One of the great things about making mistakes (she says, only vaguely believing it), is that you may inadvertently learn something that would otherwise have come to you along a much circuitous route. And by you, I mean me. Though I welcome you to come along.
Such is the case with the Wispy Cardigan (that I'm about to finish in a size small). It's an ingenious design which, I'm fairly sure, has a drafting issue in the sleeves and back shoulders. I say fairly sure because I have only slightly more knitting experience than your average polar bear, so I very much welcome any more informed perspectives. But you know how I love to immerse myself in the learning of these patterns (working with a teacher, having just done a knit shaping course online, and having read a bunch) and I suspect that what makes the cardi so intriguing is what's leading to the gap-iness across the back at the shoulders.
In addition to the gap mentioned above, and note that I got gauge on a pre-knitting swatch, the sleeves are way to wide and floppy for either my tastes or my arms. Were I ever to make this again - and the jury is out - I would def resize the sleeves substantively. Maybe I'd knit the extra small in sleeves moving to the small in the body. Note: Having taken the Craftsy course, I now know how to use gauge to resize arm circumference exactly - presuming I can verify the amount of built-in ease. So I could also get hyper mathy on this pattern's ass.
Or, I might just move on to the next knit objet, taking from this what I can and will.
Which brings me to the most useful thing I can and will take from this project - a thing I only learned now because I accidentally used the wrong needle size on a brief section of the sweater (the part after the ribbing on the back that also includes 2, almost imperceptible, triangular flaps produced by what they call "short rows")*
At this time - and possibly for a long time to come - my eye prefers the look of rather slim fingering weight yarns (i.e. 4 ply or sock weight) knit on rather slim needles (size US 4 or 3.25 mm). They are neither the slimmest of yarns nor the slimmest of needles, but when you put them both together they produce a slender, tight knit. Nothing bulky. Nothing "open".
I have nothing against bulk or open weave for those who like them. But given my shape and my style, they aren't optimal. Furthermore, both bulk and larger and/or more open stitches say, to me, "knit with love by hand". While I appear to love knitting by hand, somehow I don't want my garment to tell that tale.
This opens up the floor to my first of a few questions in this post: Do any of you have an optimal yarn weight / needle size combo, or one that you return to again and again? Sub question: Do you have feelings about bulk or open weave (or tight weave for that matter)?
If you've already followed the asterisk, above, down to the bottom of the page you will have noted that my knitting teacher was completely nonplussed by the needle size error and suggested (truly) that it would all come out in the wash. More specifically, she said that wet blocking would fix it. You may recall blocking from one of my previous posts - or, if a knitter, no doubt you are already very familiar with the practice.
Thing about this sweater is that, in order to try to tighten it up slightly, the proposed "blocking" technique is to throw it in the washer and dryer. Just writing that sentence made me nervous. Note: The wool/silk blend is made for socks and is apparently designed to be cleaned in this ultra-practical fashion.
This leads me to Question 2: Has anyone else used Chloe & Spud fine sock yarn and put it through the washer/dryer? If yes, did you remove it from the dryer when damp and block - and did it work as it's supposed to? Did anyone dry it full on and was there any shrink factor? If it went wonky, pls. advise! Or if you've worked with other yarn, designed to wash and dry, what has been your experience?
The way this sweater is knit, any blocking must occur after full assembly; there's not much assembly and it occurs mid-way through the project. Even were I to forgo putting it in the washer/dryer (if your advice came back that way), I don't know that regular wet blocking would work - and I'm damn sure it isn't going to slim up the wide sleeve circumference issue.
* Yes, this traumatizes me but my knowledgeable knitting teacher said it would block out and not be noticeable. I wonder if this counts when one intends to block by throwing the garment in the washer and dryer - as the yarn instructions advise is acceptable.