knitting it up in a big way

Tag Archives: cardigan

Last September I asked you guys to cast your vote on what yarn I should use to knit the featherweight cardigan, and you chose lace weight strandavarious.


FO: featherweight champion <– ravelry project page

Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Laceweight Strandavarious, somewhere in the neighborhood of 600-700 yards
Needles: US size 6 (4.0mm)


This was a fairly uneventful knit. The pattern is clear and easy to follow, so it was just miles of stockinette as I made my way through. I made it a shorter as I don’t have as many cardigans that work well with the skirts I tend to wear at my natural waist, so I thought I’d make this one fit that bill. I don’t mind how it looks with a longer tee, either. This did leave quite a bit of the skein leftover though.


As suspected, I preferred the reverse stockinette side. I made sure to sew in my ends in carefully so they wouldn’t be visible from either side, and I picked up stitches for the collar 2 stitches in to create a tidy ‘visible seam’ look. This is what I’m most proud of in this knit. I also did a sewn tubular bind off. It’s a bit of work, but it really makes the finished product feel polished, you know?


I would absolutely use this pattern again. It makes a very wearable cardigan. Next time, I’d probably opt for a slightly longer cardigan.


it’s done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


i have already documented this sweater fairly extensively, so if you feel like reading the whole history: swatching & casting on, getting part way through the body only to tear back to the yoke, finishing the body and finalizing color choices, steeking, grafting on the button band & finding the right buttons.

FO: stash busting fair isle extravaganza

pattern: classic raglan pullover by barbara walker
needles: size 8 (5.0mm)
yarn: patons north america wool worsted in oatmeal (natural mix is technically what it’s called. it looks oatmeal to me)
cascade ecological wool in a medium grey (leftover from these slippers)
brown sheep lambs pride worsted in tahiti teal (leftover from this hat)
berroco ultra alpaca fine in turquoise mix, held double (leftover from this sweater)
some random navy worsted wool
and a little bit of lion brand wool-ease in apple green


i cast on for this in january, using the standard pattern for knitting a raglan from the top down, from barbara walker’s book knitting from the top, though it was obviously heavily modified. that is the joy of a pattern like this, though! it’s quite easy to apply any modification you can imagine. i knit it as a deep v-neck pullover first, and then steeked it into a cardigan. i knit the button band separately and grafted it on, placed the buttons and then made afterthought buttonholes. there’s a column of 2 purls running down the inside of each sleeve and the sides of the torso to mimic seams (which i stole from julie’s red sweater) and to give it the tiniest bit more shape and structure.

you can see the steeked edge and the purl column in this picture!

there was a lot of ‘winging it’ involved in knitting this. i didn’t have the strictest plans for my colorwork patterning, or color sequencing, but i went in expecting i was going to have to tweak it and pull back and replace things in post with a tapestry needle (basically duplicate stitching while pulling out the original color. a little on the time consuming side, but somehow more acceptable to my brain than pulling back and re-knitting). and i did all of those things. i pulled out knitting, replaced about four different parts, re-calculated the entire sweater, you name it, i probably did it.


i started this sweater in the hopes of using up some of my stash, namely the oatmeal base, and a lot of most-of-the-skein leftovers from other projects. slightly on the annoying side, i didn’t actually finish ANY of these skeins. i still have most of an oatmeal skein leftover (which i may still use up, see below), and a not teensy amount of most of these skeins. ah, well. at least i have a beautiful sweater to show for my efforts!


so, while i am definitely calling this done, and wearing it around and such, there are a few small things that i may change in the future. i have not quite mastered how to make button bands that i approve of in cardigans. they are already warping slightly, and this makes the sweater look quite ‘handmade’, but not in a way that i like. so i’ve bought some ribbon to back the bands, give them more structure. is there any other method you guys suggest?


i also had a deeper shawl collar in mind for this sweater, so i might knit some extra depth for the top portion of it and graft it on later… thus hopefully using up the leftover yarn.

this cardigan turned out so well, i’m incredibly pleased! it’s thick and squishy, it could practically be a coat in spring and fall, and another super cozy layer in winter.


