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, February 26, 2007

And yet another newbie...

Hi Everyone! It sure is exciting to see pictures of everyone's finished , or semi-finished cardigans. All those cables look great, and I am trying not to get too intimidated. I hope I haven't gotten in over my head! I finished the back of my sweater, and hope to cast on for the front tonight. I have never done short rows with wrapped stitches before and will take advantage of a tutorial that was mentioned on a previous post by alala.
I know it isn't very exciting but here is a picture of the back of my sweater. It is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, color #300005. This picture is pretty true to the real color.

I hope to have a much more exciting picture soon!!


Finally finished, blocked, and seamed it together. Made it just in time for my vacation in Colorado, so I don't have a picture yet; will post when I get home.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A newbie and a question...

Hi there!

I have the entire left front and back done on the cardigan. I am using Knitpicks Andean Silk in cornflower, and I am LOVING the way the cables look on it, and I just love the yarn in general.

ANYWAY, I just grafted the cuff together, and as you can see while it isn't seamless, it isn't horrible enough to rip apart and redo (btw what a PITA grafting this thing!!) so what should I do for the second cuff. Do the same and make them match or do a provisional cast on and kitchener the two together way easier and just have them not match?

I honestly don't know what to do so I thought I would ask you all!!

Oh, here is the cuff:

Cardigan for Arwen Cuff

Thanks for all your opinions!!


Saturday, February 24, 2007


I've done a little overdue maintenance on the blog today (didja notice?) Please let me know if I've overlooked any changes that needed to be made: names added to the sidebar, personal webpage links added or edited, any finished Arwens indicated in maroon, etc. And there are still a handful of invitations outstanding! If you've been waiting for one and haven't received it, drop me a line and I'll reissue the invite.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to get gauge! My last attempt (with stash yarn, that is) will be with some old Bovidae Farms worsted weight I've been wondering what to do with. If that doesn't work out, I'm going to have to order something, which I was hoping to avoid...

Newbie's first post

Hi everyone -

I just joined the knitalong and started Arwen about a week ago. I've finished the back piece (quicker than I thought) and am working on the left front. I've just finished the first set of short rows on the sleeve and am working the loooong rows even at the moment. After reading on this blog that a number of people found the upper arm too snug and the cuff too big, I decided to add an extra set of short rows to try and alleviate this problem a bit. We'll see how that works out... did anyone else try that, by any chance?

Here's a progress photo:

I'm using Cascade 220 in a lovely heathered teal color. This sweater is actually going to be a birthday gift for a close friend. I'm hoping to finish it by 3/23 so I can give it to her when I see her. I'm not blogging much about it, which is why I'm grateful to have this knitalong!

from A Mingled Yarn

Friday, February 23, 2007

Left Front

I knit the back first, but I'll spare you a pic. Here's where I'm at on the left front. I wish the color and cabling showed up better in the picture. I'll try to do better next time. I didn't make any more progress tonight. I got a new drop spindle. Playing with the new one and my current spindling project occupied my evening. I'm finally closing in on this piece and my decisions on what to do with the hood. I might knit my Arwen without a hood. I should have a good bit of knitting time Friday, provided I don't have a relapse of the crud. I hope to finish the left front and get a good start on the right front. I would love to finish this before the start of spring. However, I signed up for (assuming I did it correctly) Sock Madness, so that will eat into my Arwen time.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

MAROON at last!

Actually, Arwen's blocking day was a week ago yesterday and I began wearing her February 15. Then I left for vacation in Atlanta so she's been around! I am very, very happy with it. I am proud of the hood graft, comfortable with the sleeve grafts though dismayed at the sleeve length. NEXT TIME I plan to measure my own arms a bit more carefully. I had made her a larger size for for the body and should have kept the sleeve length for the smaller size. The next time I block her I am really going to try to perform magic with water!
Yarn: Berroco "Pleasure" Cast on: January 1st, 2007 during the Rose Parade! Cast Off: February 13, 2007. Special thanks to whomever it was in the knitalong who mentioned the Knitty.com article about mattress stitch. My seams look darn good for having reviewed that article first. I look forward to seeing my name in MAROON!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gauge failure but willing to try again

I spent a significant amount of time in the past few weeks trying, unsuccessfully, to get gauge with Brown Sheep Co. Cotton Fleece. I have finally come to the conclusion that I need to try another yarn. I ordered Aurora 8 and am hoping that I can get gauge and finally get started on my sweater. I'm glad that there are newcomers to the KAL. It should be fun, and helpful, working on this together.

