View Full Version : Dollar and a half cardigan

03-29-2007, 10:49 PM
I just cast on for this pattern from the latest Interweave Knits issue tonight. (If you want to see it, there is a link in the OTN part of my signature.)
Is there anyone else working on it? Any tips, hints, ideas? I love how it looks, but the lace pattern with the major increase has me confused.

03-30-2007, 04:08 AM
I finished the BACK and RIGHT FRONT, and they are blocking now.

There is a MAJOR ERROR in the pattern:
The photo shows the 'lacework and cable' on the RIGHT FRONT.
The pattern directions put the 'lacework and cable' on the LEFT FRONT.
If that is Ok with you...then go ahead and knit the FRONTS as "written".
If you want the lacework and cable to work out "as shown in the photo" then you need to reverse all the shapings beginning at the armhole edges and neckline. HERE (http://www.interweaveknits.com/Galleries/bonus/spring_2007/dollar.asp) is a photo of the cardigan as shown on the Interweave bonus photos feaure.

The lacework really is a breeze. You get your groove going. Remember, when you are working the 'lacework with cable" RIGHT FRONT...the lacework row sequence goes like this following he 2x2 ribbing: Row 1 once / Row 2 once/Row 3/Row 4/Row 5/Row 6...never knit a Row 7...and then repeat only Rows 3-6 from thereon up.

Decreasing along the neckline edge and armhole edge is tricky because of the lacework involving a 4 st sequence. The pattern direcions tell you how to deal with this issue.

When working the alternating horizontal panels like on the BACK, SLEEVES, AND LEFT FRONT (12 rows of lacework followed by 12 rows rev st st) I had to use a larger needle (US9)for the lacework, and one size smaller (US8) for the rev st st. The rev st st panel puckers a lot. The smaller needle helped eliminate that...although, I still have to block aggressively to remove any further hint of puckering. Sigh. I wish I had downsized to a US7 for the rev st st. Hindsight is 20/20 they say. Too late for me now, but not for you!

What yarn are you using? The pattern yarn? I substituted. I am using a RED angora blend "Cloud 9 by Cascade".

Well, let's keep in touch! I love having a buddy to suffer with! :teehee:

03-30-2007, 07:42 AM
Maybe we should start a KAL for this... I'm hoping to CO this weekend sometime :happydance:

03-30-2007, 07:50 AM
Thanks so much for the tips! I am trying my hand at it in yarn I had in my stash and I figured if I can make sense of it, I am going to invest in something a little more fancy. Right now I am using Caron Simply Soft in a pale yellow, but I have my heart set on the brown color they used in the picture. I'm also using just regular knitting needles instead of a circular. I don't like working with circulars, but I'm not sure if that is going to come back and bite me on the hiney later on in the project! I have the gauge pretty near on so far.
And wow, that is quite an error in the pattern! I haven't made up my mind yet if I'm going to switch the fronts. Your advice to change needle sizes when doing the lace/stockinette panels is great, I am definitely doing that.
I would love to see pictures of your work in progress. I am new at doing lace and this is the most complicated pattern I have tried so far, so a buddy in suffering is exactly what I need as well! Good luck, and have fun!

03-30-2007, 08:21 PM
Here are some photos of my Dollar and a Half Cardigan, the BACK and the RIGHT FRONT, knit the way the photo shows.

Notice the slight puckering that still remains on the panels of the BACK.
I have stretched it as far as possible, placed a wet towel on it for a day...then last night, I re-soaked the puckery bottom edges of the rev st st panel, let sit til dry...took this photo...and then I used my mister to re-soak those puckery edges again. I swear, I will remove this puckering! :wall: My next step will be to use not too hot water in my mister...and mist the puckers with "hot" water to shrink out those puckers...OR, maybe hold my steam iron over the puckery edges, and work out the puckers with my fingers.

When you get to the first transition (lace panel to rev st st panel)...switch to your smaller needle on Row 7 of the lace panel...it will actually be a Row 12...then start your first row of rev st st and with the smaller needle.
I didn't switch to my smaller needle until Row 1 of rev st st...and I now regret that.

Also, I wish I had sized down two sizes...US9 for the lace panel, US7 for the rev st st.

Well, you are using a different yarn, so check to see how it performs. If you size down by one...if you see no puckering, you are good to go. If you still see quit a bit of puckering, size down another needle size for the rev st st. It is better to tinker with it now...and get it right...than to have to fiddle with this "blocking and shrinking the puckers" later on!

Also, since I am just 5' tall, and have shorter arms than the lady in the photo, I am going to have to shorten the sleeves. Therefore, I am going to do my sleeves as follows: I will do the panel sequences as shown just on the forearm...then, I will do solid lace pattern the rest of the way up. The lace pattern can be stopped short before the armhole cast offs. The panels sequences won't allow that. My sleeves may have one or two rev st st 'stripes' but no more. I think that will look ok. Or maybe, no rev st st panels at all! Just the lace pattern. I will have to think that one through.

