Over a year ago my sister gave me a bag full of yarn. Awesome stuff, too. And it continued to sit in it’s bag, next to the gorgeous yarn I picked up at Stitches West in 2010. Some of that yarn was finally used to make my beautiful Favorite Sweater. After finishing my Favorite Sweater and still being on a knitting binge, I searched through Ravelry‘s free patterns until I finally found something I liked that used the bulky alpaca my sister gave me. That’s how I came to make the Shalom Cardigan.
I am a short woman, being completely honest here. So I scoured the reviews of the Shalom Cardigan patterns to add sleeves and to shorten the body. I learned that if each of the three sections of twisted ribbing before the split for the sleeves was shortened by two rounds the body would be short enough for me. Adding sleeves was easy enough and I also included some waist shaping as well as button holes the whole way down so I can close the sweater all the way.
I like the sweaters that close only at the top but honestly, unless one is a waif or really dresses well, it makes us look dumpy. Also, I lost a bunch of weight and want to show off, so my sweater buttons all the way down. Once I sew on the buttons, that is.
The great thing about alpaca is that it’s super warm. Also, while I was told that it would stretch, it has not. However, I think it is a wool blend, so it actually felted a little bit and shrunk up when I washed it. I did add some more to the sleeves after I washed it because they became too short. I have found that the yarn sheds a lot. I look a bit like a line backer in it and the yarn under the arm makes little fuzzballs. I pull off a lot of fuzzballs, mostly at work no less.
I actually have enough yarn left to make this sweater again, because I required less yarn than required when shortening the body. If I made it again without sleeves I would be able to make a tunic!
I have also made a shawl, so I’ll be posting on that.
In other news, my school district is cutting its art program, so I will soon be without a job. I am not sure where my life is going, I really thought I was going to be married this December but that has also changed. My life is about to really go into a flux and while I don’t enjoy that and spent the weekend freaking out over it, at this point I am feeling rather ambivalent. That may be because I still have a month and a half of work and I know I can go on unemployment if necessary but more than that I’ve been so stressed out about all of this for long enough and then I lost my grandfather, which was okay because he had been waiting for a while to go and wasn’t happy about being here, but the stress of organizing a funeral and family and then the job and the relationship status change and then oral surgery, wow, it’s been a lot. If you have read this whole thing, thank you. What I have started to do is to try to focus on putting my faith on God and recognizing that I am obviously not in control of the all the tings that happen in my life. I have control over what I eat and things of that nature but there is so, so much that I really have no control over. I’m trying to learn to live with that, it goes against my nature.