I have a confession to make: this cardigan has actually been finished for about a week now. All I had left to do was to sew on the buttons. It is pretty uncharacteristic of me to put off the final touches of a project – I want it to be finished so I can actually wear it! – but this sweater stumped me for about a week.
I tried a regular ol’ wet block the day I finished it, and let it sit on the back porch so the sun could do it’s thang. Of course, that day had a 20% chance of rain and OF COURSE it decided to rain while I was at work (while we’re in the middle of a drought, no less). GR. When I got home, it was obviously still wet & that’s when I realized that it was quickly growing several sizes too large. I knew that cotton yarn has a tendency to grow, but I figured the wool blend would stop it… nope. So I tried to throw it in the dryer. It was at that point that I learned our (new-to-us) dryer has a busted heating element. That is also when I decided to let Amelia use the sweater as a cat bed while I went over my remaining options.
I’m happy to report that I did manage to fix it, though!
So now let’s talk about the pattern, and my issues with cotton yarn.
This is the Miette pattern by Andi Satterlund. Can I just say that I wish Andi had more sweater patterns, because I would totally knit every single one of them. I love how she lays out her instructions & I think her designs are just so pretty. The sizing is always perfect for my body, too. Anyway, this pattern was pretty awesome – simple, fairly quick (the actual knitting of this sweater only took about a month!), and mostly mindless. I used Cascade Sierra, which is a cotton/wool blend yard (80/20), and I barely pulled into my 4th skein. It feels so soft against my skin! These pictures are kind of deceiving; the navy is much more rich in real life.
I did make a couple of changes to the pattern – I left out a few rows on the sleeves, because I liked the length (and I actually think they are a smidge too long still, eh). I also knitted the sleeves with DPNs instead of my circular needles, since I didn’t want the cotton to stretch out. The ribbing is supposed to be knitted with a smaller needle size, but I didn’t have a smaller size DPN on hand so I just used my regular 8s (same size I used for the rest of the sweater).
Sorry that these pictures are so bad – I caught a break in the rain & had to rush! The dress I am wearing is actually lavender, but it looks white here!
The button band is stabilized with petersham ribbon, so it doesn’t gape over curves. I really like this method, although it is a bit time-consuming to sew all that ribbon on. This time around, I tried machine-stitching my button holes on the petersham before sewing it to my sweater – it was MUCH easier than handworking button holes. Me gusta!
So how did I get it to fit, if it apparently stretched all out of shape?
Ha! It was sooo easy (and soooo much better than going to the laundromat lolol)! I just laid it on my table, scrunched up the sides & steamed the shit out of it with my iron. While it was hot, I molded the sweater to be smaller. Then I left it to dry. Easy easy! And it actually worked – yay!
The next thing I did was thread some thin elastic (like the kind you use for shirring) through the neckband. I sewed 2 rows of elastic, all the way around, and pulled it very slightly. Hopefully this will keep the neckline from stretching out again.
Anyway, that’s 2 sweaters completed at this point! I feel so proud of myself :)