Sunday, September 29, 2013

FO: Learn to Knit Cropped Cardigan with Cabled Sleeves

Pattern:  Cropped Cardigan with Cabled Sleeves from Learn to Knit, Love to Knit by Anna Wilkinson.  I knitted the smallest size in the longer length.
Yarn:  350g of Coldharbour Mill Double Knitting, 100% Pure New Wool, in the colour Cornflower, found on Ebay for about £14 for 470g.
Buttons: Bought at The Wool Shed in Oyne when it was a stand-alone shop, they are "handmade fully washable giving employment to women in South Africa" ceramic Incomparable Buttons 

I cast this on in April and had put it aside for a while for no particular reason.  I decided it was time to finish it before the cold weather comes.
I have mentioned before that this pattern is written out, rather than charted.
I found it surprisingly tricky for a "Learn to Knit" design.
Although I am an experienced knitter, I knit more socks than garments, so don't have the knowledge to make many adjustments, other than to the overall length. 
So I followed the pattern to the letter, other than to pick up stitches down the side fronts to knit the buttonbands, instead of making a long narrow strip and sewing it on, as instructed.
As I knitted, it struck me as odd that the sleeves were the biggest pieces, but I put this down to the raglan construction.  I thought it might be OK for the upper bodice to get part of its circumference from the sleeves... but of course I now realise that is crazy-talk.  As I sewed it together, I feared I had knitted a cardigan for a female bodybuilder, with massive biceps and a flat chest. 

It also became clear that the cuffs are teeny-tiny in comparison to the upper arm.
You can't easily change the sleeve length because of the cabling down the side.  The sleeve is 9 cable repeats long, and when you reach the top, you have no excess stitches left on either side of the cable panel, due to the raglan decreases.  You need to work out for yourself how to keep the cable going to the very end.  It can be done, but it isn't written out for you.  I had to think about it - good brain exercise!

Looking at the pictures in the book, I expected 3/4 length sleeves, but these are full-length on me.  The more I look at that model in yellow, the better I can see that her gangley-geek style is not just about her height or the other clothes she is wearing, a lot of it comes from the cardigan itself.

It reminds me a lot of an early 1950's cardigan, with its nipped-in waist, almost batwing sleeves and high buttoned neck.
And that's not a problem... it's just not what I was expecting!

If I had seen a schematic of the finished garment before I started, I probably wouldn't have chosen this pattern.
I think it looks really cute, and kinda vintagey, but I am not a fan of baggy biceps.
I suppose I have room for puff-sleeved blouses underneath!
And it works well with a shirt-collar on top and is great with a high-waisted skirt.
But there is a lot of excess fabric in unexpected places - especially at the back.
It was fun to knit.
I love the cables.
It is a lovely colour.
It is warm.
So... I will definitely be wearing it, but it's not what I expected!


Fiona said...

You wear it well!

Jen Forsythe said...

Looks so cosy, the cabling detail is lovely and beautiful shade of blue. I'm sure it will be invaluable in the coming months.

sewstyled said...

Getting the sizing right on raglan sleeve sweaters is tricky unless you have the same yarn and row gauge as that stated on the pattern. It's why I avoid raglan sleeves sweaters. After multiple tries making a top down raglan sleeve cardi with a different yarn and very different row gauge |I gave up and converted it to a bottom up set in sleeve version. It was a lot of work, as I had to chart out the lace pattern (no chart for the lace pattern on the pattern) but worth it in the end- I've worn that sweater lots this summer.

Marie said...

Consider this a pleasant surprise my dear because it's beautiful and looks just lovely on you!

MaryinTN said...

I like the sweater. Sure looks warm and right for fall.

Scruffybadger said...

I love it too...and ok it's not what you expected, but you've already spotted great pairings for it and it's such a wonderful colour too....
And you finished it before the cold weather too !

mags said...

It is lovely but I know how you feel when things look different, it can be disappointing

trixiebacon said...

It looks lovely on you. I think the yellow cardigan in the picture is too small for the model.

verykerryberry said...

The shape is wonderfully retro and cropped, I think the difference is to your benefit. I love near Coldharbour Mill, great place to visit especially on Steam Up days

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

It does look perfect for a cold winter though ... no drafts at the wrists and garments with positive ease are always warmest.

Sew little time said...

it's lovely, even if not quite as expected. not sure i would recommend for a beginner tho - it does look tricky! love the colour

Linda C said...

I love it- the color, the shape - and I am sorry it is not what you expected. Sometimes, for me, these surprises can end up being the best loved in the end. The nice thing, for me, would be the roomy back and sleeves because that way you can wear it on top and get several layers under it in the middle of winter. Great look.


Sandy said...

I think you are a smashing model for this bright sweater, a cheerful addition to a winter wardrobe... and you did a terrific job putting it together!

velosewer said...

I love this cardi and the fact you can become a body builder and still wear it.

acharmofmagpies said...

I'm only on my second knitted garment-for-me and my fear is just this, that it'll turn out to be something other than I have planned. But if it happens my plan is to figure out how I can adapt to it, and it sounds like you've done exactly that! The colour is lovely, and I think you'll enjoy the warmth.

Johanna said...

I'm knitting this at the moment and well, actually I'm not- I'm got stuck and stopped, because after having a look at the numbers and creating my own schematic of sorts, I thought the sleeves looked like madness! I'm pleased to see my instincts were correct, but sorry to hear it didn't turn out as planned. It's still lovely though. I'm going to attempt to mod mine to fix it but I don't really know what I'm doing, lol!
Love the colour and the cabling details on this so must forge ahead.. Thanks for your thoughts on this pattern. :)