I'm still waiting for Webs to cough up Norah Gaughan Men so I can get started on Tom's Christmas sweater. Did you know there are only 45 knitting days until Christmas? ACKKKK!!!!!!!!
But there's no sense just sitting here tapping my foot. After horsing around with that giant pile of red alpaca for weeks, I finally cast-on for a completely different cardigan, the Coco Classic. This design appeared in the September 2010 issue of Creative Knitting and is also available from ePatternsCentral.
Why this sweater? Because Amy Polcyn designed it using my exact yarn, Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande. The cardigan is also simple and therefore a fast knit. And it features seed stitch. This is important. After reading about alpaca drooping, I worried that whatever I made would stretch uncontrollably southward. The seed stitch will help the garment keep its shape, as will the basic design. This structured sweater with side seams and set-in sleeves will hopefully keep the garment from becoming a droopy mess.
Before you American knitters start lamenting the difficulty of knitting seed stitch, let me remind you again that it's time to learn Continental. This method makes seed stitch a cinch because it's so easy to move the yarn from the front to the back of the work. I've recently discovered that I am actually a combination knitter, knitting Continentally and purling in the eastern fashion. Watch Annie Modesitt and you'll see how I knit, as well as how easy it is to switch between knitting and purling.
As before, I rewrote the pattern using Sweater Wizard. This time I started with the pattern I used for the Augusta; no sense reinventing the wheel when I know this basic design fits me. I'm making a few mods though, adding a round drop neck, an a-line fit, and an inch of short rows at the hips. I am hoping the short rows will eliminate the sweater riding up on my butt. Regardless, I am very happy with my short rows. I defy you to even find them! I've come a long way since my initial short row attempts.