be complete. Before I knit the right front and block, I'm taking a break from Arwen to do some quick knits from my stash.

I have a question about blocking: since the cuff is already knitted for the sleeves, how do I block the sleeve? I don't know how to block something that cannot be flattened and pinned.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Finally, I'm onto the good part

I finally finished the back today - took me long enough. The colour in the picture isn't very good - it's Cascade 220 in lavender heather. My cat, Ricky is modelling it while snoozing on my clean laundry (yeesh). I have cast on the left front. I understand why people don't like the cast on row of the cable section. But I don't care...

I love them cables. It is just so slick that it's reversible. I have already finished 2 repeats and am doing the math to figure out how many extra short rows I want to do to widen the sleeves. My row gauge is off a little so I need to take that into account. I am also planning on changing the way the hood is constructed (i.e. picking up sts from the back neck and knitting both the left & right sides at the same time and then grafting the cable at the top and using the 3 needle bind off for the stockinette).

Back to my cabling...

Purling in Princeton

Arwen continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace (I threw a couple of scarves into the mix this weekend: all Arwen all the time was getting to me, although I generally prefer to practice project fidelity.) C'est mon chat Lucy avec l'Arwen.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I'am finally in

Hi all,
Me too I'm so excited for my 1st KAL... and it's from Kate Gilbert a girl that I saw few times at Montreal yarn boutique l'Effiloche.
I started the back in superwash wool. I'll show you pics when I'll start front since it's really a more interesting design. Really happy to be in finally.. because of transition fron old to new blogger.
See you see with fresh pics soon.

hi y'all

I'm new to the kal - glad to join your group!

I've finished the back and am almost done with the left front (I had to frog twice in the first 5 inches of the left) - smooth sailing for now.

I'm using DB Cashmerino Aran in red and love the yarn. Next time I'll post a photo.

Cheers, Jana in NC

New to KAL

Hello!!! My name is Catie and I am sooooooooo excited to join my very 1st KAL!!! I have been knitting Arwen since right after Christmas and am about 3/4 finished. I usually enjoy the process of knitting, but I want to WEAR Arwen so badly, that I am like speeding as much as I can thru her. I tried to post some pix of what I have so far so you could see her, but, blogger didn't like me today and as I am leaving to go see my mom, I'll try again on Tuesday. FYI, the color I am using (since you can't see it) is the color of these letters. More later and can't wait to read all of y'alls blogs. Very sincerely, catie

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Arwen Progress

Here's where I'm at - nearly to the sleeve on the left front. The cables don't show up that well in the photo - but I love how it all looks! Using Wool Ease - Chestnut Heather. Planning to add a zipper and have made the body longer. I will need to make the upper arm wider - have a few ideas on how to do it, but it's my very first cardi so I'm gonna give 'em a shot and see how it goes!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Upgraded to New Blogger

As soon as I got the invitation to migrate to the New Blogger (today), I switched the Arwen KAL over to its new home. As I understand it, there have been problems with invitations and posting and and and. We apologize for all the myriad problems that you've encountered and seriously hope that this administrative change will minimize the disturbance so we can focus on knitting. Blogging for free is a wonderful option, but these growing pains have been tough.

Everyone happy? If not, please email us at acardiganforarwen AT gmail DOT com with any difficulties you face, and we'll try to find a solution. Or leave a comment to this post.

[fingers tightly crossed]



Before the Frog

I copied an idea I saw on the Yahoo group, and decided to put a tree on the back. This is the picture before I frogged it though. The woman who did it on the other group put less purl stitches before the pattern, which I really liked a lot better than the way I was doing it. You can't really tell from this picture, but I have 12 st of stockinette, followed by 10 st of purl before the roots begin. I have frogged it, and now have 22 stitches of stockinette, then the pattern begins. It looks a lot nicer. I am using Malabrigo Color Marrongon #270 (I think). I love the way it is knitting up and I love the color. It is varying degrees of brown with a bit of red. It will take me a while though to really get moving on it, as I still have leftover xmas knitting to do, a sweater for my LYS that I HAVE to get done first, as well as miscellaneous smaller projects. Hopefully it won't sit waiting for too long though!