see those misty looking lumps of land out on the horizon? those are the aran islands. we didn’t get there this trip as we had time for one excursion from galway and we chose the cliffs of moher, which i don’t regret in the least. but i’m definitely hoping to make it to the aran islands one day! and i couldn’t resist getting FO pictures of my sweater with such a icon of knitting history in the background!

on a side note, i found out on this trip that the history of the aran sweater is a created history, like the scottish tartans. i’m of two minds about this, where the accuracy loving historian part of me is frustrated by this ‘created culture’ and the ‘don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good story’ part of me thinks it’s actually quite interesting. what are your thoughts on created culturalisms?




vintage (i think) cardigan from gram, belt – target grey dress, black tights – l.l. bean bean boots

well all this snow is gone now. (thank goodness!) but considering how epic this winter was, i felt like it needed some proper documentation. this will be one of those seasons that is referred to in future… ‘oh, do you remember the winter of ’14?’ we’ll say. ‘now THAT was a bad one,’ they’ll reply. and the children will roll their eyes.


mostly unrelated, have you seen the photoset of the couple that took a picture in their front yard every season for several years?

my grandma gave me a lovely colorwork sweater from her closet last year. it is mostly in good shape, but there was a loose button, some of the edging needed re-enforcing, and several small bites from some bitty creature that thinks wool is tasty.

mending knitting has, historically speaking, been pretty low on my list of preferred tasks. just above carding wool, which i find tedious to the max. but i’ve found if i do it in small segments, in between knitting projects or in front of a tv show, it bothers me much less. and the more i do it, the more i enjoy doing it. plus, i get a pleasantly smug feeling off of extending the life of my clothes. waste not, want not! and other such smug idioms!

so i’ve been working away at the little holes first. they are all quite small, many are just one stitch missing, some have up to 3 total. because they are so small, i’m just using duplicate stitch, also called swiss darning, to mend the holes, as it calls less attention to itself.

i started by going through my various bits & bobs to see if i had a good matching yarn.


i found this natural wool and thought i’d give it a shot.


i started with a hole on the chest, right by the button band. this yarn is just a bit thicker than the original, and a tiny bit warmer (color wise). so it created this very dense area where i patched this hole. if i were to wear a black shirt under this sweater, it would look like a random little polka dot. not my ideal. so i went back to looking for yarn again, when i remembered some singles still hanging out on my drop spindle.


ooh! quite a nice match! and this yarn is thinner. i’ve been finding i prefer a thinner yarn for mending purposes. it is less bulky, an calls less attention to itself, and to the areas you’re mending.


i’ve also been finding if i mend from the wrong side of the sweater, the mending is less visible. the mending yarn tends to stay predominantly on the side that you are mending from.


i still need to re-sew the button and re-enforce the edging, but the little holes have pretty much disappeared! got any tips for me?

here’s the song this sweater is named after:

originially written by jacques brel, but i tend to prefer nina simone’s versions of practically every song she sang. this is definitely my favorite song by her. it translates to ‘don’t leave me’.

FO: ne me quitte pas

anyways! sweater!

FO: ne me quitte pas <– ravelry project page

pattern: the ever popular aidez
yarn: cascade eco plus in amethyst heather, approximately 1.6 skeins, 765 yards
needles: US size 10 (6mm)
size made: 36
mods: none!

FO: ne me quitte pas

i mentioned this while i was in the progress of knitting this, but i was quite impressed with the cabled aspects of this knit. the pattern is set up in such a way that you are only working on one traditional cable (read: needs a cable needle) at a time, and all other ‘cabling’ uses little tricks to make them look more complicated than they are. ingenious! and actually, the trellis cable on the back is the only intense cable there is, requiring active cabling on all right side rows. the seed wishbone cable, on the fronts and sleeves, only requires active cabling one out of every 8 rows.

FO: ne me quitte pas

i used the three needle bind off for the neck, same as practically everyone else, and i’m quite pleased with how it looks. i originally knit the neck as was called for, but while seaming the sweater, i thought i might need more fabric at the neck. so i knit up some additional length in the neck, sewed in the numerous ends, and wore it one day like that. the neck looked like this:


constantly gapping at the back of the neck. it also made the shoulders feel looser, and as an open front cardigan, it kind of constantly felt like it was about to slip off my shoulders. not ideal. so i dug out all of my sewn in ends, pulled it back to the called for length, and re-finished the neck, and it is much much better.

