The Making of a Queen

It's no longer an empty threat, my friends:  I have yarn, and I'm not afraid to use it.

What you see here is two sleeves (being worked together), which are the beginning of your long-awaited Queen Bee cardigan.  

The Making 2.jpg

Here's a profile shot, in which you can see one of the steeks, with a sleeve growing on either side of it.  Those who have made this sweater in the baby version (The Bees Knees) will notice that I have added a skep motif to the border.  That's because I decided that the original proportions of the sweater were perfect for a Smally to wear, which means they are not right for an adult.  I needed to make the scale more, well, Queenly.  Which feels right to me so far.

And why, you might ask, would I start with the sleeves?  Because I've knit this motif before, and I've used this yarn before, but this is the first time the two have really met.  It's actually my gauge swatch, in addition to  being my first pass at the newly-enhanced Bee border.  I wanted to make a swatch which stood some chance of becoming part of the sweater, and my steeked cardigans only contain 2 knitted pieces (that's right: a cardigan sweater made from 2 tubes: how sexy is that?).  So it was either the conjoined sleeve unit, which starts out with 132 sts, or the main body tube, which begins with 336.  Even I can figure out that kind of math.  Sleeves it is!

The Making 3.jpg

And of course you will want to know what yarn this is:  Blue Moon FIber Arts BFL Sport.  I'm using (clockwise, from top left) "Saffron Surprise", "Chestnutty", "Harriet", and "Mossay".  They are playing very well together so far.  I can't wait to see what happens next.

After a whole year of working on Top Secret book projects, I can't tell you what a relief it is to be able to openly tell you all about what I'm working on!  I also thought it might be fun for those of you who go on to make this design, to see what I was thinking as I worked on the original.  I don't know about you, but I always wonder "What were they thinking?" when I knit another designer's pattern.  At least in this one case, you'll know!

And speaking of what I'm thinking, here's a word on the sizing of this piece:  The nature of the big (30 sts!) motif repeat presents certain sizing constraints, but so far it looks like the sizes in the pattern will be something like (finished measurements)  40", 43", 47", and 50".  If the size you've been hoping to make falls outside that range (smaller or larger), drop me a line or post a comment, won't you?  This is your chance to help me get the size range right (if possible). 

Can you believe it?  I've been promising knitters that I would tackle this project for over two years, and it's finally happening!  Bust out the honey, my Queens.  It's gonna be SWEET.