Details about my swatching adventures are on my blog. Take a look, if you have the time. Any suggestions or comments are welcome.

Congratulations to all those who have finished. Your sweaters are beautiful.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Casting On

Well, I've finally gotten to a point in my previous projects that I'm okay with starting this one. I just knit up my swatch. The yarn is the Queensland Collection's Katmandu Aran in light green- a very pretty aran weight yarn.

Can't wait to get this started!

Congrats to all who have finished.


Another finished Arwen

I finished yesterday morning. It took me about 5 weeks:


I find it a little snug around the very top of the arm which is annoying but otherwise I'm happy with it. It's been fun!

P.S. The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Done! Sort of.

Finally got the rest of my yarn, and I've finished the knitting part of the scenario. Now comes the part I hate the most - blocking and seaming. I did get some great tips from a friend, about how to seam (thanks, Melissa!), but I don't have a 'formal' place to block. Any suggestions? Don't wanna just put it on the floor.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Another Completed Arwen

I just finished sewing up my Arwen. I used Elann.com's Highland Wool. It took me just under 3 months to complete (with several projects in between). Check out my blog if you want to read more. Thanks for hosting the knitalong!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Newbie post!

Hey folks! I'm complainr, and I'm delighted to be Arwen-ing along with all of you!

Here's a bad picture (wow, do I need a new digi cam) of my progress on the left front (finished the back, but that's kind of a boring picture). I'm using Knitpicks Shine Worsted in Wisteria:

I chose a cotton blend for various reasons; mostly so I could have something a little more year-round appropriate for sunny So Cal. The cables aren't popping as much as they could with a wool yarn, but I'm not completely unhappy with that.

I'm inspired by all the posters who are seaming as they go...I think I'll certainly be doing that. Seaming is the bane of my (knitting) life.

one sleeve done

... and nothing else, all yesterday or today, agh. First there was the matter of removing one pattern repeat from the cuff, because it was too big, but NOT removing a whole inch from the upper sleeve, because I didn't want the back of the sleeve to be shorter than the front of the sleeve. I solved that by knitting to five before the last wrapped stitch in short rows 5-12, and then repeating the whole sequence again, if that makes sense. So now, lady lynx, you can see the little puckers along the seam there? Those are the knitted-in wrapped stitches, and the puckering should disappear when the sweater is blocked.

Grafting the cuff? That's probably how I'll spend my time in purgatory. Yes it is lumpy and strange, I ripped out and started over oh, probably five or six times. It was awful. So even though it will make the sleeves not-exactly-alike, I'm doing a crochet-chain cast-on for the left sleeve. I want live stitches to work with, oh yes I do. Kitchenering a backward-loop cast-on is bad enough; when it's been cabled too, well, egad.

... whew.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

short-row close-up

Right, well, fortunately (cough, cough) when I started grafting the sleeve (at the cuff end, hoping to get the worst over with first) I realized it was too big. So I ripped out all those short rows and 8 even rows (one pattern repeat), and was midway through re-doing the short rows when I got lady lynx's request for the close-up of the short rows.

Now, my digital camera is a sad and sorry digital camera, and unblocked knitting is all curly, so yes, those are my fingers holding the knitting flat in my scanner. I don't know what happened to the color. However, the point is, you can see a wrapped stitch at either end, where the fingers are: that's how it should look, before the wraps are knitted in.

After the wraps are knitted in, it should look just like plain jersey fabric. I did make a scan of the short rows at the bottom of the sleeve, to illustrate this, but I can't find my wrapped and worked-in stitches in the picture. Yes, they are that invisible. Cool, huh?

