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Eris cardigan

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Made from Cascade 220 heathers 4011
Ordered from Knitty Couture on 29th March 2008
Yarn arrived 15th April
Started 20th May

27th March 2008
Climbing Everest

That big project I mentioned last post? Hubby suggested I knit a cardigan. It's been years since I knit something of that magnitude, and there's the small matter of the Eternal Sweater still hanging around (13 years in, half a sleeve to go). We looked at patterns on Ravelry and found it.

Eris. The Greek goddess of discord and strife, also the name of the largest dwarf planet in the Solar System.

Completed Eris cardigan.

Eris is a gorgeous zip-front cardigan with cables and raglan sleeves. You knit the yoke first, then pick up stitches and head towards raglan sleeves and a cabled hem. I've never installed a zip before and the pattern is flagged as "experienced", so that's a mite daunting. I have searched the pattern for all occurrences of the word "graft" and found only one, and that can be avoided, so I feel better about my chances. Going to order the yarn this weekend, then I'm committed.

(Official photo used by permission)

30th May 2008
Round the bend

Started my Eris cardigan last week, I haven't started a sweater-sized project since the Eternal Sweater for Hubby in 1994. Short rows with cabling is an interesting experience! You knit two sides of a U shaped yoke (with a torturous pick up in the middle) then pick up stitches along the outside edge for the body. And then do some more short rows mixed with raglan increases. I can blissfully discard the charts when I'm done, there's no "second sock" to do.

Eris yoke.

I'm partway through the left side of the yoke and the centre pick up part is barely visible. The pattern so far is very clear, there are three pages of symbols and forty pages for both pullover and cardigan. I thought the yoke would be the worst part but the instructions for what happens next are daunting, including several instances of the word "graft". It makes me nervous because gauge is important for this pattern and my knitting tension is somewhere between violin strings and those steel cables you use for prestressed concrete.

The yarn colour is Sparrow (4011) but I don't know of any greenish heathered sparrows out there in Britain or America. It's almost the same colour as Hubby's car, and a fleece jacket I got a few years back. Hubby is urging me to make Rogue next...

11th June 2008
The Eris Chronicles

Finished the yoke in 11 days, and it looks fantastic, I love how the neckline stitches are curled in to make a collar seam. Picking up stitches around the yoke was less arduous than I expected. You practice the picking up method with the centre back join. I cheated and picked up all the loops on a US1 needle first to make sure I had the right number, then knit along them with the US8. I'd show you a picture but it's basically a shapeless mass right now.

Raglan increases are new to me and I like how they're hidden in a cable. Collar and short rows consumed the first of my eight skeins of yarn but I didn't want to do a join at the end of a short row, so I wove the next skein in across the back. Sewed in four yarn ends after finishing the short rows, there are still four trailing around. The yoke and the picking up stitches were the scariest parts of this pattern, now that they're over, I have hope it'll work!

But I'm in need of a smaller project for spur of the moment mindless knitting. Eris is great for lunch times when I can spread stuff out on my desk (the other two people in my office are used to this by now) and get an uninterrupted 45 minutes in. But if you have ten minutes to kill before your contact lens check up, you need something small and quick and Eris is neither. I'm thinking Hedgerow socks in Mama Blue BFL.

16th June 2008
Ongoing with Eris

Still in the raglan increases. Counted nearly 300 stitches to make sure I was on track, and everything's fine (though my interpretation of "repeat twice" needs a little work). Really looking forward to getting the arms and body divided! Each row is taking an ice age to knit. Waist shaping on the pattern is a nice touch. This is the current state, modelled by my knitting bag:

Eris cardigan in progress.

The bag was a gift from Hubby for Christmas a few years ago and it's bigger on the inside. Eris won't fit in my Knittiotherapy sock bag, and the plastic carrier bag was lacking in style. I'm still on gauge for the stitches but not the rows, which is the same as my swatch. I've had at least one lying swatch but this one seems honest. It's just dawning on my how large Eris will be. I have eight skeins of yarn for it, that's 800g, which is nearly a kilogram of yarn!

