I swatched for the Ondrea Cardigan from my Spring 2013 line several months ago, but was putting off crunching the numbers until I felt like I had more brains available. And then, a week or so ago, I realized that that's never gonna happen, so I'd better just muddle through and trust in my math skills. So I cast on (twice) with a cone of Louet Gems Sportweight and got cracking at my knit group last week.
So far, I am pleasantly surprised.
The way the numbers came out, I had to put a cable repeat at the side seam, which I'm not super happy about, but I managed to do a little stitch trickery to make the cable continue as far as possible, despite the fact that its section was rapidly being decreased away. I felt very clever.
Once I had finished the waist decreases, I decided to wet-block the piece to see if everything was working. And had a moment of panic when I measured the blocked piece at 11" across the hem. I'm going for between no ease and 2" of ease. My hips are about 40". The sweater was working out to be 44" at the hip - yikes!
Luckily, my swatch did not lie. After a day or so of being handled, the front piece relaxed to 10" and I breathed a sigh of relief. The sweater will be worn, not hermetically sealed in a drawer somewhere, so it's natural that the fabric in the in-progress sweater pieces would behave as it will when it's being actively worn. So actually, I'm spot on! Hooray.
I had grand plans that this sweater would be finished by the end of the year - I doubt that's going to happen, but a girl can dream (and knit her little fingers off)?