Also, some people are working with nice light colors and less-fuzzy yarn, and could probably supply clearer pictures. Any volunteers?

Edit: here's a video tutorial on short rows.

about to kitchener the right sleeve

Well, it's been an eventful few weeks, and Arwen's been neglected lately, but I've just managed to finish up the right sleeve today, so I thought I'd throw a picture up there. You can see my working (bamboo) needles at the top there, then the right-front stitches on an aluminum needle, and the body stitches on a ribbon - it's quite unwieldy, and long, rolled-up sections keep falling off my lap as I knit. I'm not sorry, though. It's still better than sewing seams.

So this sleeve will have to be kitchener-ed along its entire length, which isn't really much better than sewing, is it? Oops, I should have started it with a figure-8 cast-on so I could do the bind-off seam, but it's too late to go back now.

Also, even though it's miles too late for second thoughts about the yarn, I'm having them. It's the right size, the gauge works (more or less) on size 8 needles, which is what the pattern called for, but gee these cable panels sure are thick. Are they supposed to be? Will I feel like I'm wearing armor when it's done? Other people's Arwens look so... delicate. Refined. Elegant.

Well, I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

So close

I'm near the finish line and I'm wondering if anyone has any resources or tips on sewing the hem on the bottom of Arwen. I've sewed down picot edges before but I've never been overly happy with the results.


Monday, February 12, 2007

New poster & cardigan progress

Hello everyone! I am Anna of Anna's Yarn Mansion and I decided to go ahead and post my progress today.

Like Nadine, I'm using Mission Falls 1824, but I'm knitting it out of color #025, a medium rose/lavender color. I completed the back panel last Thursday and I have since started on the left front panel.

4 inches away...
Here's a wide shot of my progress on it as of this morning. And here's a close up of my cabling in this colorway...

Cable panel

I'm really enjoying how the cables pop with this yarn. I am also noticing a slight halo to my fabric, but I figure it comes with the territory of merino. My swatch washed and dried perfectly, so I'm not too worried about this yarn holding up to the test of time.

Other than that, I just wanted to say hello to everyone. I'm so excited to be a part of this knit along! :-) Can't wait to post more progress pics and check out everyone elses' progress as well.

Happy Knitting!

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Find the boo boo

Here's a picture of the front left of my Arwen, taken after I first noticed the boo-boo. (She has since grown a sleeve.) Can you spot it? I suppose any knitter will find it easily. I'll go to my LYS and see if it can be remedied by stitching over somehow. A few other small oopses have cropped up - fortunately they're not bad enough and I'm not perfectionist enough to rip 'em out. I'm Netflixing Buffy the Vampire Slayer while I knit and I get a little distracted sometimes, thus the occasional lapse. I think this sweater will get me through all seven seasons of the show. I'm a slow and self-taught knitter. My Arwen is pale green Mission Falls 1824. This is luscious yarn! Thick and soft, although loosely plied. Mine is developing a slight haze, but I kinda like it that way.

One back, some front

I finished the back of my Arwen last week and started on the front. The cables are good fun! This sweater is growing on me - I'm pleased with how fast it knits and I keep marveling at the reversible cables. How do they do that?!

The color is more like the picture on the left - a gray with a little brown; the pic on the right looks a little blue. Hopefully I'll get to an arm by the end of this week!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sorry, no more pictures

Thank you for all the kind comments. I apologize, that I can't provide more pictures. On the spur of the moment, I gave Arwen away.

Our friend has three girls, and often has us over for dinner. She insists, as it is more trouble for her to round up her three than it is for us to grab our one. Her size and coloring suited the Arwen I made better than it suited me. We were going to her house for dinner last night, so I grabbed the just a little damp Arwen on the way out.

