Pattern: Blooming Cardigan by Sarah Hoadley, Winter 2009 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Beaverslide Worsted in Mountain twilight
Needles: US 7 and 5
Notes: It’s possible that I have recently become obsessed with the tv show Mad Men. Not the plotlines (though I find them compelling) but rather the wonderful clothes worn by the women in the cast. So when I found this pencil skirt at the thrift store the other day, I knew it would go perfectly with my nearly completed cardigan – and it did! I even bought the shoes to match (I love this style of heel so much that I broke my rule of not paying full price for shoes.) Yes… I’ve been going a little crazy lately looking for late 50s/early 60s era clothing. And we won’t even talk about my new obsession with retro eyeliner. I’m even wearing retro perfume – Baghari by Robert Piguet, a recent recreation of a classic 1950s perfume. But that’s nothing new – I adore classic perfumes and have way too many – Chanel no 5, Guerlain Shalimar etc… they don’t smell old to me, they smell like a lady, which is how I would like to be seen.
Ahem… that’s a long way to say that I adore this sweater. I made several alterations from the original pattern. The largest, of course, is the subtraction of the belt. As you can see, it doesn’t need one, and in fact is cuter without. I added more buttons than called for in the pattern to compensate – I used 8 3/4 inch buttons, placed every 10 buttonband stitches or so. I picked up fewer stitches that called for on the collar and the buttonbands. Speaking of the collar – I love it! I didn’t even notice how cute the large collar was in the magazine. I left off the buttons called for on the collar, because I would never use them. I slipped the first stitch on each turn of the bobbles, which made them not too huge. The cabling I did without a cable needle, and it was pretty quick work.
The fit is great, though the sleeves are a tad bit small in the wrist. I will say that the sleeve caps are too long to fit in the armholes – I don’t like so much ease, and they are a little big on me. Unlike most cardigans, this one has enough shaping to be cute buttoned all the way up. I also think that it would be easy to play with the proportions on this one by moving the cable panel in towards the center a little, which would give a slimming effect. I’m not sure I approve of the cables being so close to the underarms, though I don’t think it’s that noticeable in the smallest size – the back would definitely be more flattering that way.
And the yarn… oh how I love this yarn. A tweedy wool and mohair blend that isn’t as pricey as you would think. It’s soft yet sturdy. It’s minimally processed and I think it feels a bit of lanolin when you knit it, which I enjoy because it softens your hands. It doesn’t smell sheepy. It blocked beautifully, with some real size changes – so wash your swatch if you use this! I did sew up with the yarn, and it was a little bit fragile, but not so much that it can’t be sewn with – just don’t pull hard enough to snap the yarn.
I think this is another victim of what I consider to be the lousy styling in Interweave Knits – this was the cover sweater last winter, but do you recognize it? It was too big and not flattering at all on the model, and the belt didn’t really work. It took me forever to finish, but only because warm weather interrupted the knitting – I’m so happy to have this in my wardrobe now!