One rev st st panel will look like a bracelet...well, when I get there, I will take a photo and see what y'all think! Get a vote.

Yes, I think if we get 3 of us that are knitting this cardigan...we should put this in KAL.

Are there 3 of us yet??? I think so! Dustinac, SnugglebugMom and me!

Whaddya think, Mod Squad? Do we qualify to be tossed into KAL? If so, toss us now...before we get more knitters who will get lost in the GK mix!

03-31-2007, 07:40 AM
I think it looks wonderful in spite of the puckering! I just did my first rev st st panel last night, switched to needles 2 sizes smaller and I still see a bit of puckering. Not too bad, but for the next panel I am taking your advice and switching to the smaller needles on the last row of the lace pattern.
Your blocking wires look so cool to work with! Where do you get something like that?
I think the arms would look fine in just lace, except it might throw the balance off just a little bit. You know, see-through arms and a fairly solid body. The pattern isn't very frilly, so it might work out just fine though.
Thanks for the pictures, and I absolutely agree, let's make this a KAL!

03-31-2007, 07:18 PM
Hi there Snugglebugmom!

I started the (I am working the FRONTS as shown in the photo) Left Front today...after the ribbing, lace panel #1, rev st st panel #1, and half of lace panel #2...using the US9 for lace and US8 for rev st st...I just put my foot down on myself...frogged back to the last row of lace panel #1...changed to US7 for the rev st st panel...AND re-knit the 12 rows using the smaller US7 needle! Just an eensy bit of puckering, that will easily straighten out with blocking.

Soooo, that said...hmmm...the smaller needle is a better fit...but...the smaller needle will affect "row gauge"! which matters because the BACK is done with a longer row gauge! Der. :wall:
SIGH. This will affect how the BACK side edge meets up with the RIGHT FRONT side edges!

Soooo, that said...here's what I am gonna do: I am going to finish this LEFT FRONT, using US9 and US7.

....and then re-think how I feel about my original BACK (shown in the photo) looking so wonky. Mmmmaaaaaaybe it will straighten out. I am losing faith in it. :shrug:

If worse comes to worse...I will use my remaining sleeves skeins and knit another BACK using the US9/US7 needle combination...frog the old BACK...soak it, and hang it to dry...and use that frogged yarn to do the sleeves! A lot of work? Yes, but...

This luxurious yarn is just too precious to allow it to be used in an inferior looking garment.
I know I won't wear this cardigan looking wonky in the back. I know me. Darn it.

Thanks for the input about the sleeves! If I do decide to modify the sleeve patterning, it will be worked all in lace pattern...no rev st st. Hmmm, maybe a cable twist running up the arm of the LEFT SLEEVE? That would throw in a twist! The cable seems to lay nice and flat...so it won't make the arm look too plump or puffy. As I said in an earlier Post...I always have to shorten sleeves a little. Like at least an inch. I don't think that will be possible with the lace and rev st st alternating panels. A cable up the side of the LEFT SLEEVE will balance out the cable running up the RIGHT FRONT. What do you think?

I hope the MOD SQUAD will put us in the KAL category. I think maybe the originator of this thread (you) need to ask them to move us to KAL.

04-01-2007, 08:34 AM
:cheering: it looks wonderful!!!

04-01-2007, 12:10 PM
Hi ArtLady!
I think the cable on the left sleeve is a great idea! I love it when a garment has an original twist like that.
I know what you mean about the back. I wouldn't wear it either unless I felt it was as perfect as I can get it. The main reason I started doing this pattern in cheap yarn was so I could see how it would turn out, learn from my mistakes, and decide if I wanted to invest in a more expensive, luxurious yarn. (That and of course the fact that I am pretty much broke at the moment lol.)
So far it's not working out all that cheap because I frogged the part I did and started over in a dark red color, called Autumn Red. The lace pattern looks so much better in a more outspoken color.
How do I ask the Mods to make this a KAL thread? I'm going to look around and figure it out.

04-01-2007, 04:02 PM
Find a Post that one of our Moderators have posted, and click on PM (private message), and ask her to put us in KAL.

Usually though, as they are reading all Posts to QC the content, and they spot our request, and do it without a PM.

But, it wouldn't hurt to PM one of them.

I wish I had tried this pattern with an inexpensive yarn first. At least the first 4 pattern panels! I used to sew a lot...and even made a few wedding dresses for non-family...and I would always always sew a muslin mock-up of the bodice...and then have a 'fitting' with the bride-to-be. Then, tweak things that needed adjustment. Sigh. Why didn't I remember to apply those principles to my Dollar and a Half Cardigan??? :shrug:

04-01-2007, 05:58 PM
I sent Amy a pm asking her to move this thread to KAL, so that should be alright then.
Don't beat yourself up over not doing a cheap yarn version first. I'm sure if you decide to do the back over again, it will turn out stunning. As a matter of fact, I already think it looks stunning. But I know the feeling that it could be better, I bet you are a bit of a perfectionist, like me. I'd say rip it, knit it again and show it off!