FO: ne me quitte pas

i hadn’t wet blocked it yet when we took these pictures, just steamed the pieces for seaming. honestly, i was wearing it too frequently! i didn’t want to have it out of commission while i waited for it to dry. but it was just a smidgen tight. not unwearably so, or uncomfortably so. i wet blocked it two days ago, and it loosened up a bit, to a very comfortable fit.

FO: ne me quitte pas

i knit the fronts and the sleeves two at a time, which allowed me to perfectly duplicate all shaping, and i’ve found i am not gripped by the malaise that accompanies having to knit a second exact duplicate to something i just finished. i’m now using this technique for all pairs of knitted objects.

FO: ne me quitte pas

i made a few errors, such as knitting the ribbing for the fronts two rows shorter than the backs. but i didn’t find out that i had done so until i seamed them together. it doesn’t bother me at all, but i was mildly grumpy to find out about errors so late in the game, when even contemplating fixing them meant scratching entire sections of knitting to get back to a place where i could fix them.

i am quite pleased with my seaming on this knit. this isn’t the first time i’ve seamed, but it is the first time i’ve made a fully seamed garment!

FO: ne me quitte pas

i like it in purple a lot. i like how visible the cables are in the lighter natural tones that most aidez’s seem to be knit in, but i already own a few cardigans in those colors, so this should be a better addition to my wardrobe.

november passed in what felt like the blink of an eye! i feel out of the loop! i’m definitely behind on my blogging. again. how were your thanksgivings, to those who celebrated it? how were your novembers? did they feel as brief as mine?

maybe it’s the dip in temperatures, or maybe it’s just the season to release sweater patterns, it could also be that i am more aware of sweaters at the moment because i’m working on one, but yeesh! there are some SERIOUSLY GORGEOUS sweater patterns being released right now (or that i’m finding for the first time right now). so i thought i’d round a few up for you.

oshima by jared flood, from brooklyn tweed’s fall 2013 collection.

i first saw the back of this sweater, and i became obsessed! i dove into my stash (well, my online stash) and found that i have enough yarn in a weight that should suit it. i kind of want to turn it into a cardigan, though…. with a deep, gentle v-neck, and a shepherds collar that gets reallllly deep in the back, with the help of short rows? i’ve never tried brioche stitch, so that’s long overdue!

the shepherd hoodie by kate davies from the shepherd and the shearer.

OMG THOSE CABLES! tiny cables inside bigger cables! amazing! delicious!

and not to dwell too much on cables, buuuut:

norah gaughan’s aeneas.

but they’re just so dreamy, aren’t they? that collar is perfection! cozy, cabled perfection… i’m probably also responding in part to the perfect deep cardinal red of this sweater.

beacon hill by jane richmond.

i love this stitch! it’s so textural and sweet! and i’m always a sucker for a foldover collar. jane richmond’s designs are always body-concious, contemporary and very wearable. beacon hill is no exception!

and this last one was just love at first sight:

arrowhead cardigan by anna cohen.

the pattern! the colors! the big swingy coziness of it! the sophisticated and rustic qualities! i was immediately inspired to go (once more) to my online stash and see if i had any ability to make this. i think it might look amazing in seafoam green and oatmeal. kind of a sand and the sea combination?

i don’t know if i’ll actually make any of these, but i do love thinking about it! first i gotta finish the sweater i’m working on!

have you seen any patterns, new or just new to you, that have inspired you? do you try to match them up with yarns you already own, or do you start shopping for the dream yarn?





thrifted cardigan, silk blouse, j. crew skirt – topshop green tights – j. crew knee socks – l.l. bean boots – gifted robot necklace, agate ring

ahhh… outfit pictures in the winter during the work week means pictures in the kitchen! i hope y’all like my kitchen, because it’s about time for:

tall grass banner
(pssst- my brother in law took this picture. ain’t it pretty? he’s pretty talented. go check out his photostream!)

that’s right!


can you tell i had fun making these banners? i couldn’t pick just one.

rebecca and i are gonna kick it off on monday! i have the weekend to make selections (and try to figure out some way to take pictures of my selections in a more than adequate way. i will conquer this yet!) and prep! anyone want to join? we’re gonna try a cool new thing where you can link up! remixing fun!

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