The Urban Aran Cardigan
Here it is, the post you've been waiting for. the big unveiling. it is with great pride and excitement that i give you ... the urban aran cardigan.
Extensive Modifications: the most obvious alteration - i made it into a cardigan. The original pattern is written for a regular sweater. because i get hot very *very* easily, cardigans make more sense. not to mention they're stylish (in my opinion). and come on, this pattern is just begging to become a cardigan - the symmetry. the center panel. i think the first time i saw it, i was surprised that it wasn't a cardigan. i split the front panel into two pieces (worked at the same time for accuracy's sake) adding a 2 stitch selvage to both sides, with a slipped stitch border for camouflaging the zipper sewing. i wanted to give myself a new challenge - adding a zipper was a great learning experience. i treat the sweater more as a jacket now anyway. other modifications - added length to the pattern and changed most of the proportions/measurements, as they are written for female sizes. i increased the length of the sleeves to match my own personal preferences, ending at the knuckles. because of the ribbing and sleeve length, the cuffs can be rolled up (helpful if i'm at work, or knitting) and still look great! I added overall body length to add to the "jacketness."
I ended up rewriting the collar portion of the pattern, adding strategic p2tog decreases to follow the shaping from the shoulders to the neck, since the collar is picked up at a pretty shallow point. i also 'stopped down' (photography terminology, although i think fits the context) 2 needle sizes to stiffen the collar and make it more shapely. it worked very nicely. although the zipper was always in the cards, I had an epiphany and decided on a last minute whim to furnish the sweater with a 2-way zipper. this is my favorite part of the whole thing! for one thing, because i am sewing an inelastic zipper onto an elastic knitted fabric (the thought of which already makes me cringe), the 2 way zipper is a perfect way to help these things work together. when i'm sitting or crouching, i raise the bottom zipper and alleviate major (negative) tension, stretching, warping and puckering on the bottom half of the sweater. over time, i think this will preserve the fit and quality. also, the dual zipper action helps me more precisely control the ventilation and temperature. very important. oh yeah, and it looks pretty cool i think. yes. really digging the zipper solution.
final thoughts: this sweater is awesome. its a quick knit (20 days!), and an instant comfortable addition to the collection. i'm a big fan of lounging around in my apartment (always with coffee and yarn) and this sweater fits that bill pretty well. the yarn softened up a lot in eucalan, and because of the cabling and ribbing, you get a lofty and thick piece that isn't overdone. what can i say? i'm happy with it. i'm wearing it right now... probably won't take it off till i have to. and i can't complain, because i beat the heat! (the recent spell of gloom and rain has never been more welcome.) thanks for all the support throughout..... now go make one of these!