04-01-2007, 09:49 PM
I agree.. I did a green gable for myself.. I wasn't happy with the neckline at all.. I kept going.. finished it.. tried it on.. frogged the whole thing... :teehee:

I didn't get to start today.. I didn't even get to knit today.. it was a crazy day :rofl:

04-01-2007, 10:46 PM
Sorry you had such a crazy day, I hope tomorrow is better for you!

04-02-2007, 08:57 AM
Well, I don't have any photos yet, but here is what got done this weekend: I finished the Left Side, using the US9/US7 needle combination. It did impact my row gauge. Just a little. I went out to the blocking board to look at the BACK...and compare the Left Front pattern panels with the BACK pattern panels. TO MY SURPRISE...all the BACK puckering had disappeared once bone dry. Soooo...all I had to do is frog the BACK down to the armhole cast offs...and am reknitting the armholes up. Another bit of good news: the frogged yarn is knitting up real good, despite the fact that is had been blocked. I wound it into a ball...and as I am knitting, the kinks are kinda just falling out. Sooo...I don't have to use new yarn, nor do I have to monkey around with soaking it & hanging it to dry for days.

However, for the re-knitting of the rev st st on the BACK (the frogged area from the armpits to shoulders) I am using the US7 for Rows 1-3...US8 for Rows 4-9...US7 for Rows 10-12. By doing this, the 'appearance' of the re-knitted rev st st overall looks like the bottom half of the BACK. Using the US7 for the first 3 and last 3 rows makes it pucker less at the convergence areas (lace to rev st st and rev st st to lace) It is looking real good. Don't think I will have much problem smoothing the slight puckering. I will block the re-knitted area of the BACK. Will wait to block the Left Front til the BACK is done, and do them at the same time for measurements.

Phew. This cardigan has been challenging. I am determined to get it right. I wonder...if I had used the yarn as shown in the photo...would it have puckered like this? Is there something the designer forgot to say?
Or, a "tip" unmentioned?

I will give you this 'heads up': the "shaping" of the LEFT FRONT and RIGHT FRONT for the armhole edge shaping and neckline edge shaping...and at the same time, trying to work around & with the lace pattern repeats...is maddening. Use stitch markers...and write out exactly which rows will have which decreases. Otherwise, you WILL get mixed up. I still don't know exactly what I did. The confusion is in the converting of the last 3 or 4 stitches at each end to st st...they will eventually be eaten up by the decreases. You must convert them to st st on the row before you need to utilize them. Sometimes a y/o is involved in those last 3 or 4...and here is a mystery: do I create the y/o..or do I skip it? I think I should have created the yarnovers...but I didn't...therefore, my decreasing was more rapidly accomplished. I was down to the 'ultimate stitches' several rows before I should have been. This tells me that I lost 2 stitches at each end instead of 1 at each end...because I had dumped that y/o in converting those end 3 or 4 to st. st. Der. :wall:

Do you follow me? Well, if not...you will later. Just pay great heed to those decreases that occur within the lace pattern. Take your time, and make notes.

The Lace Pattern is a 12 row sequence:
Row 1
Row 2
Row 3 (a)
Row 4 (a)
Row 5 (a)
Row 6 (a)
Row 3 (b)
Row 4 (b)
Row 5 (b)
Row 6 (b)
Row 3 (c)
Row 7

I named some of the rows a, b, or c...to help me identify (for example)which "Row 3" within the pattern needs an armhole or neckline decrease.

Decreases within the rev st st were easy-peasy.

PS: yes, I must confess, I am a perfectionist...only when it comes to knitting, sewing, crosstitching, rubber-stamping & card-making. Although, these days, I really only KNIT! xxx

Amy, thanks for tossing us into the KAL category!

04-03-2007, 01:00 PM
That's a great way to keep track of the lace pattern.. I was writting little 3s,4s,5,6,7s lol... I got to start on mine woohoo...

Using stash yarn its cotton flamme in a deep red color.. the yarn isn't very smooth you knit for the awhile then have thicker section then back to thinner yarn but I knew that when I got it.. I kinda like the look.. it kinda hides any errors I might have or found it :rofl:

04-03-2007, 01:50 PM
Oh no :doh: I just counted my stash yarn.. I only have 10 with 96 yds.. I need 2 more and the yarn has been discontinued and I can't find anyone with that color left..

any ideas?? :pout:

04-03-2007, 02:38 PM
Abort. Use a New Yarn reward/credit for your Dollar and a Half Cardigan...or...choose a different pattern. Vests usually require less than 1,000 yds.

How 'bout a pretty springtime vest with your red yarn? Could you somehow alter the Dollar and a Half to a sleeveless, cropped shorter version? It would still be pretty and interesting! You could do crab stitch to finish around the armholes. If you decide to make a "vest version" of Dollar and a Half, crop it to just below the belt, no longer!

gotta run and get the door...my granddaughter is here for knitting classes!

