I love this cardigan. The pattern is Honeybee Cardigan by Laura Chau. I’ve been reading Laura’s blog for quite some time. This is the first pattern of hers I’ve put to yarn, though I have purchased and look forward to making this awesome cowl sometime in the future.

As I mentioned in a previous post I had some issues with the sizing. I think this is mostly about the yarn, the Ella Rae Lace Merino (color 136), and less about the pattern, but it might have been some of both. Ella Rae stretches and grows when blocked more than any other yarn I’ve used. It feels delightful to knit with, and comes in a lovely array of colors. You should beware drastic changes in color even in the same dye lot, and you may want to alternate rows with multiple balls of yarn to avoid stark color changes. I did not do this on this cardigan, though I reknit the sleeves a couple of times to get the colors to be close. I started out making them two at a time (who wouldn’t?) and ended up ripping one and using the same ball for both, pulling from the outside in both cases, because even the inside and outside of the ball had a pretty decent difference in color.

The pattern is well-written overall. I had a small issue understanding something in the shoulder area, but I wrote Laura and she got back to me swiftly with clarification. I made a very minor change to the left shoulder. One the front of the shoulder I purled an additional row to make the yarn end up in the middle of the shoulder and so that the total number of shoulder rows on the right and left sides would match. I realize this is complete gibberish if you’re not knitting the pattern, but if you are and you are persnickety about details like I am sometimes, you might appreciate knowing this. When you’re making the shoulders on one side of the front you’ll have an extra row on one side, and the opposite on the back. This isn’t something that I think I’ll ever notice on the pattern, but I did obsessively look at shoulders on Ravelry pages for awhile.

I made the 33 inch size, though my current bust is nowhere near that size. I’m tellin’ ya, this yarn really stretches. The lace pattern itself is pretty stretchy too. I did not purposely make the sleeves longer than the pattern calls for, but they grew to that during blocking, and I’m totally ok with that.

I’m pretty fond of this little bee.

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