Blue Waves Variation Cardigan, part 2
Gosh but I'm happy with how this turned out. Maybe a tiny bit lumpy around the upper arm if I don't have it pulled just so, then again, my upper arm ::sigh:: *is* a little lumpy (note to self: push ups. you know you want to) but overall, in the first flush of successful completion, I'm eminently satisfied. For those joining our program in progress, the above cardigan is what I got when I added sleeves to part 1, having done a whole mess of mental modifications to a commercial pattern. Not to mention a whole lot of trial and error. The body was only a mild modification of the original; the sleeves were a complete deviation. They're worked in the round, they're long, they're inset, and they're not a linear shape, but rather start out a little belled, get narrower, than wider up the arm, and finally cap. Due to said complications, I made a total of 4.5 sleeves for this thing before getting 2 matching ones I liked.
For the first sleeve I just sort of launched into crocheting with more enthusiasm than sense, so that before I knew it I had a way too long way too tight tube that just wasn't going to do. It was kind of cool in and of itself though, I'd used a very small F hook all the way up and really tightly controlled the circumference so that it matched my arm very closely, and with the wave pattern, it was almost armor or bug-exoskeleton like. But made of fuzzy yarn. I'd controlled the circumference exclusively by adding and decreasing DCs at the join point under the arm in a rather haphazard and undocumented way that I could never have recreated the same way for the second sleeve anyway, and the top shaping was completely off target, so that was frogged sleeve number one.
For number two, I sat down with paper and figured out how to position my slip-stitched joins so that they would always occur in the center stitch of one of the wave patterns. Thus in theory, I could work the whole thing even if I wanted. And therefore, could control the circumference by adding and removing DCs from the wave patterns even spaced around the arm. Much neater and easier to see what I was doing and to document for the purposes of recreating the second sleeve. This one was a lot closer, but again I made it too long. I love having sleeves on sweaters long enough that I can ball up my first and have my fingers disappear inside, so that's what I was shooting for, but once on I realized that didn't really fit with this dainty little sweater. Also, the top shaping was a bit rough. But better than the first try by a long shot, as I'd gotten the idea of using the decreasing strategy from the front pieces on either side.
Sleeve number three went much better. I had noted how many rows I needed to get rid of from the previous version, so I was able to follow my notes right up to the shoulder. Once sewn in, I noticed a few problems around the top. first, because the fabric was pulled tighter around the shoulder than it was on the rest of the arm, the stretched gaps in the pattern of dark blue against my light skin were really glaring and not particularly attractive. And the fact that they were so stretched indicated to me that I needed a little more fabric there, ie, not to decrease quite as quickly as I was doing as I approached the top of the sleeve. So I frogged back about a third of the way and reconstructed, this time working a few extra even rows further down the arm before so many of the decreases had happened, switching to smaller hooks to physically decrease the size of the spaces and also throwing in a few extra DCs in towards the top to cut some of those gaps in half. Finally, finally, it worked. Well, after I unsewed and resewed the sleeve for the 5th time, that is, because in my excitement to be finally close to done, I'd sewn it in inside out.
As predicted, getting the second sleeve done was easy, only took a couple of days. Getting the first sleeve right took me a week. When I was making them, I was targeting for a cuff 2-3 inches above my wrist bone, but somehow gravity has intervened so that once sewn onto the sweater, and sent through the wash, it's the length you see here. Which I think I prefer anyway, but I was caught enough off guard by the magnitude of the change that I'll have to remember to keep that in mind for next time.
Total materials came up to be approximately 15 ounces of Caron Simply Soft. So $6 worth of yarn. Not bad, not bad! The actual color is probably closest to the on-the-floor picture in the upper left corner (that shirt I'm wearing is a deep wine/burgandy color!). I was going to add buttons, but I tried it, and it just didn't seem as charming as the single-point tie. The blue buttons I had on hand were a little on the small side, maybe bigger ones would have been better? Maybe next time... I left the edge of the sleeves and the bottom au naturale, but added a row of HDC followed by a row of 3 chain loops around the front and neck.
I'm including the notes I used to construct the second sleeve below. This is not a pattern, it's my "notes to self", stashed here entirely so that I can find them again next time I want to do this pattern. I can't guarantee that it'll make sense to or work for anyone else besides me. Caveat reader. As is. No warrantee expressed or implied! The pattern stitch is illustrated in part 1.
(odd row DCs worked in back loops; switch direction with each round. beginning ch-3 always forms the central DC of the shell at the top of the wave.)