Friday, March 7, 2008

The Delightful Mrs Darcy

She's done, she's beautiful, and she's sweet as candy.

I feel dead sexy!

The delightful Mrs. Darcy Cardigan.


Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport
Baltic Sea
4 skeins

I was drawn to this yarn because of the turquoise and lavender hues; knit up, the main colors are olives and forest greens. It's still beautiful and versatile! The yarn is soft and a joy to work with.

I had five skeins but one went AWOL, and the last skein, even though it was marked as the same dyelot, was lighter than the others. On the front pieces I alternated rows of light stuff and dark stuff, but the front is still quite a bit lighter than the back and sleeves. Let this be a warning to you: never lose your yarn and always check that each skein matches the others before you start your project!


Harmony Options size US 10.5/6.5 mm

I didn't want a bulky sweater - duh! I live in Florida - so I knit the sport weight yarn with size 10.5 needles to achieve gauge (16 sts/20 rows=4" Stockinette). My final fabric is loose and airy - perfect for my climate - but has a tendency to grow. I may decide to felt it a tiny, tiny bit to fight that.

Pattern Modifications:

There were a lot! I have never had a 34" bust, and without major surgery, I never will. As I was knitting to gauge, I simply added two inches to the back and one to each front by casting on a total of 16 extra stitches (8 for the back, 4 for each front). God gave me big boobs and skinny arms, so I didn't mess with the armhole shaping at all.

I didn't want a sweater that framed the girls, so I added an extra button (four total) and started the scoop neck shaping 8 rows later than indicated in the pattern. I also did a less dramatic neckline by doubling the rows of shaping. When the pattern called for "Dec 1 st next to buttonhole band on each of the next 5 rows." I decreased 1 stitch next to the buttonhole band on every other row for 10 rows. I made similar changes throughout the scoop neck.

I completely skipped the crochet edging, as my fabric had very little curl. I promise I didn't skip it because I have never crocheted and am a little intimidated by it!

The buttons I originally ordered were the shank style buttons recommended by the pattern. As beautiful as they are, they are too heavy for this sweater. Instead I used plastic four-holed buttons that are very light and very lavender!

Final Thoughts or What I'd Do Next Time:

I love this sweater. It is sweet and comfy, with a hint of sexiness. If I do make another Mrs. Darcy, the only change I would definitely make is increasing the width of the buttonband by a few stitches.

The sleeves as written are very long, perfect if you have freakishly long arms like me. If your arms are more proportionate, keep an eye on the length and start the armhole shaping a few rows earlier than indicated.

The pattern had a few issues; much of the time I forged ahead, trusting my idea of the pattern and not necessarily what was written. I had to keep very careful notes - which is rare for me. But with those notes, I was able to knit five pieces that matched. To me, anything that creates a sweater that I love to wear is a great pattern in the end.