FO Friday: Aidez
This post is brought to you by the miracle of blocking and the letter A.
I know it’s not Friday, but I have paper corrections to work on and a couple of job interviews coming up and my apartment is a disaster, so I’m just going to write this up while I have a chance.
I finished Aidez (or on Rav)! It knit up pretty fast. So fast that I actually ended up finishing it before Coastal Hoodie, which I started long before (I had to sew on buttons for that and lost my sewing needles, but I bought new ones and got them on and it just finished blocking, so once I have pics, that’ll be up too). It was everything that was promised: fast, pretty, nice cabling but not overly complicated.
Yarn: Knit Picks Cadena in Natural (got during the Boxing Week deal), 7.6 skeins = 836 yards. It is shedding a bit, but I think that’ll go away. Also, when I soaked it for blocking, it really smelled like barnyard and I don’t know if that was the yarn or the fact that I used the communal sink in the laundry room to do it. It doesn’t smell dry so whatever. It borders on itchy right now, but I wore it with a short sleeve t-shirt most of yesterday and was fine. I’ve never used Wool of the Andes so have no basis for comparison there. It stretched nicely (not too much, not too little) with blocking, although I didn’t really find it “bloomed” the way some people claimed in the comments section on Ravelry. Also also, I haven’t worked with a natural fibre in ages and had forgotten the joys of spit joining; so few ends to weave in!
Size: 36″ bust, with longer sleeves and bigger armholes, as described below.
Here are the unfinished bits. I knit it all up separately in spite of the huge numbers of people who modified it to be seamless. I’ve never seamed and I was kind of worried given how much everyone else seemed to hate it, but I found the process pretty painless in spite of the fact that I didn’t block beforehand, which was the #1 seaming tip I came across, but I like to live dangerously. (To be honest, the idea of blocking before confuses me as I don’t know how you know what size to block to. I usually do it by holding a sweater of similar fit over top of the one I’m doing and pinning it out. I guess you would actually have to, like, measure the individual pieces, which seems like work).
I left the fronts and backs on the needles with the intention of doing 3-needle bind off, not realizing that the back joins up to the sides of the collar extension and not the final row on the fronts. I did end up grafting the front collar pieces to each other. I would have bound off the back but I stupidly didn’t leave myself enough yarn and so just ended up sewing down the live stitches when seaming. Short story long:
Good arm workout: pull the shoulders of your recently finished sweater as far apart as you possibly can. It’s also good cardio because your heart is racing wondering if you can do enough.
Modifications: As suggested by several Rav folks, I did ktbl on the third row of the right cross stitch cable in order to better match the left cable. I also reversed the shaping on the raglan decreases, doing ssk on the right and k2tog on the left (personal preference for the say they lean).
And I did the suggested switch at row 13 to hold the stitches in back so that the trellis goes over then under.
Perhaps the mod I’m most happy with, I added an extra 3″ to the bottom of the sleeve so that the cuff can be rolled back for normal length sleeves (the purl row after the ribbing facilitates rolling like this anyway), or the cuffs can be rolled down if you’re feeling longer sleeves. That means I did the first increase at 6.5″ or 26 rows after the cuff turn. I tried them on as I went and just increased as I felt I needed to. I ended up doing one extra (rows 26, 40, 47, 55 and 67), which was definitely the right call. I know the sleeves are supposed to be tight, but I have swimmer’s arms okay?
Sleeve caps: I basically used the modification I found on Rav: where the pattern said to repeat the raglan decrease every fourth row once, I repeated twice (adjusted on both back, fronts and sleeves). Even with this and two extra stitches on the sleeves from my extra increase, I still ended up relying heavily on blockng to make it fit. At least one more every fourth row decrease if I were to do it again.
And in the end it all worked out wonderfully: