WIP: Banana Tree Cardigan

I knit a modified version of the Banana Tree cardigan in Dec 2010.

The banana tree leaf pattern needs a simple yarn, not a textured yarn…
(like the yarn I was determined to use back in 2010!).

But I always wanted to knit this cardigan again, just like it was supposed to be knit, no changes to the pattern stitch along the Front edges! It’s a cute casual sweater, no frills…with the exception of the banana tree leaves running up the front edges. Love those banana tree leaves!

So here it is, mid-2012…I finally found a yarn (and color) that calls to me for the Banana Tree!

It’s a FREE pattern.

The body is cast on in one wide piece (not in 3 pieces for both fronts and the back, which I prefer), but I couldn’t figure out the cast on numbers (math) to knit it in pieces…so I gave in…and cast on 235 stitches. Bah.

It’s slow going, let me tell ya! I’m making headway. The body is up to 11"…with 3 inches to go before I bind off for the armholes and begin working the upper body for the back, and two fronts, separately. Oh I can hardly wait for that!

Yes, I’ll bind off for armholes when the body is 14" rather than the pattern 16". I want to allow for the growth I think will occur when I block it, using the full soak blocking. I don’t want this cardigan to resemble a short bathrobe.

This yarn is knitting up wonky. That is to say…the V shape of the knits from the RS are icky. One leg might be lopsided. :doh: But I noticed that stretching the work this way and that will ‘right’ the knit stitches. So I am certain the full-on full-soak blocking will be needed to shape up the look of the knits. I had success with this with a cotton baby set I knit several years ago. The yarn was cotton, and although folks say you can’t block cotton, or don’t need to, I beg to differ. You can use blocking to accomplish numerous goals.

Here is my progress:

[B]See the banana tree leaves? [/B]

[B]Below: [/B]see how those 4 knits (of the faux ribbing) are wonky in places?
Well this drives me absolutely insane. I’ll not rest til it’s fixed. :eyes:

My Ravelry notes

The twist in some yarns (the way its spun?) can cause that in one leg of the stitch, but in only one stitch…? Dunno. That’s great that it blocks out. And it’s gorgeous!! :inlove:

I think you’re right. I believe I’ve read that. Single ply yarns are susceptible to wonky knit stitches, too. I don’t know if there exists a preventative technique for this annoying little hitch.

Nothing I’ve tried with this yellow yarn has prevented that wonky leg from gumming up the field of K4’s. I just keep plodding along, sometimes stopping to “right” a few legs with my dpn.

I’m mollifed in the knowledge that aggressive blocking will remedy the crazy knit stitches.

The Banana Tree looks beautiful in progress, elegant stitch markers and all. Perfect color yarn for this sweater. Wonky stitches have met their match!

It is going to be beautiful and the color is to die for. Drives me nuts when yarns don’t do what you want them to do.

Your stitches don’t seem wonky at all to me, looks lovely as always, can’t wait to see your finished product!! :slight_smile:

Beautiful! I love the banana leaves.

But OMG… 235 stitches in each row… each row must feel like a career.

It’s looking really nice and I bet your blocking will take care of the leg weirdness on those stitches just fine.

You can say that again! What makes it worse…if you make a mistake in the banana tree leaf chart, with ‘work’ on RS & WS, it’s almost impossible to fix…and imagine the depressing thought of frogging or tinking 235st rows!

Therefore, you must go real slow when you knit the 16 st charted sections at each Front edge!

The pattern called for a very vexatious thing (which I tried and failed at with my 2010 Banana Tree Cardigan): [B]on the very first row after casting on, start the first charted section with it’s row 1, but at the end of the first row, start with row 7 for second charted section. Bah![/B]

The chart is 12 rows tall. What a juggling act! You essentially have four balls in the air at all times! Keeping track of where you’re at is very aggravating, [B]for very little, if any, benefit![/B]

So I did myself a favor and worked the charted areas starting with Chart row 1 on each end of each long long row.

You’re so right about each row seems like a career! :teehee:

Jeepers… yeah. I was about at the end of my tolerance when I was trying to tink just one row, half that long . Epic fail on my part. It was a k3 p3 and I was really making a mess of it :doh: Ended up running a lifeline a few rows down and biting the bullet and frogging it back. I can only shudder at the thought of trying to follow (much less reverse) your banana leaf rows :noway:

looks beautiful as always

[QUOTE=ArtLady1981;1353169]You can say that again! What makes it worse…if you make a mistake in the banana tree leaf chart, with ‘work’ on RS & WS, it’s almost impossible to fix…and imagine the depressing thought of frogging or tinking 235st rows!

I don’t even want to imagine that! Anyway, I think that it’s looking great–even before blocking out the wonky stitches! I love the color, too. The pattern is just beautiful!

Lovely color and gorgeous design. I hope the wonkiness will right itself after a good submersion and blocking. You’re well on your way to a great looking cardi. Can’t wait to see it “on”!

The body is done! Oy vey! Knitting in hot weather is very tedious, isn’t it?

The body used 848 yds of my yarn.

I omitted 2" prior to the arrmhole shaping and bindoffs. Sure glad I did that!

Last night, I clipped the shoulders and back neck extension together…and had a try-on in the bathroom mirror. holds breath… :pray:…drum roll…

It fit perfectly. Even if it stretches lengthwise during blocking, it will still be a nice length. I dodged a bullet with my decision to shorten the body by 2". It looks much sportier, casual.

The hem is rolling, but from my experience with the first Banana Tree, it will lay down after blocking. It might roll a teensy bit, but not as radically as it is when I let it run wild.

Gorgeous! I can only imagine what the finished project will look like, considering how lovely it looks unfinished.

[B]Aug 6 blocking:[/B]
So I was freaked out that when this gets fully soaked…it would[I] grow and grow[/I]. So here’s what I did before soaking it: I laid it out on the gridded blocking table. I didn’t tug and pull the garment. I just laid it out, gently coaxing it out. Then I pinned it all around the outline of the garment, not in the knitting, but just outside of it. This forms a ‘body image’ with pins. Then, I lift out the garment and take it to the blocking bath.

When it was fully soaked (Unicorn Fiber Wash, then Unicorn Fiber Rinse) I rolled it gently in thirsty bath towels, and laid it out inside the ‘body image’ on my blocking board. If since it has grown into a monstrous size, I coaxed it back into its original size. I’ve done this before, and it is a marvelous technique! (the coaxing is smushing it with the palms of your hands, this way and that, plucking it up a bit in areas, then dropping it, and smushing it some more…all with a view to settling the stitches back into a smaller conformation)

But remember, you have to commit to this ‘pinned body image outline’ technique BEFORE you soak your garment! When it’s wet, it’s too late.

Edited to add:

[B]Really glad I laid out the ‘body image’ outline with pins![/B] The body was [I]very stretched out,[/I] mostly due to the unwieldy ‘total body in one piece’ factor.

It responded well to coaxing. Really happy that the exaggerated rolled hemline tamed down when wet! yay!

it will be a very pretty cardigan!!!

It’s looking [I]great[/I], ArtLady!

Thanks, Antares!

The body is all blocked and dry, and shoulders seamed, neckband seamed to the back neck! It’s fitting perfectly, widthwise and lengthwise!

But I’m worried about the sleeves. I mock-seamed one (unblocked) sleeve to the body, and had a try-on. The sleeves seem a bit too roomy. Ugh.

I’m going forward with the blocking anyway, thinking I might pull the sleeve down , and by lengthening it by two inches will diminish the width. Hope hope.

Of course, that will mean my sleeves will be TOO LONG, but I’ll either hem them, roll them, or cut them off using a technique I learned about from a KAL at Ravelry.

Stay tuned. :pout: