Blood, Sweat and Tears
Actually, there was no blood, but there was plenty of sweat and tears. The Tangled Yoke cardigan, in all it’s frustrating, mind-twisting glory, is finished. Hurrah!
Pattern: Tangled Yoke cardigan by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed, colorway “Duck Egg”
Notes: This may be the most challenging item I’ve ever knit. At times I wondered about my audacity at attempting it in the first place – maybe I just wasn’t good enough or experienced enough to knit this. I guess it says a lot about if you want something bad enough, you’ll work at it until you reach it. It isn’t perfect and it was often a struggle, but I finished it and I’m very happy with it.
First off, I love this yarn. It’s a bear to rip (it’s very sticky and has a tendency to break) but the color and resulting fabric are fabulous. The colorway, “Duck Egg”, is a new addition to the Felted Tweed line; the steely blue with black flecks is warmed up by brown flecks and it does indeed remind me of duck eggs. The finished sweater is feather (heh heh!) light yet warm without becoming suffocating; I wore it today in typical late fall weather – sunny/cloudy mix in the mid-50s with a chill in the wind. I was very comfortable in any temperature the day threw at me.
I also love the style of this sweater. It’s very classic (Jackie O-Audrey Hepburn timeless) but not stuffy. The horizontal Celtic cable is an absolute showstopper and well worth the effort (although there were times that I began to wonder) There’s a lot of plain stockinette, but I never minded it and it seemed to go quickly. This is probably a result of the beautiful yarn – I just never got tired of the color. There are several nice details on the sweater – false seams (which, for some reason, I found absolutely delightful), short rows on the back, the folded neckband.
There were some problems too, of course. The sleeves are quite long, a problem noted by many people on Ravelry; I have very long arms and have always struggled with too-short sleeves, so I don’t mind. My sweater came out a little large. This isn’t a problem with the pattern or my gauge (which was spot on) but because I fell between two sizes and I choose the larger size. Again, I don’t mind as I don’t like wearing form fitting clothes (even though it’s in fashion) The decrease/increase instructions for the body were terribly confusing – I nearly gave up at that early stage. Again, a lot of people reported many of the same frustrations for this part of the pattern, so it wasn’t just me. I’m still not sure I did it exactly correctly, but I ended with the correct number of rows and stitches. The button bands ruffle slightly; I might have been able to correct this by going down another needle size, or picking up fewer stitches (but, by that point, with the finish line in sight, I wasn’t going back)
My mods were simple – I whip-stitched the edge of the folded neck band instead of using a three-needle bind-off (which worked brilliantly) and I hand-sewed a ribbon to the back of the button band to give it some stability (I’d like to add one to the button-hole band as well but don’t know how with my limited sewing skills)
My recommendations if you choose to knit this – lifelines. Put in a lifeline before you start the cable section – it saved me. Also, take your time, use lots of stitch markers, color-code the cable crosses on the chart (there are six different kinds) I used the highlighter tape I picked up at Stitches to keep my place on the chart – worked like a charm. And pick a great yarn that you won’t get tired of – it’s worth every dime.