Mustard Color Miette Cardigan

Last month, I finally finished the sweater I have been working on—just in time for Fall! Also, a near perfect color match for the yellow pear tomatoes in my garden. Always dress to match your produce, I say.

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The pattern is Andi Satterlund‘s Miette, which is available as a free Ravelry download. It’s a cropped cardigan with 3/4 sleeves and eyelete edging along the button, neck, and wristbands. It looks really fantastic over dresses:

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For once I used the recommended yarn for a pattern: Cascade Yarns Sierra (in the gold colorway, a cotton.wool blend, which is of course now discontinued. Right from the start, I made a major modification: I used the directions for the 42″ large to get a 34″ small with  gauge of a little over 5 st per inch. I was nervous about this approach, but other ravelers made it work, and it was clearly the right call.

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I made several other modifications so the cardigan would fit me better. 1)  I cast on five stitches at the armholes for my shoulders. My last cardigan was a bit snug on my shoulders.  I also did waist shaping at the sides instead of bust darts, with a decrease of sl1st, knit, knit, k2tog beneath each armpit every 4th row.  I did bust darts on my  first cardigan, but I have since realized I really didn’t need them. Finally, I added one repeat of rows 70-80 for length, because I have a long torso and I didn’t need this cardigan to be super cropped.

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I was quite fortunate to find great buttons for this cardigan! They were 3/4” buttons instead of the recommended 5/8” but I wanted completely matching buttons, and these were the best ones. I used the same video tutorial to make sure they would be secure.

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After all of this work, it felt like the blocking took forever! I guess the cotton/wool blend yarn is not as fast to dry as some other yarns.

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I think this is my favorite sweater that I’ve made so far. And all though it took me a little over a year to finish, I got it done just in time for Autumn colors and cooler temperatures.

Here are more dorky photos of me wearing this great sweater:

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I really like it.

 

 

 

The green cardigan of 2014

I knit a sweater! It took forever. But it’s finished and I love it.

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This is my version of the Mrs. Darcy cardigan. According to my ravelry project page, I started it on January 5, 2014. I sewed the final buttons on December 7, 2014.

2014-01-11 16.56.38 The post where I first described this sweater is here.

Everything went quickly at first. I finished the sleeves in January, but I stalled in February because I realized that I would need to modify this short, deep V neck cardigan to fit my long torso. I ended up using Wakenda’s modifications to the pattern. The funny thing is, her version looks very different from the original pattern—the V isn’t very deep. But I also added lots of extra length, so it actually ended up looking a lot like the original pattern!

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Here is it without buttons. I essentially made an extra long size small, blended to a medium nearing the shoulders. It used a little under 5 skeins of Cascade 220.

2014-12-07 22.23.27This was my first time ever sewing buttons onto knitting. I used this video tutorial and it helped quite a bit. You really have to make sure you compensate for the thickness of the sweater when you sew them on, especially if you make a cardigan that fits as snugly as this one. You also have to remove the cat before sewing them on. Obviously.

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Fun fact: since I’m a lefty knitter, the buttons are on the “wrong” side for a woman’s sweater! It’s knit in the round, you see. Yet another quirk of left-handed knitting.

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More pictures:

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from the front.

2014-12-08 16.33.36from the side.

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from the back.

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unbuttoned.

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detail of the bust darts I added (it does seem to improve the shaping) and construction of the shoulder. I had never done a bottom up sweater, so wakenda’s description of joining sleeves was much appreciated.

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I added an extra inch or so at the armpit when I seamed it together, mostly because when I started this sweater I did not have any muscle from climbing, but now I do, and those shoulders were gonna be tight (the forearms are a little snug, but that’s less of an issue).

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It takes me forever to finish a big knitting project like this, but I’m always happy with the results. Here’s to tacking another sweater in 2015!

 

 

 

Knitting for Victory! (free knitting patterns included!)

knitting and history

[UPDATE: I posted even more patterns from this historic knitting book here in 2013!]

Today is Veterans Day and it is also the 1 year anniversary of when I started this blog. So this post will combine two things I love: history and knitting. With free historic knitting patterns, no less!