04-04-2007, 05:00 PM
I'm glad I didn't get very far.. something kept telling me you better count your yarn.. I thought for sure I had enough... so I stopped right before the 2nd lace section is worked and sure enough didn't have enough...

I'm thinking of making the tank in Interweave Knits.. gonna think about it for a bit.. start my little girl a tank :teehee:

04-04-2007, 05:25 PM
I'd definitely do a tank rather than a vest. I cannot imagine even wearing a vest!

I've been doing the dollar and a half, just started last night with soft linen, and size 6 Options needles. I've done the ribbing on the back and about 6 rows of the lace pattern. I'm loving the yarn a lot.

04-04-2007, 06:57 PM
Hi MMK! Welcome aboard the "Dollar Train"! :happydance:

When you get a couple of "panels" done...a lace, then a rev st st...a lace...etc...if your rev st st seems to be real puckered, puffy and rippley...think about a re-do...and use a smaller size needle for the rev st st.

I needed to size down from US9 to US7 for the rev st st. Even then, a little puckering...but, will come out with blocking.

Take extra care with the decreases for the neckline and armhole edges.
It is tricky.

Post photos of your progress if possible! Would love to see how your Dollar looks in a soft linen! Probably better than mine in the Cloud 9. My yarn doesn't define the stitches as well as the prescribed yarn...but, I want to use the Cloud 9 for the feel and color.

Everything is a trade-off when substituting yarn sometimes!

04-05-2007, 08:27 AM
Thanks ArtLady! I had already read and re-read your wonderful detailed instructions for changing needle sizes. I am debating just going ahead and doing what you did without trying the size 6's all the way through.

I take so many notes it's ridiculous. I can see why this sweater needs a notebook unto itself!

My question for Interweave Knits is this: Why in the world did you flip-flop the picture and put the cable on the wrong side? Or was it a pattern error?

By the way, I am doing another knitalong at http://dollarandahalf.blogspot.com/ and I think you all might be interested in checking it out. I referenced this one since the word 'puckering' showed up this morning!

04-05-2007, 09:17 PM

Thanks for the link to the additional DOLLAR knitalong! I will check it out!

Last night was very frustrating for me. :verysad:

I got the first sleeve all done...and realized that the stripes didn't match up with the back and left side. :wall:

This is because, I started the sleeve armhole shaping one pattern stripe (a 12 row repeat) sooner than the BACK AND LEFT FRONT. Der.
My arms are not a long as some...and I started the armhole shaping too soon. The BACK AND LEFT FRONT were under the blocking towels out in another room...or I might have 'caught' my blunder before finishing the darn sleeve. What to do, what to do. Considered just letting it go...but, no, not me. I frogged back a bit...and now I have a decision to make...make the sleeve slightly shorter...or way too long...or just frog it all, and make the sleeves solid "lace stitch"...maybe with a cable in the middle.

So, I have not worked on it all day...but may look at it tonight after Survivor. Any input for me? What would you think of the sleeves being solid lace pattern...with just the Left Sleeve having the cable...since the Right Front has a cable.

Also, what if I frog this entire sleeve back , and make the 2x2 ribbing shorter...just 2" (instead of 4") like the edges on the body parts...then I could still get the sleeve length right...plus match up the "stripes" where the sleeve is sewn to the Left Front and Back.

Follow me?

Well, anyone: tell me what you think.

I am open to any ideas!!! :shrug:

A sleeve that is a little too short or way too long is not good. I wouldn't wear the sweater. I know me.

04-06-2007, 05:19 AM
Hey there MMK! Did you notice? On the 'other' $1.50 Cardigan knitalong...one of the gals did not put in the cable&lace for the Right nor the Left Front? I wonder if this is bacause she followed the inaccurate instructions for the Right Front...and then was just too discouraged to frog the shapings from the armhole and neckline!

Did you notice the wild puckering on the PINK $1.50 Cardigan? Well, I hope she decides to BLOCK before seaming.

Did you notice that several seamed and finished $1.50 Cardigans are not blocked at all?

Hmmm. Well, I am positive that the chocolate "model cardigan" was most definitely BLOCKED. It sure is beautiful. I hope mine turns out good.