I have some calculations to do for the sleeves. I don't want them to be too long and I also don't want the cuffs to be too floppy, so I'll have to rework the decreases.

1st August 2008
Tortoise and Hare

Last knitting morning I got Eris to the start of the waist shaping and the end of the third skein of yarn. The pattern says I only need eight skeins, but I have two in reserve just in case. I'm using the cabled waist shaping to match the raglan increases. It's getting heavy and unwieldy for lunchtime knitting but I want to keep up the momentum. My deadline is October 31st, so I can wear it for National Novel Writing Month. For reasons I can't fathom, the yarn colour is called "Sparrow". Anyone seen a green sparrow lately?

Eris and socks.

25th August 2008
Knit up the ravelled sleeve of care

Cabled waist shaping on Eris is mostly done and I'm on the fourth skein of yarn. I'm going to adjust the decreases on the sleeves because I have teeny wrists and hate floppy sleeve cuffs. Might lengthen the body a bit too because my row gauge is off. I needed ten extra rows to get to the start of the waist shaping. I keep a notebook (the one Stephanie Pearl-McPhee signed when she was in town) to record the tweaks and mods I make to patterns so I can duplicate what I did. Or document the frustration when something just doesn't work.

6th January 2010
Eris is back

Way back in May 2008 I started knitting a cardigan. I worked on it from May to October, then shelved it. I couldn't figure out how the stitches at the bottom got cast off. I wanted to wear it, but I was stuck.

This year I resolve to complete it. Thanks to knitting the Spiraluscious cowl (twice), I figured out what the pattern wanted. The Eris pattern was perfectly clear but I couldn't visualise it until after I'd done the cowl bind off because a similar thing is going on. The short row cables and the curled-under hem look fantastic.

Eris left front cabled corner.

Now I can do the right front corner to match this one, and figure out what I want to do with the sleeves. Floppy sleeves are bad, but I need to be able to wear long sleeves under Eris. A sleeve seam would give stability, rather than knitting them in the round. Floppy cuffs are the worst thing ever, I plan to tweak the sleeve decreases to get smaller cuffs. I'm wearing this in 2010.

1st November 2010
Eris, and realisations

Cold weather is very motivating when you have an almost finished and definitely gorgeous cardigan on the needles. My Eris has been waiting for me:

Eris cardigan.

Between knitting morning and quiet evenings, I'm making progress and I've finished and grafted the hem. I have sleeve decisions to make, whether to work flat and seam or work in the round, and where to put the decreases to avoid the floppy cuffs I hate. I'm also doing a ribbed cuff instead of the hemmed cuff from the pattern.

5th September 2011
Unconscionable neglect

In May of 2008 I started knitting a cardigan with all the best intentions. I got enough yarn, then went back to get the last two skeins in my dyelot as backup. I got all the way to just above the hem and stopped. Didn't even touch it in 2009. In 2010, I finished the hem, just leaving the sleeves and zip. Last weekend I started a sleeve, did some measuring and maths, found out I had only 12 inches of sleeve to knit on each side until I got to the wrist and switched to ribbing, and got to it. Hello Eris, it's nice to see you again. One sleeve almost complete, one to go.

Eris cardigan.

The zip installation still scares me, though this easy zip tutorial from splityarn.com will help. I'd hate to come this far and mess up at the zip, sewing is not my strong point. It will be hand-sewn and I'm hoping to get a hefty looking tarnished brass one with a decent sized pull tab. The cardigan will need to be blocked before I start sewing because the hem is curling and so is the zip seam.

My goal is to have it wearable by December 15th. November is usually a non-knitting month thanks to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Maybe I can be done before November starts, I got from shoulder to elbow on the first sleeve in a couple of days, stopping often to try it on and test the fit.

I have two sweater-sized batches of yarn waiting to be turned into cardigans but I won't allow myself to start until I have Eris complete.

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