As I wrote about in my very first post, what we in the United States call Veterans Day is known to Europe, Canada and most of the world as Remembrance Day. This year we’ll observe the holiday on Monday, but the actual date is the eleventh because Nov. 11 1918 was Armistice day—the day that World War I ended. The United States lost maybe about 100,000 or so soldiers in the Great War. European countries lost millions.

The  Great War, as it was then known, started in 1914, but the U.S. did not join until 1917. During the years the U.S. was at war, the government and other support organizations asked Americans to help the war effort. One of the ways they were asked to contribute? Knitting!

Socks were important in bad weather and trench warfare situations. Sweaters, wristlets, scarves and hats were also in demand. This website does a pretty good job of explaining some of the history about the wartime knitting effort if you want to know the details. I noticed that the article on the website cites a book called No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting, if you want to know even more about knitting history.

Even though I knew about the knitting aspect of WWI, I never really thought much of it. That is, until I came across this book for $2 at my local thrift store:

I knew it was old when I first picked it up, but I was shocked when I discovered that it was from 1918!  What a find! The very first section of the book is all patterns to knit for soldiers. The rest of the book includes a bunch of crocheting and knitting patterns. Some of the patterns will probably never be fashionable again, but many of them are still rather stylish by today’s standards. And from what I can tell, they’re no longer in copyright. So without further ado, I present to you my favorite knitting patterns from 1918!

1918 knitting patterns

First off, of course, is “service wear,” or knitting patterns for soliders. Most of these are so basic as to barely need a pattern (like the garter stitch scarf). But a few caught my attention.

Helmet

First of all—look at those illustrations behind the model! As for the pattern itself, this looks thoroughly practical—it covers your head and a lot of your face, and has the scarf like parts to keep the rest of you warm. Also, it goes well with a hat.

Service Sweater Type ‘C’

Once again, the illustration really catches my eye. But I also like this design—a cardigan with three pockets, which I feel like I haven’t really seen before. This pattern also has this paragraph underneath it which begins with the sentence “Since 1914 The Fleisher Yarns have been in active service on the battlefields of Europe.”

Meta and Dexter caps

Ok, I know what your thinking—the names of these hats have certain pop culture associations now that they certainly never intended! Nevertheless, I think these hats could be conceived as fashionable today, though maybe minus the crazy huge bow on “meta.” Pretty much all of the hats in the book are crocheted, and these are no exception.

Marcelona Jacket

I was surprised at just how many crochet patterns I actually liked in this book. Normally I don’t care as much for its appearance and thickness, but I think it works with this jacket. I also like the wrap around effect.

Rivoli Sweater

This is probably my favorite of all the knit sweater patterns. It’s a fairly simple pattern but I love the overall effect. I’m not sure why this pattern has a separate page for the construction and dimensions of the sweater, because few of the patterns have this diagram. But it looks helpful.

Pensacola sweater

This is my other favorite sweater pattern. I really like the fit and the way the buttons are placed. I also like the idea of the cuffs, even though I’m not sure if I would use angora for them. I’m also not exactly sure how the snaps are incorporated.

EDIT: You can now see what this sweater looks like when made by a modern day knitter! Check out this post at knitthehellout. For more knitting details, see Cassy’s ravelry project page for Pensacola.

I really hope that I will have the chance to attempt one of these patterns someday! More than that, I hope that others out there can use these patterns to make something. Reading through the directions, I realize that there are some hurdles to actually re-creating these garments for yourself. The first is that there is only one size given for each pattern, and there’s not a lot of info on the finished dimensions (except on the rivoli sweater). The second is trying to figure out needle sizes and yarn types and amounts. There is a kind of visual knitting gauge in the book that I’m posting below because it seems helpful, and there is a list of the kinds of yarns and some descriptions that is less helpful:

One thing the patterns do provide? Gauge. I think that if you used the gauge, figured out a relatively similar yarn type by comparing it to the list, and then overestimated the yardage it would take, I think it would be possible. If anyone wants to try these patterns, I’d love to hear how they turn out!