I am working on the sleeve again tonight. Decided to finish off the sleeve from where I frogged back to...when I get it done, I am going to clip all the pieces (BACK, RIGHT FRONT, LEFT FRONT, AND ONE SLEEVE) together and try the sucker on. If it ain't right...I can always re-knit the thing...maybe using just the lace patterning, and maybe throwing in that cable on one of the sleeves. Wouldn't want it to resemble a Football Letterman's Jacket with cables down both arms. :wall:

BTW: IF I decide to re-knit this darn sleeve, here's what I do and don't do:
a) I DO NOT frog it and re-wind it.
b) I DO just start knitting the cuff again...using the yarn starting at the top of the sleeve cast off.
WHY you ask? It saves all that time and energy spent frogging and winding. Just treat the "icky sleeve" as if it were the skein! And the least amount of handling the better. Just start knittin'

Also, I emailed Interweave Knits through their official website and let them know about their glaring error in reversing the fronts. Have not heard back. They do publish errata/error pages...but this issue of the IK is too young yet. The error will undoubtedly be posted next month. Lotta good it does US! That'll teach us to knit patterns from a new issue! :verysad:

04-06-2007, 06:06 AM
I've just about decided to make solid lace sleeves. No one at any knit-along seems happy with their sleeves. I have already been through sleeve pain with Starsky, and don't want it again.

I'm knitting very slowly during my spring break while I do a lot of other chores I haven't had time for. I will probably not finish buck fifty till summer when school is out. But the puckering is not noticeable since I followed your directions about swapping needle sizes, ArtLady. I began with the very last row of lace and that seems to work just fine. I agree that intense blocking will help this sweater.

04-07-2007, 04:46 PM
Hi there MMK!

Yes, lace sleeves will be beautiful! Remember...if you don't know already, the sequence for lace pattern only is:

Row 1
Row 2
Row 3
Row 4
Row 5
Row 6
and thereafter...Repeat Rows 3-6 only.

I have re-knit this first sleeve (armhole area only) so many times...it is ridiculous. To get this sleeve to fit my arm correctly...I have to start the armhole area after just 3 lace and 3 rev st st panels. The 4th lace panel is into the armhole area. So, that meant that my math (width-wise) had to be re-worked since I had not done all the increases!

When it was finally done....I pre-seamed it onto the Left Front and did a "try on". It looks great! Well, it fits great. I am not wild about the stripes on my arm. :pout: So...now I am contemplating: make the other sleeve lace only?...and put the striped sleeve on the right side next to the lace&cable...and the lace only sleeve on the left side adjoined to the stripes? What to do, what to do!

Well...$1.50 is a mix-n-match sweater in the first place! Right? :shrug:

My next challenge: creating measurements for the lace-only sleeve and doing the math...so that the sleeves are the same width, size and shaping...since I have no model to work off of. The first sleeve is a one of a kind, and the last sleeve will be the same. A one of a kind.

My "Dollar and a Half" will be re-named: My "Hundred and Fifty".

Well, that's about it for now. Will definitely wait to do blocking until after I am happy with both sleeves. :frog:

04-08-2007, 12:41 PM
Hey there MMK! Yesterday I knit the second sleeve...using the lace & cable! If you have not already done so...you will love the cable in the middle! It really turned out nice! Kinda breaks up the monotony of the lace work...and breaks up the field of lace on the arm! I will take a digital photo and share it here later on...I just have a few rows left in the final decreasing on the armhole. Just got too late last night to finish! It wasn't as hard as I thought to set up the math for the increases and decreases. Sigh. :eyebrow:

04-08-2007, 06:07 PM
ArtLady, you are like the energizer bunny! Post pictures soon, especially of that sleeve with the cable. I'm working on a sock and making slow progress on the back of the buck fifty. I really have to finish these socks before I get obsessed with the sweater, but it's nice to have a change-up project going on.

04-09-2007, 12:25 AM
Hi MMK! Okie dokie. Here are the two sleeves. They are ready to go under the wet towels for blocking...so that is why the blocking wires and pins are all over the place! But, I got the photo for you, and our other Buck Fifty knitters, whom we haven't heard from for a while! Where are y'all? :shrug:

I must say, I like the idea of two different sleeves! :heart: :heart:
It kinda brings the theme of the sweater full circle. Well, the work was worth the effort. That said, this is not a sweater for newbies...and I am very displeased with the designer's lack of advice, etc.

HOWEVER...I should have chosen a yarn that does not "bloom" as much as an angora blend does. The lace patterning would have stayed more "defined"...but...alas...ya live and ya learn. A "cable cotton", for example, would have turned out a nicer appearance for the lace patterning...however, a cable cotton would have been more difficult to "force block". :shrug:

04-09-2007, 12:34 AM
PS: My sleeves will take a couple days to block and completely dry.
My next step after that is, of course, adding the button band...then final sleeves and side seaming. Seaming will seem like kindergarten stuff after the war I had to wage with these sleeves.

Should have a photo of the completed Buck Fifty by Wednesday.

I may post some photos and "tips" on that other Buck Fifty knitalong. Folks seem to be experiencing as much of a nightmare as I did.

I created a "type" of BLOG (http://www.knittedartwork.com/) tonight. It is not a daily diary thing...just a site where I can share my current WIP's and FO's with other knitters...without having to clog KH with photo upon photo...and having to re-type and re-type "knitting tips" and things. Although I may eventually offer some knits for sale...there is nothing of that kind at this time. I am still thinking that one through. Who wants to knit for money anyway? I knit out of :heart: love. I sell art for money.

