Friday, October 28, 2016

FO: Blaster Cardigan

I finished a sweater! Hooray! It seems the only thing that gets me motivated to make sure I knit lately is if Andi Satterlund hosts a knit along, lol. Real life has just been nuts and I just can't justify all the knitting time I used to. Hopefully once things are more stable in my life, that will change. I feel like I start every post this same way, and I'm certainly not trying to make excuses or justify my lack of projects at all - there's no one keeping score here. It's just kind of a bummer because I love to make things so much, you know? So when I do manage to get something made, I'm pretty excited about it :) Anyway, on with the sweater deets!
This is the Blaster Cardigan by Andi Satterlund, which is her newest open release (it was released before as part of a subscription service or something, but now it's available to everyone). I liked the design immediately - fairly simple but interesting just like her other designs. This one is a bit more mod looking with the triangular lace pattern, but I was excited to knit it up :)
Things just got a little interesting when looking for yarn to make this with. With my budget right now, I've been trying not to buy any yarn. I just have so much in my stash it feels silly to buy more, you know? But my stash is almost entirely worsted and fingering weight yarns, even a decent amount of bulky weight, but there is a huge void of DK and sport weight, particularly in sweater quantities. I did just have my estate sale though, and I sold 2 entire buckets full of cheapy acrylic yarn I was never going to use so I justified looking for yarn :) I found a great deal on this Filatura Di Crosa Zara yarn on ebay and I decided to buy it. I mean the way I look at it - I made a little more than what I paid for this nice yarn when selling my acrylic yarn, so technically I traded the cheap yarn for the good stuff, lol. I've worked with Zara before, but it was when I first started knitting so I really couldn't appreciate the quality. This stuff is delicious! I just love to feel it all the time, which made the knitting process that much more enjoyable.
I knitted this in the time period for the knit along, so I started September 17th and finished October 25th. I just knit-knit-knitted whenever I could and then immediately blocked it. As soon as it dried and I looked at the back I had to laugh. Can you see why?
I misaligned 1 stitch. I freakin' stitch! And I have to live with it forever, lol. Oh well. It's a bummer, but I don't think it's super obvious unless people are staring hard at my back (weirdos) so I'm not going to worry about it. I just can't believe I didn't notice before now since I'd seen it happen a few other times and I tinked back to fix it just a few rows later, so how this one slipped past me for half of the back I just don't know. Anyway - live and learn, I guess :/
The other details of the sweater came out really nice. I chose some iridescent white shank buttons from my stash I've had for a while and I like the look. I tend to wear things like this with white shirts underneath, so I think the white buttons echo the white that will show through the eyelet holes. I didn't back the button band yet because I didn't have any ribbon on hand that was narrow enough and I wanted to get this finished before the end of the knit along, but I will probably go back and do that later when I get some ribbon that works. The buttons don't pull very bad though, so it's fine for now. The triangles also came out really nicely. I had to do some thinking on my feet while knitting them due to an error in the pattern, but that has been fixed now so it should be smooth sailing for anyone who makes this in the future.
I did have another unfortunate thing happen with this sweater. There was a good deal of questioning about the gauge when everyone first started knitting it - it's a much tighter gauge than Andi's other patterns. Andi confirmed that this was deliberate and she was going for a much thicker fabric, so I just trusted the pattern and ended up having to use a size 4 needle. My swatch blocked to the exact stitch gauge but slightly short in the row gauge, which is normal for me and I just compensate with length and when I start decreases, etc. No big deal. So I knitted the whole sweater, trying it on as I went and I loved the fit - just like it was meant to look every time I tried it on. So I weaved in the ends, and immediately put it in a tub to block it. I soaked it for 30 minutes, then gently rolled it in a towel and stepped on it to soak up excess water, then laid it out on my blocking board and started pinning - all standard practices that I've done with every sweater. Thinking this was not a super wash yarn, I was very careful not to agitate too much and cause any felting, etc. This is not my first rodeo. As soon as I got the sweater laid on in the right shape though, I noticed that the bust looked pretty wide. I measured it and found it was at 44" around. I knitted the size Large which has a 41" bust like I always do because that amount of negative ease is much more flattering on me. I still don't really understand what happened. I did everything right - multiple swatches for gauge, careful blocking, etc. - yet it still came out much too big. The result is that there's some bunching going on in my arm pits. also my sleeves seem to shift around and can't decide what length to be. It's fine in the waist because my waist is a bit larger than Andi drafts for, but the looseness in the bust and shoulders makes it look a bit dumpy unfortunately. It's not awful by any means, I just prefer it tight over the bust to give me more of a shape, plus I hate bat wing anything and I have a bit of that going on if I raise my arms at all. It's quite a bummer. I still like the sweater, and I will wear it, but it's baffling nonetheless. Maybe it was the tight gauge relaxing with the weight of all the yarn combined? Maybe it was the merino wool being so soft that it had more give? Maybe a combination? I really want to figure it out to avoid such things in the future. Next time I wash this, I will try being extremely ginger with the blocking and see if I can make it settle at a tighter bust. The one good thing about it being bigger is that the buttons don't pull as badly on the unstabilized band ... so there's that I guess...
*I have since found out that this IS a super wash yarn. I really can't believe I didn't know that before. But apparently it's the super wash chemicals preventing the wool from grabbing itself that causes it to stretch out so much. At least now I know!*
Realistically I will wear it open most of the time anyway, which will greatly disguise my nit picky issues. I actually really love wearing it with my brown Melissa Skirt as the triangular pockets tie in perfectly with the triangular lace in the sweater. Gotta love an unintentional perfect match on pieces you've made yourself.
So there you have it :) My latest sweater. My handmade sweater collection has brightened up considerably in the last year with the coral one and now this one, lol. I've had quite a few "pumpkin" comments sent my way already given the time of year, so I figure I'll go ahead and embrace it and wear this on Monday, ha ha. Maybe I can make a green bow for my hair...

Yarn: 10 skeins (actually 9.84) of Filatura Di Crosa Zara yarn in color 1762 - $40
Pattern: Blaster by Andi Satterlund - $5.40
Notions: 10 buttons - $3.00
Time: 6 weeks
Total Cost: $ 48.40


  1. I think your cardigan is beautiful, and you look so nice wearing it.

  2. I came over from the Curvy Sewing Collective and just wanted to tell you that this is beautiful! I love everything about it! The color, what I see of the fit, the pattern, the buttons... it is all top notch! I knit and sew so you have really inspired me! I have been looking for a new project and will definitely put this on the list!

    1. Thanks so much, Patricia :) I'm so glad to have inspired you to knit your own Blaster. It really is a cute pattern. I'd love to see yours when you get it made up!

  3. I think your sweater looks great! I've also had some sweaters grow on me during blocking although I've also had some sweaters shrink. I haven't ever figure out what caused either one. If you find out you will have to post about it!


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