Friday, August 28, 2009

Lessons learned

Well, I started this effort desperately seeking Ditto - the Berroco cardigan that is. And I'm proud to announce that I've found her.

(First off, I'm sorry that my boyfriend can't take a picture worth a damn. The photos are uniformly awful but hopefully you can get the drift. I'm taking the sweater to the dry cleaners today and then I'll have someone else take some new pics. I think the sweater will look better after being professionally cleaned, too.)

So here's what I think about my new creation:

I'm very proud of the way it fits. I thought this would be a good pattern for me and I was right. But I also think my alterations made a big difference. Lowering the yoke to 13 inches was a great idea and using five buttons instead of four was smart. The longer yoke emphasizes my curviness which I like. Lengthening the whole thing works for me, too.

If I were to do this again, I might make the cardigan a little smaller, but just a little. As a big woman, I need lots of ease. Negative ease sweaters will never work for me.

I'd also do another round of decreases in the neckline and knit up another inch or so to make the neck opening a little tighter. This wide neck thing is very popular now, but I'd be happier if it were a little closer to my neck. This is a fitting problem, frankly. I thought my neck would be bigger than the published size and it is, but not as big as I ended up making it.

My biggest regret is in the yarn choice. I had trepidation all along the way but now I wish I'd used a better yarn. It's terrible to get to the very end with such a big regret, but what can I do other than chalk it up to experience and move on? It really does bug me though. In fact, it bothers me so much that I'm contemplating making the Ditto over again right now using the beautiful magenta merino I just got from Knit Picks. Or maybe their Shine cotton yarn, although I'd have to order that. I also have a ton of Knit Picks' organic cotton in marshmallow white - but that would be yet another cream-colored sweater and I'm longing for some color! I do think I should do it now though, especially since I've got the pattern so firmly in my head.

I'm happy to have a pattern that fits. I can use this shape again to make other designs. I can leave out the radial ribbing and maybe do some fair isle, for example. Hmmm... maybe that's what I should do... remake the sweater but change up the yoke so it's not a total redo. That would make it more interesting for me. I'll have to cogitate on this.

My friends think I'm crazy to even consider remaking this sweater, btw. They think it's perfect. But we knitters know the difference between crap yarn and good yarn. It's fine to use less expensive yarn for some things, but when you're making a sweater that takes you weeks to finish??? That's a different story.

I've got a couple of small things I need to knit next, and I want to work on my Fiesta Shawl, too. But after that, I think I'll be making another Ditto. Unless I change my mind. I've got two other sweaters in my queue: Jillian Moreno's Duchess Diamond Yoke Cardigan and Sue McCain's Empire Waist Pullover. Plus the Posh V-Neck Cardigan! Sigh... so many sweaters, so little time...


  1. ta da!
    a LOVELY JOB ,O Speedy One! I really like that yoke stitch.
    And I think you had no problem with the placket you were so worried about in your last post.
    As for the color you seem to not care for...I really like it because it will go with any slacks or skirt you wear. I think the yarn color was a good choice. Would you choose that particular yarn fabric to knit with again? It seems like you got good stitch definition in the pattern with it.

  2. What a fabulous looking sweater! I think it looks great on you too and the color will go with everyting.
    I'm not sure that I, myself, would like such an open collar but then again, I've never worn one like maybe I would. :-)

    Great job! Love you blog too.


  3. You both just made my day. *big smile*

    THANK YOU so much for reading my blog and for the kind words, too.

  4. I found you on ravelry and just had to come over and check out your blog... hope you don't mind. I LOVE this sweater! You look fabulous in it. I put it in my que for when I advance to sweater making skills! :)

  5. Laffmuchlivelon, thanks so much for the kind words. You are always welcome here... please come back! And if I can knit a sweater that fits, you can, too. xxxxooo

  6. I love your sweater. Went to look at the pattern... I had seen it before and it didn't appeal to me BUT you did such a good job I am definitely going to make one too. Thanks for showing your pics.

  7. Lynda, thank you so much for the kind words. If I can help you with this sweater in any regard, please let me know. And thanks for reading my blog!

  8. Hi, Julie! I know it's a year later, but I really enjoyed reading the saga of this sweater. It reminded me a lot of making my first "Circumnavigated Cardigan" and finally having a sweater that FIT ME! Wasn't a perfect sweater, but it finally fit. Such a good feeling!

    I'm looking forward to reading ahead to see what you've done since this one. I'm so very glad to find your blog. Maybe I'll get back to knitting sweaters (instead of just socks)!

  9. Yes, Shelda... make yourself a sweater! It's time, girlfriend. A knitter can only so many socks make. You know what I remember from AK? That beautiful ruana you made. I still think about that wrap. It is beautiful. Do you still wear it?