04-09-2007, 06:21 AM
Those sleeves are gorgeous! You are an expert blocker I can tell.

To join the other knit along (and I think we could use help there as well), just email chef messy (the email is at the top of the knit along somewhere) and tell her you want to join. She will add your name. You do not have to have a blog.

Today is my last day of spring break, then it's back to those second graders. I will not get a lot of sweater knitting done for a few days. I also am taking 2 graduate classes online and have some projects due soon. I will be checking back to get moral support though.

04-09-2007, 02:43 PM
It's been slow going, but I finally finished the back. It is drying/blocking in the bedroom at the moment, and I am quite happy with it. I knitted the rev st st panels with needles 2 sizes smaller and there is virtually no puckering left! Next it's on to the left front. ArtLady, your sleeves look fabulous!!

04-09-2007, 05:02 PM
Hi Snugglebugmom! Great! Can you post photos soon!? :cheering:

I am happy that I was able to blaze a trail for you with regards to that puckering! :happydance:

Also, remember to tell us what yarn you used. I make a mental note of how different yarns knit up.

Everything in life is a learning curve....no matter how many paths you have walked! :teehee:

04-10-2007, 09:03 AM
Thanks for all your posts, everyone. I feel like I need all the help I can get on this one... I've got lots of questions and comments, but I'll try to keep it brief:

I'm using the yarn called for in the pattern, Reynolds Soft Linen in brown. Its nice and soft, and shows the stitch definition nicely, but it splits.

I'm using the bump-reducing method of changing needle sizes, to great success! Thanks! I'm using size 5 for most things and 7 for the lace, and I'm bump free so far! Thanks Artlady!!!!!! Genius!!!!

Ok... Sleeves... There has been much discussion about decreasing, and NONE that I can find on increasing! When/how are you supposed to increase? I am a pretty new knitter, (this is only my second sweater), but I don't get it. All the pattern says is "working new stitches into pattern". Well, wouldn't that throw off the delicate balance of stitch count that the lace pattern requires?

Also, everyone is saying how the sleeves are too long. How/when can I make them shorter?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I keep telling my husband that this sweater is going to get easier, but it hasn't so far!!!!


04-10-2007, 04:30 PM
Hi Liz!

I may be able to help you out on the increasing..and the sleeve length questions. After you read this Post, take a peek at my knitting website. I have a page devoted to the Dollar and a Half Cardigan. :pout: www.knittedartwork.com

I am only 5' tall...therefore, my arms are shorter as well! I always have to shorten the sleeve of any sweater. I can usually accomplish this by beginnning the armpits about an inch shorter than the pattern says. ("When the sleeve is _____inches total, cast off 3 at the beginning of the next two rows"...this signifies the beginning of the armpit and armhole).

But, as you have discovered...not so easy to just stop short when there is the "stripe factor" to factor in.

Here is my suggestion: shorten the sleeve by shortening that 4" cuff! The extra long cuff is cute...but not the cutest thing about the sweater. If something has to go...IMO, the extra long cuff can go. I wish I had thought of this BEFORE knitting up the the armpit of the first sleeve. :doh:

Here is a little tip that will help:
a) measure your "stripes" on the BACK: measure how 'tall' a lace stripe is, and how 'tall' a rev st st stripe is.
b) then measure your arm from wrist to armpit...mine is about 17"...so let's use that 17" measurement as an example:
c) the total number of "stripes" will measure about 15" total , added to a 2" cuff to equal the 17" to needed to reach the armpit
d) how many "stripe" sequences will you need to equal your sleeve length (with cuff) to the armpit?
e) you should be able to tweak the length of your cuff to accommodate full 12-row "stripes".

As for increasing (inc 1 at each end) the sleeves every 10th row "X" amount of times: Always maintain the edge stitch...that is the first and last stitch of every row (it is always "knit" on WS and/or RS) So, you can increase your 1 st by usng the "make 1" method and do this between the edge stitch and the 2nd stitch. Amy has a video on this website that shows you how to do the "make 1" increase method. If done right, it is almost invisible. Take extra notice on how to "lift" the yarn between the edge stitch and the 2nd stitch, and what it looks like before "knitting it".

Here is another factor that has to be taken into account when you are shortening sleeves: for a normal sleeve, if you follow the rows with the prescribed increases, by the time you get to the armpit you will have ____amount of stitches on the needle...let's say 82 stitches are now on the needle. By stopping short...you may only have 78! You didn't have time to get in all your increases. You need the width of those 82 stitches to accommodate your bicep. (unless you have very slender biceps!) So, I had to work my prescribed increases more often than every 10th row...so that by the time I stopped short I had my 82 stitches on the needle. Then proceed normally for the armhole shaping decreases.

Take a look at my website: I made one sleeve with the stripes and one sleeve with the cable & lace pattern to match the Right Front. I will sew the stripe sleeve to the Right (cable & lace) Side...and will sew the cable & lace sleeve to the striped Left Side.

