4 April 2011
Materials: 8 skeins Naturally Sensation 10 ply in 309 (Silver). Pattern: Aidez, made in a size 44″. (The yarn lists itself as an Aran weight, but it’s definitely not.) Size 6 circular needles.
Time: Two months.
I wanted to make yet another grandpa-type cabled cardigan, so here’s the latest entry in my modest collection.
Aidez is a straight-up boxy-style cardigan, but with an open front and a grafted collar that provide some relief. Normally I’d go with a tweed yarn for this kind of garment, but I wanted something soft enough to wear without an extra layer of long sleeves underneath. Then I saw the Naturally Sensation go up on Elann, and I was able to get enough to make the sweater for under $30. Well, okay, then.
It’s interesting stuff — a little hairy from the angora, but soft enough to not require an extra sartorial itch prophylactic, and instead of being loosely-spun like a Malabrigo (it’s single-ply) it has a firm, almost felted quality. Blooms nicely when washed, too, and held up well to my multiple attempts to master the perfect 1×1 cast-on. (Old knitter, meet new tricks.)
I spent the better part of a morning industriously rewriting this pattern for myself in order to work it in the round, which I stress is an entirely unnecessary exercise unless you’re willing to spend the time with an open Word document and a calculator just to avoid seaming, which I am. I made the 44″ size, because I’m working with a lighter-weight yarn, and I went down a needle size to make the cables pop.
Besides working the arms and the body in the round, I:
- Lengthened the sleeves by a few inches, adding a couple of extra inches of ribbing on them so I can scrunch or fold them up or down as taste and temperature move me
- Widened the sleeves. At my gauge, the top of the sleeve would measure 12” around, which is almost precisely the measurement of my upper arms. I made regular increases up to 55 stitches on the sleeves.
- The bigger arms gave me more stitches to decrease (19 rounds), and added a bit of yoke height. Since another common comment seems to be that this sweater fits tightly ’round the ‘pits, this was a good thing.
- Grafted the top of of the collar extension together, because that just makes sense.
This sweater ended up being unexpectedly gripping to knit at the end stages because I wasn’t sure if I had enough yarn, and there was no more to be found anywhere online in this hemisphere. Happily, I ended up having just enough.