Friday, June 29, 2012

FO Friday: The Modified Beatnik

My level of excitement about this sweater is probably a little strange and slightly embarrassing, but after only completing my first sweater this past winter, I'm so happy my attempt at modification didn't end up a complete disaster. Instead, I see myself wearing this thing ALL the time this winter when it gets cold (and not a day like yesterday when it was 70-something degrees out - hence the shorts).

The first thing I want to say is how much I loved this pattern. It was incredibly easy to follow but the cables make it look complicated. It kept my attention the whole time and the fact that I was able to modify it successfully means to me that it is great for everyone of every size and every style. Of course, I could have just looked at the over 600 projects on ravelry to figure that out.

Pattern: Beatnik by Norah Gaughan
Project Page: The Modified Beatnik
Size knit: Small

Things I Would Have Done Differently:
1. Picked up the sleeves and knit them in the round. I'm not completely happy with my sleeve seams
2. Knit the sleeves using the size XS. I feel like it's a little too loose around my upper arms.

I took copious notes throughout the process of knitting this, especially as I think I would like to do this again with another pullover sweater pattern.

1. I knit the back exactly as written.

2. I lengthened the sleeves to make them full length. I knit them both at once on the same needles as I knew I would probably suffer from the 'second-sleeve syndrome.' (I've only heard this applied as the 'second-sock syndrome,' but I think it works just fine here as well). I also knit the sleeves after I knit the back and before I knit the front. I really hate knitting sleeves so I knew I better not save them for last.

3. Left front:
- Cast on 45 stitches
- Twisted 1x1 rib for 2.5 inches as in pattern
- P12, [m1p, p3] 10 times, P12 (55 stitches)
I used the horseshoe lace chart from the original pattern (25 stitches), then added a 4-stranded cable (18 stitches). The remaining 12 stitches were the moss stitch "buffer" (as I found myself calling it)
- Work 12 stitches in moss stitch, place marker. Work Row 1 of Chart A, Place marker. Work Row 1 of 4-strand cable.

4-Strand Cable Pattern:
Row 1: P1, K2, P4, K4, P4, K2, P1
Row 2: K1, P2, K4, P4, K4, P2, K1
Row 3: P1, C4FPK, C4B, C4F, C4BKP, P1
Row 4: K3, P12, K3
Row 5: P3, C4B, K4, C4F, P3
Row 6: K3, P12, K3
Row 7: P1, C4BKP, C4FPK, C4BKP, C4FPK, P1
Row 8: K1, P2, K4, P4, K4, P2, K1
Row 9: P1, K2, P4, C4F, P4, K2, P1

C4F: Slip two stitches onto cable needle and hold in front of work, knit two, knit two from cable needle.
C4B: Slip two stitches onto cable needle and hold in back of work, knit two, knit two from cable needle.
C4FPK: Slip two stitches onto cable needle and hold in front of work, purl 2, knit two from cable needle
C4BKP: Slip two stitches on cable needle and hold in back of work, knit 2, purl two from cable needle.

***SUPER IMPORTANT NOTE*** When working in pattern, ONLY repeat rows 2 - 9 of 4-strand pattern***SUPER IMPORTANT NOTE***

- Work in pattern for back until 15.5 inches from beginning (or however long your selected size says to knit until), only doing waist decreases and increases on the moss-stitch side of the work. DO NOT k2tog or make ANY stitches on the side that will be the center of the cardigan.

***Armhold shaping and vneck shaping are done at the same time***

- Follow pattern for armhold shaping.
- For neck shaping, follow pattern until last four stitches, k2tog, k2 on right side. On wrong side, P2, P2tog.
- Continue with neck decreases until there are 26 stitches left on the needle. From there, follow JUST the shoulder bind off direction from the pattern for the BACK. Don't go past where it says you have to break the yarn. That is the shaping for the original pullover neckline, which we are NOT doing.

***The original pattern for the FRONT is NOT used AT ALL in this modification***

4. Right Front
- The process is the same as for the left front, except the moss stitch will be done last in the set up row, instead of first.

5. I blocked this sweater quite aggressively, as it was made with an acrylic blend. I also wanted it to be a bit of a slouchy sweater rather than a form-fitting one, and blocked it to a little bit bigger measurements than the pattern gave.

- I did not write down what I did to continue the 4-strand pattern through the decreases. I just went with it and you'll notice each side is a little different. My advice is to keep doing as much of the pattern as possible as you start decreasing, and when you're using a cable needle, cross stitches before you bind them off.
- When sewing should seams, try to line up the cables so it seems like they continue down the back
- TAKE YOUR TIME WITH SEWING SEAMS. I'm someone who always get frustrated and just tries to fly through it and then messes up royally. (See: Basic Black Sweater post)

You can see my button band tutorial here.

And please, if you have any questions do not be afraid to ask. I hope some of you will try to modify this as well! My directions are for the small size but the moss stitch 'buffer' makes it really easy to add or decrease width.

I just wish it was sunny when I took these pictures... perhaps there will be a reshoot first sunny day :)


  1. That's gorgeous! I might take you at your word that it's easier than it looks and give that a go. :)

  2. This is so amazing that I'm thinking about frogging mine right now and starting over following your instructions. Seriously, you are a genius for modifying it this way and I wish I had your skills!

  3. This sweater is gorgeous! I love the cable work and the color!

  4. Thanks so much! And I hope you do try! If you have any questions please let me know.

  5. Haha thank you so much! It really was a lot of luck that it worked out! Yours is just as beautiful, though! I don't think yours needs any modification, but if you do let me know of any way I can help.

  6. Beautiful finished object! Congratulations on your second sweater!

  7. beautiful!! you did a fantastic job on your modification, looks amazing.

  8. Thanks so much! All of the mod mondays of other knitter's modifications on your blog definitely added some inspiration!

  9. [...] really, really enjoyed this pattern. After all the work my Beatnik took, this was a relaxing knit. I also think I have found my go-to cotton blend yarn. Plymouth [...]

  10. this is a gorgeous cardy! I'm going to follow your mods ~ thanks for the inspiration :)

  11. Yay and thank you! Good luck and let me know if you need any help! :)