08 April 2008

More Than One Way to Skin a Sweater: Origami Cardigan

This pretty lace cardigan is my own design for my niece, Bailie Jayne. It took three skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in the Happy Valley colorway. If you look very closely, you can see that one skein was from a different dye lot. The shop in Pennsylvania where I found this yarn sold it primarily as sock yarn, to the point that the skeins were tied together in pairs and most of their inventory was two skeins total of each colorway. I didn't realize I was going to need three skeins until later and, knowing that I had bought the last, had to settle for finding a skein of a different dye lot in a shop local to me in Georgia. Most of the colors were identical, but the green was visibly different. And I used a skein of the matching angora for trim, just because I wanted an excuse to play with angora.

The sweater was knit in blocks in just the right width to cause the yarn to flash. I cast-on at the bottom and worked the first skein, back and forth, in feather & fan stitch. The wavy cable at the edge(see the sleeve photos) made up the difference in left over stitches from what was required for a pattern repeat. It also acted as a good selvage later for the buttons. I worked waste yarn (as for a pocket or "thumb trick") one-quarter of the way in on each side just before starting the second skein. That skein was worked to the top with stitches left live. So at this point, I had a feather & fan rectangle with waste yarn "darts." I took out the waste yarn. This enabled me to fold the bottom rectangle inward to form the bottom of the cardigan. (See simple diagrams.)

The top remained flat to form the back of the sleeves and the upper back of the cardigan. I was then able to pick up stitches across the bottom of the sleeves and to work each half of the front of the cardigan separately. The shaping around the neck was a real pain in order to maintain the flashing. There were lots of little ends to weave in. And the tops of the sleeves were grafted together (see right picture). A little angora i-cord edging was added all around at the end, including hidden buttonholes. Voila!

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