My big project over the last three months was Milena. This is a cardigan I had chosen as my Nerd Wars dissertation project, the challenge which asks you to choose a large project that would take about three months. Since this would be my very first “for me” sweater, and I’m very new to lace and sweaters in general, I thought this would be a good challenge.
Let’s chat about the pattern first. This is not meant for a beginner. If you have never knit a sweater before, and you are looking for adventure, you’ve found it!
There is no gauge recommendation nor is there a schematics of any kind. The sizing given is a European 34, which is a petite, but that is all we have to go on. I had hoped that with my loose knitting and by adding a couple of inches to the length and width that I might have it fit, but no such luck.
Other issues exist in the pattern. I’m pretty sure this was written just as the designer’s personal notes, and the instructions for lace aren’t clear. It states a 10 stitch lace designation, but the lace pattern is only 4 stitches wide, resulting in two and a half repeats. Instead of this, I added a purl stitch on either side of the lace.
It may also be a translation issue (the original pattern is written in Polish, scroll down for the English translation), but when the designer says “knit”, I understand it to mean “stockinette stitch”; i.e. purl the appropriate stitches. This is the standard for the whole sweater.
Sleeves were a little bit of issue, again there was a 4 stitch rib that was uneven, resulting in an uneven rib. I ended up with a portion of 4 knit stitches in between a 2×2 rib. I recommend picking up an extra two stitches on the armholes to fix this issue; there certainly is room to do so.
Positives on this pattern: it is so pretty! And aside from the few issues I had with sizing and understanding the pattern, it worked up very quickly. An experienced knitter will have no problem with this pattern.
I learned so much from knitting this. I learned a TON about sizing, and now understand where to put my measurements in the pattern.
I learned how to knit button holes!!
I learned how to properly pick up stitches, as there is no seaming on this sweater.
I learned I have no idea how to knit in the round a small number of stitches on a circular needle (my dpns saved the day on those sleeves!).
Finally, I learned that I really enjoy the process of sweaters like this. I am still considering re-knitting this one for myself, because I really really really want one, but I may have to do that far into the future.
And for those keeping track at home, I finished this 4 days before the dissertation deadline. 😀