We had steaks, and it did get a little cool in the evening, so friend put on her new sweater. It does suit her far better. I enjoyed admiring it on her while we played Cranium. I was pleased also, to see her daughters inquire about it in a "why do you get something nice and we don't" tone of voice. The girls are age 13 to 17, and I wonder how long friend will be able to enjoy her sweater before one of her daughters tries to make a grab for it.

Enjoy your knitting out there, and cheers!

Friday, February 09, 2007

My back.. and Iseult

cI all, my back is finish, but my batt. are dead so no pics for now. The color is dark blue and my boyfriend told me it goes with my eyes (they are blue). I'am using Galway 100% wool. Anyways I will post picture of front later on, since it's more interesting.


Just grafted up the hood, and we're calling this girl done. She still needs a bath and block, but I'm smiling.

My only complaint about the pattern I've mentioned before. The sleeve depth is just too narrow. I used 13 yarn overs, more than double on the sleeve in order to get the sleeve to have enough ease. I don't have skinny sticks for arms, I expect most of you out there are more like me.

A few more comments on my blog.


a thousand words

It took me most of yesterday but the left front and back are seamed. The sleeves are a bit long - probably due to the fact that I knit the next size up. But I'm hoping it'll block to the right length. If not, oh well.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Worst Co-Host Ev-ah.

Last weekend, I did two lousy rows on the Arwen sweater. I'm the worst KAL co-host in the world. At this rate, it'll be 90 degrees outside before I finish it.


Oh, and did I mention the mistake I made on the back of the Arwen cable? For some reason, it doesn't appear on the front. Strange. I'm still trying to decide if I should rip it out, which might explain the languishing. Any thoughts?


Monday, February 05, 2007


Hi everyone - I'm yet another new member to this lovely knitalong and I'm actually super excited. Besides being my first KAL, this is my first sweater. Ah! AH!

Anyway, I have no pictures yet as it is dark and dreary in New York... but to give you an idea I'm using elann's Peruvian Highland Wool in Victorian Violet and I like how the cables are turning out. Crisp without being overly defined.

Like I said, it's my first sweater so I'm going to need all the help I can get! :D

ETA: I made a happy little button for this KAL... go ahead and steal if you'd like. Just remember to put it on your own server.


I started Arwen back in late November, but I kept putting it down, to finish other items. I am finished with the back and left front, and I would have been done with the right front, had I not run out of yarn! I'm using Knitpick Wool of the Andes in Lake Ice Heather. I ordered some more, so it should get here soon. Kinda worried about dye lots, since they can't guarantee that I'll get the same lot.

New member

I've been lurking around this blog and am excited to now be a member. Thanks for the invite! I am having gauge issues with my yarn of choice - Brown Sheep Co. Cotton Fleece. I'm also cramming for an exam scheduled for Thursday so knitting/blogging time is limited. By this weekend I should be done swatching - swatch number 6 is on the needles now (grrr).

Looking forward to working on Arwen together with all of you. Have a good week.


Back to the drawing board

I'm so happy to have made it to the new Blogger! Finally I am able to knit along with all of you again.

Not all the news is good, however. One day not too long ago, I reached the end of a row, and when I was about to turn my work, I happened to notice that Arwen was looking a bit wide. And sure enough, when I whipped out my trusty tape measure, the back of the cardigan was several inches bigger than it was supposed to be. My gauge had relaxed as I knit, and I was getting four stitches to the inch instead of four and a half. I don't know why I didn't notice this until I had half the back done, but there it is. I have to start over.

I really like the fabric I'm getting at this more relaxed gauge, so I'm considering just casting on the next size down, and hoping that gauge will make up the difference. But I know that would just be asking for trouble, so I'll be good and swatch with another yarn before I make any decisions. I have some Dale Sisik in the stash that might do the trick. It's a little thinner than my Beaverslide yarn, and it's a singles, which might make the cables pop a little more. We'll just have to wait and see, I guess. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 02, 2007

My progress

I have finished the left front up to the base of the hood. I am going to seam the back to the front, the side and underarm before knitting the right front. Then I'll finish the seaming and knit the hood in one piece.
I am losing steam on this project. I still love it but I'm just really busy...