Old Blogger, new Blogger

We have a slew of would-be new members who haven't been able to join our knitalong properly due to "old Blogger / new Blogger" issues. This is very frustrating all around, and unfortunately, not a thing can be done about it until this blog makes the transition to the "new Blogger"--which will mean that all the current participants will have to make the transition, too, in order to continue to post. So this is a problem that affects every single one of us.

I've tried multiple times to move my personal account to the "new Blogger", but each time I try it, I get a "Sorry, some of your blogs cannot be moved at this time" error message. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, I think it would indicate that this blog is the sticking point, in which case we'll have to have a chat with the Blogger Help guys. (Man, I hope it doesn't come to that.)

To everyone whose invitation isn't working: I'm really, really sorry, and I hope you can hang on just a bit longer while the Mafia and I try to figure out how to get the blog on the new system.

To everyone who's still hanging out on the "old Blogger": it's time to start looking into switching over to the "new Blogger". I don't think it's something we have a choice about: I think I remember reading that at some point Blogger is going to suspend all "old" accounts unless they switch over to the new system, so the clock is ticking.

And in further bad news, I think my Arwen is too big, and will have to be frogged. Even though I swatched! Grrrr.


Slow going...

I've been asked for yet another Hogwarts scarf, so the Arwen cardigan will take even longer than it usually would... *g*

Still, I'm about 7" into the left front. I'll try to post pictures this weekend...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sleeve me

I did it. I cast on for the left sleeve. I am loving this pattern! Lots of fun and variety, and of course cables at both ends of each row.

I got the cuff-grafting blues.

Wow, there's so much excitement here all of a sudden! Everything looks so great. I am nearly done with the last piece of my Arwen, and am generally delighted with the way it is turning out: soft, colorful, drapey. Mmmm. Unfortunately I am in the midst of moving, and all the pieces of my camera are scattered about, so no picture at the moment.
I'm sticking a little on the kitchener stitch, though. My first cuff grafted up really badly, but I shrugged it off and moved on to the next piece. But cuff number two is making me really mad and frustrated. I've used kitchener stitch before for grafting sock toes and other straightforward two-live-rows-of-stockinette before, but between juggling the knit and purl stitches and picking up from the cast-on edge, I can't seem to get it straight. Any advice?

Monday, January 08, 2007

no progress

I haven't made any progress either - not since December. But I just finished a quilt on Sat and a pair of sox yesterday night so now I can focus my attention on Arwen for the next little while. I'll post pictures when there is something more exciting than stockinette on the needles.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

KAL Newbie

I was thrilled when I came across the Arwen Knit-Along. This is my first knit-along and I couldn't think of a project for it. My sister received the Winter IK magazine as a stocking stuffer for Christmas and I received 7 skeins of Plymouth Encore Worsted in a soft, earthy green called English Fern - my sister got it with the idea that it was enough to make a sweater. I had to find a project worthy of my yummy yarn, of course. As we were thumbing through the pages and drooling over the various patterns, I knew my yarn would be perfect for the Cardigan for Arwen. I just started knitting the swatch today - only because I've been attempting to complete the massive amount of other projects I have going. My other projects are just going to have to wait, though, because I'm itching to get going on this baby. I'll put some pictures up when I've actually knitted more than the swatch. And on a side note, everyone's sweaters are looking definitely lovely!

Arwen Update

Hi all! I'm still plugging along on Arwen's left front. The back is finished, but I left it on a cable just in case I want to make it longer.

I've finally found the rhythm for these cables, and am having so much fun with them, especially since I'm using Grumperina's tutorial on the subject. I'm approaching the left arm, and feel a little intimidated: I've never done a sleeve like this before. My plan is to wing it!

cross-posted to my blog

Saturday, January 06, 2007

new member

Umm, hi! I waited to join the knit-along until I could find just the right yarn, and then I was kinda too busy knitting and listening to podcasts. But I'm here now!

