This might have been the fastest thing I've ever knit. I cast on sometime on a Friday morning and I was wearing it Saturday afternoon.
It's the Belle Cardigan from Interweave Knits Fall 2007. While not the most wearable garment, I'm happy with how it came out with some modifications.
Most Wenlan Chia patterns are notorious for their lack of pattern editing, mistakes and miserably vague instructions- they just don't seem like a real knitter sat down and worked things out. This one made much more sense...I'm thinking that the editors at Interweave went to work on it. The instructions were clear and concise.
I made the 29.5 inch size. That seems impossibly tiny, but this does stretch quite a bit and the two halves don't meet in the middle. It's meant to be a bit curve-hugging.
Some mods: The entire thing is written in reverse stockinette stitch (purl-side showing). I think that adds bulk, and I don't personally need that, so I reversed the whole garment. I also left the patch pockets out...I don't need more super-bulk yarn at the point of my waist where I need less bulk. Besides, I loathe useless pockets. The sleeves are supposed to be big and blousey. I just went down to the instructions for the small size to make them more fitted- yarn this chunky doesn't flow and drape, so the blousey looks more like arm-fat underhang. The only other thing I wish I would have done is to knit the sleeves in the round. The seams are grand-canyon big.
It fits kind of weird in the end...I keep trying to push my boobs down so they are covered by the edge of the cardi. It seems a bit odd to have something on that isn't covering you boobs. It will be a nice cover-up for a dress or a plain tight-fighting top. Since it's merino, there's no itch so it's comfortable on bare arms. I did have a rather epic struggle trying to put a coat over this- the sleeves ended up riding all the way up to my armpits and with the overcoat on, it looked like I was about to go out and play football.
The specs: I used all of 4 skeins (348 yards) of Rowan Big Wool in charcoal, which is too bad because I was trying to use up the 5 skeins that I owned. The body was knit on size US 17 needles, and the ribbing was done on US 15.