Georgetown Cardigan

Time for a brief crafting digression. I started knitting during the winter of 2010-2011 because the December 2010 issue of BurdaStyle had a cute scarf in it. I figured I could make it, so I did (it helped that it was a simple 4×4 ribbed scarf). Naturally, thrilled that I had added another skill to my crafting repertoire, I did what comes naturally to any good crafter- I built a stash. I skipped the big box craft store phase and went straight for the local yarn shop. Furthermore, its presence right by my preferred grocery store meant I always had an excuse to drop in. Initially, I tried to stay away from hoarding yarn and contented myself with buying books but that didn’t last long. One afternoon during the summer of 2015, I was browsing the yarn and propped up nicely on the front counter was Hannah Fettig’s Home and Away. I love everything about the aesthetic of this book. Comfy warm sweaters, pretty Maine pictures, it’s like catnip for my knitting soul. From the first flip-through, I knew that I was going to make the Georgetown cardigan. I picked up the yarn December 2015 when I was stress shopping before my sister-in-law’s funeral, and this winter I finally did it.

The pattern is designed to be knitted either mostly seamless with top down sleeves or all in pieces and then seamed together. Well, I don’t like to follow directions, so I did the body mostly seamless, and then knit the sleeves bottom up and then sewed them to the body of the sweater.  I didn’t consider the fun of not seaming flat which is how it’s normally done, but it came together very nicely. On the whole it is not a complicated design but the 17,000 stitches in 1×1 ribbing for the collar did feel like it took forever (it didn’t- whole sweater start to finish was 2 months).

I had only six skeins of yarn to work with, so 1176 yards of worsted weight. This is the same yarn I used for the ribs and cables hat I posted three years ago. I still love knitting with it. It’s a sturdy feeling wool on the fingertips and extended knitting sessions would leave a touch of lanolin on the needles, but the quality is consistent, it’s domestic grown and milled, and I like it. The pattern said 1200 yards needed for the size 34″ bust. Well, my bust is a smidge bigger, but it’s an open front garment, so I swatched and then cast on for my sweater figuring it would work out okay in the end. I really thought I was going to be playing yarn chicken at the end to finish this, but no. I have an entire skein left over, so I could have made the size 38″ and had the intended positive ease. Oh well, I made the best decision I could with the information I had going into the project.

Overall, I like the final sweater, but I have learned some things that I would consider for my next sweater. The only shaping is a set of increases and decreases right along where the side seam would be if I had knitted in pieces. Those are fine, well and dandy, but I have a massive amount of extra fabric over the small of my back where I don’t need it, and could stand to have a bit more on the front. Also, the sleeve caps are whack. This pattern has the decreases worked as k2tog and ssk two stitches in from the edge of the sleeve. This made seaming easy because it was a vertical edge to a vertical edge. Problem arises that visually the sleeve starts past the decreases, out on my arm, so I think it doesn’t look as cleanly tailored as a set in sleeve ought to be. That one is just my personal take on it. Also it was weirdly puffy at the top and I was getting gauge, so I’m not sure why this happened. Others on Ravelry had noted that same issue with the top down sleeve so I don’t know what’s going on with the sleeves in this pattern.

Happy things from this project, the weird bent tip needles you see in YouTube videos demonstrating mattress stitching are life changing. I always dreaded seaming because I could never easily find the little stitch ladder and it would take forever. Having a needle that gets into the stitches and exposes the proper stitch makes the entire process go faster and more pleasantly. Love that I got a pack of those. Once I got the sleeves into the sweater last night and put it on, I have been loathe to remove it because it is so warm and snuggly feeling. Yay for successful knitting endeavors!

Meanwhile on the sewing front, I have the Sasha trousers from Closet Case Patterns cut out and ready to sew, but I keep finding excuses to not sew them (like needing to rethread the serger-lame!). That’s for Future Me to worry about though.

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