LOVE this cardigan. I can’t button it over my big belly, but I think it will fit my non-pregnant self quite well. My parents visited Mexico a couple of weeks ago and my mom modeled for these photos before trying to steal the cardigan. While home in Ohio my Grandma tried to steal it too…so its appeal is at least universal with the women in my family.
I bought two big hanks of undyed 100% merino yarn at Reinbeck years ago because it was soft and extremely affordable ($13.50 for 1322 yards). It sat undyed for a long while until skeinnydipping turned it into a gorgeous green/gray/blue.
Here’s the link to its ravelry page and below are some notes on construction:
Needle, Gauge, and Sizing: The yarn was thinner than that suggested by the pattern, so I used sz. 6 & 4 needles instead of 7 & 5. After checking gauge and doing the math, it looked like I should knit a Large to get something more like a finished Small. However, I noticed that most of the FOs in the photos were on the fitted side. Some users commented on how their FO turned out smaller than expected, and I wanted more of a menswear fit, so I ended up knitting the XL.
Shaping: My (nonpregnant) hips and waist sizes are about the same, so I omitted the waist shaping entirely.
Pockets: I thought the pocket size was a little tiny, especially with my smaller needle size. I wanted something functional, not just decorative, so mine are 28 sts wide (not 19) and 24 rows tall.
Collar: The pattern calls for attaching the front button bands and then knitting the collar. This creates a visible seam if your collar is lying open. I chose to knit the button bands with a provisional cast-on, attach them to the front, and then integrate their cast-on stitches into the picked-up collar stitches. You can see in the photos that this results in an invisible seam…definitely worth the effort I think.
Sleeves: Before knitting your sleeves, run the numbers and compare against your own measurements. Several other knitters have said their sleeves were too snug, and when I did the calculations I could see that they would’ve been too small for me too (I’d say my arms are normal size). For my reworked sleeves:
CO 48 sts
increased 2 sts every 12 rows until 56 total sts
increased 2 sts every 6 rows until 72 total sts
increased 2 sts every 12 rows until 78 total sts
BO 13 each side
decrease each side of every RS row until 33 sts
decrease every row until 13 total sts
This is what nice ladies on buses have asked me for the past month. When I responded I was knitting a sweater for myself, not the baby, their eager smiles faded a little. Perhaps in disappointment at a missed opportunity to ooh/ahh over itty bitty baby knits? Or disapproval over the decision to spend pregnancy days knitting for me?
Ehh, well, the sweater is all blocked and seamed now. And I LOVE it. No finished pictures yet, but that’s because my intended photography day was ruined by a horrible morning at Immigration. I’d been warned about Mexican bureaucracy, but this has reached new levels. I was only able to eat ice cream and take a nap. Photos of the finished sweater soon.
I will now make inquisitive Mexican ladies much happier with the next two projects: a baby quilt AND a baby blanket.
The quilt is what I started in Boston. I learned about the baby right as I was running out of crafting time to expand on the above, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make something small and stroller-sized. I pinned the layers in Ohio and brought it to Mexico, then stalled over the stitch pattern. After an inspiring craft-themed gchat with an old friend some ideas started rolling, and that night I got out of bed in the wee hours to sketch this:
It’s like a fractal mix of radial and concentric. Kind of art deco?
The blanket is the Purl Bee Fluffy Brioche blanket, knit up in 10.5 with some chunky light gray cotton/wool that I bought in bulk at a WEBS sale. After the fussy cables and smaller needles of the cardigan, it’s so fun to breeze along on a big chunky knit project.
But lest the Mexican ladies get too excited, when I went online to find the blanket pattern I couldn’t help but notice Purl Bee’s new City Cape pattern. Hmm…very tempting.
Today I am struggling with what I’ll call “the ghost of the better knitting pattern.” It’s a powerful nagging shadow that haunts nearly all of my projects, appearing about 75% of the way in and lingering until the end. In the beginning it manifests as seemingly practical questions: Do I already own too many cardigans?; What could I wear this sweater with?; and Is this the best use of this yarn? If things are really bad, I start cheating on the pattern before the garment is even done…running searches on ravelry and comparing. Sometimes when the piece is done I love it after all. Sometimes not.
Yesterday I got to the last seam in the Vignette Cardigan and the ghost was telling me to frog it. I went to sleep thinking about it, woke up thinking about it, tried it on again:
: and ultimately decided to not decide for a while.
The pattern I was cheating on Vignette with is this:
The Vignette is a cute sweater. The pattern’s well written and there’s nothing obviously wrong with the fit or size of what I made. But I forgot how much fitted wool sweater sleeves make my armpits sweat. For real! That’s why I had to give Neulottu Naisen Jakku to momser who is always cold. And sadly, it’s why I made need to unravel sweet little Vignette and turn it into something else.
For now I’ll set it aside and work on one of those poncho patterns.
Today is Super Bowl Sunday but unlike the rest of New England, we might not watch the game. Whether we do end up watching football or International House Hunters (my new favorite…I’m inspired by all the people picking up and moving to provincial France), I’m going to be working on the sleeves for my vignette cardigan.
The pattern is easy to follow and has clever details. I don’t have much torso curve, so I removed some of the hip and waist shaping, and I don’t think I’m going to flare the sleeves. It’s too bad the di.Ve Zenith yarn was discontinued – it’s soft and squishy and has great stitch definition.
I took a barefoot walk around the block tonight with Samson and Read. In shorts. I can’t believe how hot and muggy it’s stayed. But while the weather says summer, knitty just released their deep fall issue. Some of my favorites, starting in the upper left and going clockwise: Apsis Dorsata, Vignette, Callette, and Mortar.
This weekend I cast on Vignette, and so far have just a few inches of the back panel. The yarn – di’VE Zenith – is something I bought by the bag in the Webs warehouse, and it’s now discontinued. The yarn splits if you’re not careful, but the bounce and subtle sheen of it is really nice. I got this piece wet just to see how much it would stretch…seems okay.
latest pictures of my snowbird cardigan. I don’t think I’m going to add the pockets. I’m also going to stop increases on the front pieces so that they don’t overlap.
snowbird cardigan, WIP back
snowbird cardigan, WIP back
snowbird cardigan, seam detail
Read and I are moving to Boston this summer, so I have good reason to make more sweaters. If this pattern turns out, I might make one in dark charcoal gray. I’ve had a hand-me-down charcoal gray cardigan since college, and recently I noticed that odors are lingering in it…even after washing. It’s 100% acrylic so I think that’s the issue ?? I’ve given it a lot of use for almost a decade, so I think it’s time to replace it.