Tag Archives: crappy tension

the cardigan that wasn’t

When I started thinking about my yoga wrap cardigan, I imagined it in a cotton yarn that I could wear in classes all year round. Browsing in John Lewis, I saw a child’s sweater made up in Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton DK, and it was gorgeously soft and drapey.

So, in a classic case of optimism winning out over realism, I bought some and started knitting. Why optimism over realism? Well, stocking stitch and me have had some unhappy interactions in the past. I know that I struggle to get even tension and that my knit stitches tend to be looser than my purl stitches. I know that inelasatic yarns such as cotton are likely to exacerbate this problem. But, seduced by the lovely sample in the shop, the soft colours and the softer yarn, I nevertheless went ahead and cast on.

I completed the yoke and both arms before deciding that I could not go on any further. The sleeves, knit in the round, were not perfect, but were so much better than the yoke that I really couldn’t pretend to myself that the yoke was fine.

It was actually quite hard to get photos that fully show the problem – my camera appears to be amazingly forgiving! I also spent a ridiculous amount of time shifting yarn along the rows to try and even out the tension, so these pictures are already an improvement on the original state of my knitting.

On the reverse side, the differently-sized gaps between rows are pretty clear to see. I think that I will use this yarn instead for a project that involves either lace or cables.

It was a relief to stop working on this version of my cardigan. Once I switched to the Rowan Felted Tweed that I am using the whole project took on a much sunnier aspect. My tension is still not perfect, but this yarn is so much more forgiving that even I (my own worst critic) am happy with the results.

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