To keep your lace pattern intact on the sleeves...and those added "increased" stitches....here is what to do: Lay down a "border" by putting a stitch marker just on the other side of the increases. Just plain knit or purl those extra stitches until you have about 3 of them built up. Within the 12 row lace pattern stripe, you can convert these 3 to "lace". (Of course, within the 12 row rev st st stripe...you just work them as rev st st.)
So here is how your row would lay out:
Knit the 1st "edge" stitch, inc 1 stitch, place a marker/ then work across the row/ place a marker, inc 1 stitch, knit the edge stitch at the end of the row. In "knit language" it would read: K1/m1/PM/work pattern across/PM/m1/K1.

I found it to be easier to work extra stitches into the lace pattern than to decrease within the lace pattern! Grrr.

Liz, this cardigan is not an easy project. It isn't you...it is the design and the inept "mystery instructions". I think the pattern is very poorly written. It is NOT a fun project, NOR is it remotely easy...even for me, an experienced knitter! After this cardigan...you will find every other cardigan a piece of cake. I have knit hundreds of cardigans and pullovers in my 36 years of knitting...and this Buck-Fifty cardigan has proved to be the least enjoyable and most annoying sweater I have ever knit! It is a royal "p.i.t.a."

I enjoy a challenging project...but this cardigan IMHO is not worth the work. If I had it to do over, I would NOT. That said, I am determined to finish it. I just hope I end up wearing it. :doh: I did a temporary "seaming" before blocking the sleeves...I seamed up the shoulders...and seamed in one sleeve...and did a "try on"...highly recommend you do the same...and my Buck-Fifty looked pretty good!

Please don't hesitate to ask for our continued help! Welcome aboard the Dollar Train! It is a rough ride! I almost crashed and burned! :thud:

Pehaps the going will be smoother for you! :happydance:

04-11-2007, 05:58 AM
I really appreciate the sleeve tutorial. Thanks!

I have only gotten about 17 inches of the back done. I have the cast on edge weighted (with river rocks, no less!) and the rest of the sweater back is hanging from a countertop. It hangs pretty well, no puffiness is apparent. When the piece is just lying flat, it looks kind of puffy. Therefore, I'm hoping when I wear it, it will not be weird.

I'm using size 6 for the sweater, but am doing 4 rows of the Rev St st with a size 5, also the first and last rows of the lace pattern. I'm using the Soft Linen. I really like the yarn a lot, and haven't had a lot of splittiness with the KP Options needles.

04-11-2007, 04:35 PM
Thank you so much for your help on the sleeves!!!!!

I spent some time pouring over your message and I think I have gotten the basic idea on the sleeve increases. I only had a little bit of time to knit so far today, but I was able to make 1 set of increases and they seemed to work, so I think I am on the right track. Heretofore I have just been knitting 1 sleeve alone, but I think I am going to play catch up and do the other one at the same time. It is too hard to count for the increases, etc to have to do it all over again!

I do realize that this is a pretty rediculous project to pick for my second sweater, but now I am committed. (I can never not finish something, how over achiever is that?) And I really do love the yarn, and ultimately, I love the sweater. I am really picky, and I know I like the way this will turn out, so I am going to stick with it.

Thanks again for your help. If you are not already a knitting teacher, you should be!


04-11-2007, 07:28 PM
Hi MMK and Lizking100!

If you only see a smidge of puffiness even when using two sizes smaller needle... that is ok. That is to be expected. However, before you seam your sweater, please "block" all 5 pieces. Here is how I block (without the advantage of blocking wires and blocking board, an investment I finally indulged in!):

Find a nice flat place to lay out your pieces. (a place where they can safely sit undisturbed for several days). I know this is a challenge for young women with children, or folks with cats. God bless 'em all! :heart:

Before I had the blocking board...I used my cardboard "gridded" seamstress cutting board. You know the one? You can get them at most places that sell fabric. Using this gridded cutting board, you will have to block in stages: the 2 fronts and a sleeve...then...the back and other sleeve. They won't all fit at one time.

I usually knit the BACK of any sweater first...get that onto the blocking board...while the BACK is drying...I knit the fronts...then while I am blocking the fronts..I knit the sleeves...while I am waiting for those...I start swatching another project! :teehee:

Pin your pieces all around the edges, making sure that measurements are right. Then, lay wet (not soppy, but wetter than damp) towels on all your pieces, and let them sit til bone dry. Make sure that you are using towels that have all the soap residue rinsed out!!! Some Detergents have bleaching action...so...wash your blocking towels with plain water and double rinse them. I use plain white terry for all my blocking. To be really safe...you could "block" your swatch first...to test the effect your towels have on the yarn.
Anyway, it is amazing how well this blocking method works! Even for yarn that is not supposed to respond to blocking (they say cotton doesn't)...blocking still puts a 'finished' look to the knitted stitches! It is amazing!