Here's my (blurry photo of a) work in progress. I hate hate hate sewing seams, so I've modified the pattern to knit in one piece, which is why there's so much on the needles there. I'll let you know how that goes. I also didn't like the bottom hem and cable panel difference, so I bagged the hem and started with an inch of seed stitch instead. Seems to be going well so far, I'm on auto-pilot until it's time to start the sleeves.

This is my first Knit-along, and I think it's a really cool idea.


And Me Too

My Arwen has been terribly neglected! December was a very busy month for me, besides Christmas and all that means, my Dad passed away. I had to help my Mom deal with all of this plus family members staying with us for both the funeral and Christmas. Needless to say, I haven't felt much like knitting anything. However, it's a New Year and I'm ready to get going again. Hopefully sometime over the week-end.


Me too..

My Arwen has been tragically neglected as well. Once I got busy with Christmas stuff I put her away. I think about it every day but still have been busy. I expect that next week I should be able to start up again. I finished the back and have started on side and am about 8 inches into it. I still really love how there is just that one cable part and then the rows just fly along with stockinette.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Let's Have a Contest!

It's a new year, so let's celebrate! Post an update on your Arwen knitting between now and Monday the 15th, and I'll enter your name in a drawing for a little giftie (sock yarn, probably) from my stash.

As for me... well, my own Arwen has been tragically neglected over the past month or so. Holiday knitting got in the way. But now that the holidays are over, I'm hoping to make some real progress. I'm still working on the back--I'm sure I have at least a foot of stockinette to knit before I get to move on to the beautiful cables. (No photo today--I'm too ashamed. But soon!)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Cable panel mod

Over the past couple weeks, I managed to knit a stitch or two on the Arwen cardigan. The back is entirely finished, and I started the left front. After knitting about 6 rows beyond the hem line and decided I didn't like it. See how the bottom edge of the cable panel is all wavy, perhaps even scallopy?

Me no likey.

So I ripped back to the purl hem turning line, and tried something else. If anyone is interested, here's what I did:

On the RS, knit to the end of the row, and without turning, use a purling-on cast on. It's very similar to knitting-on, only you purl the stitches instead of knitting them. Apparently I unvented a Lily Chin trick, which was broadcast on an episode of Knitty Gritty that I just discovered via the magic of Google. Who knew?

Anyway ... you purl-on the 26 sts that create the cable panel, then do two rows of seed stitch before doing the cable set-up row. See?


But, I'm still not 100% thrilled with the one row difference between the hem line and the beginning of the cable panel, but I'll probably just ignore that. If I felt like starting over again, I might cast on at the end of the hem turning row and see if it lines up perfectly. Hmmmm...

* special thanks to hand model and camera 'ho Danielle

* x-posted at my blog.

My Arwen Progress

Hi - I've just joined this KAL from the Yahoo group - I've got the back finished and am working on the left front - have pics posted on my blog.

Lori in FL

My Arwen Progress

Hi - I've just joined this KAL from the Yahoo group - I've got the back finished and am working on the left front - have pics posted on my blog.

Lori in FL

Ladies I need to come clean...I am Arwen A Long as part of 3 knit alongs. This and the Yahoo Group. Since I was trying to use up stash yarn...it is part of my Stash A Long as well. I'd like to think of it as multitasking.

After hemming and hawing for a week over which stash yarn to use, I did not get cranking until right before the holidays. So really I participating as more of a Knit B Hind. I am using Lamb's Pride. I know a little thick for this cardi. But I told myself that It would be more like a jacket, so it was okay that it is a little thicker. I am a really loose knitter, so I dropped 2 needle sizes to get gauge. But my gauge has shifted and this puppy is looking awfully big...Damn I think I am going to have to frog. I do not think I could drop to a smaller needle without cramping my hands so I might even have to...rethink the yarn.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

At some time before Christmas, I frogged Arwen's left front. It was just not looking healthy at all. But this week, all is well. I started again, and am much happier with the cables. Hurray! Again, the color is way off in this photo. My knitting photo skills remain rudimentary at best.