I have knit the sleeves at the same time, each one attached to its own ball of yarn. I wish I remembered to do that all the time! It just slips my mind! But you are absolutely correct! It elimintates any "increasing" ambiguity for the 2nd sleeve!

With the Dollar sleeves however...if you are going to be tweaking the pattern....you will also double your frogging and re-knitting! :verysad: Ugh. I frogged and re-knit my striped sleeve so many times.... :verysad:

:happydance: :happydance: :happydance: My Dollar is all seamed up now!!!! Did another try-on! It fits my body perfectly, and actually looks quite nice! I really can't believe that something has gone well! So after the try-on...I am blocking it again "as a whole unit"...with towels on top of the button bands especially...to "set the stitches". I also layed a few small terry towels on the armhole seaming...to "set the seams"...and on my Left Front "stripes" one more time to ease out any additional puckering. Not much remaining...but...while the other things are blocking...the Left Front might just as well get another shot. Happily, the sun :sun: is shining this afternoon...right onto my blocking board! This will speed things up a bit! :cheering:

Went up to Joann's to get buttons! My Joann's had 40% off all LaMode buttons! I loaded up on a lot of buttons for my 2007 knitting. I don't know if it was just an "in-store" special...but sometimes, certain specials at Joann's are nationwide specials!

04-12-2007, 08:16 PM

Thanks for the blocking thoughts. In the few projects I have done so far, I have realized the importance of careful blocking. My first sweater was a complete success due in large part to good blocking.

Question: why the damp towel method? I have been carefully wetting the piece, rolling gently between clean towels to remove the bulk of the moisture, and then laying out and pinning. Is your method better? Also, where did you get the blocking wires? Can you get them online?

Thanks! Post photos of your finished sweater soon!

04-12-2007, 08:34 PM
Hi Liz,

HERE (http://www.knitpicks.com/knitting+blocking+tools_AL300503.html) is a link to KnitPicks "Blocking Accessories". Their price is just about what you get anywhere. I have the wires and board that you see on their web page. They call the wires "lace blocking" wires...but...the wires work for all knitting. Just saves time in all that pinning! And, allows you to pull a garment uniformly wider if desired.

I do the damp towel thing because it is just easier to plop towels on top.
I know of other knitters who actually wet the garment and squeeze out the excess water. I just don't like how unmanageable knits are when they are "wet" wet. For example, when you actually come to having to launder/handwash the sweater. You have to work so hard to re-shape it, etc.

The damp towels work REALLY WELL. However, I would use your method if my knitting needed laundering first. Some folks say that their knitting gets kinda grimey...maybe from their hand oils, hand lotion, cats or babies in the house, etc. or, maybe because the garment took months and months to complete...and they have hauled it everywhere with them, on the bus, in the car, to the beach & parks, to work...etc.

Try my wet towel thing. You will save yourself some time I think!

04-13-2007, 09:14 AM
Wanna hear a great story?

So I have been so careful with ALL the details of this bloomin' sweater... lace shaping, etc etc, that I made one MAJOR error and just now noticed it!

I have not been doing reverse stockinette! I've just been doing regular!!!

Not that it really matters, potato - patato, but its funny how it has not even occured to me until now. Anyway, I like the way it looks so I am just going to continue in regular stockinette.

Thanks for the blocking tips!


04-13-2007, 04:24 PM
I think it will look just fine! Everyone I know has tweaked this pattern one way or another! Look at mine! I did the sleeves different! One is stripes, one is lace & cable!
Another gal who is participating in another Dollar Knitalong did both fronts the lace & cable! It looks just great! HERE (http://dollarandahalf.blogspot.com/) it is! It is the pink Dollar cardigan, posted April 7th. Scroll down a few posts.

Post photos for us here when you are done! :-)

I will be taking photos of my Dollar tomorrow if I have time. My weekends are crazy...I do art shows on the weekends. Sunday is church and our monthly Knitters Guild Meeting! Tonight I am going to a Fiber Festival with a knitting buddy! Doors open this afternoon, 4-6pm, for the yarn show! We are gonna be there at the doors! Marriott Hotel here we come! Then, dinner afterwards to hash over our "spoils"! :-)

:cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

04-14-2007, 01:19 PM

PS: It actually fits quite well. Something went right...

:cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

04-15-2007, 09:40 PM
It looks fabulous! congrats on finishing and thanks for the blocking tips.

04-15-2007, 11:23 PM
Looks good! I would love to see a picture of it on you...

04-17-2007, 06:30 PM
Gorgeous! I'm glad it fits well, and I think you did an amazing job!

04-26-2007, 07:31 AM
Is anyone else finished? I had to stop and finish up some class stuff for end of the semester, and then that darn STR sock kit came. I've been petting on that for a while, trying to decide if I can actually figure out how to knit socks on two circulars. I want some uninterrupted knitting time for the $1.50, I still think it's going to be a beautiful cardi if I can ever finish it!