Guys! I knit a super long lace and cable cardigan out of fingering weight yarn. If you don’t know knit speak, let me translate this for you: I rule.
That is, me and the rest of the knitters making their own Cafe au Lait sweaters, by Kirsten Singer of Klever Knits, in the Holla Knits Knitalong 2015.
The truth is that it wasn’t near as time consuming as it appears. Fingering weight lace moves fast and the pattern is enjoyable, so you tend to want to reach one more cable… one more repeat.. etc. I also made mine a few repeats longer (4, I think) because I knew I would probably be stretching it width-wise when blocking. It appears to be about as long as one of the samples, but I have a feeling I may be taller than the model, so I wanted to be sure.
This is pretty much the perfect kind of sweater for my climate. I could use it year round in a cold movie theatre and most of the winter outside. I like the batwing, too. It makes wearing layers easy.
It also makes me think of my mom. I wore her little watch pendant yesterday because she was on my mind.
The details, in case you care: I used size US 5 needles with Knit Picks Palette yarn in the Comfrey color. This is my first time to work with Palette yarn, though I always admire the color options in the Knit Picks catalog. I enjoyed working with it. It has a bit of a halo to begin with, but I feel like it will withstand wear really well.
Though I blocked my swatch and chose my size accordingly (I got 3 less stitches per 4″ which meant I would want to knit down one size for a better fit.), I still felt insecure about how tiny the thing looked on the needles, so I spot blocked the lower half of the back. It stretched out nicely. I let it dry overnight, then continued knitting, a little more confident. I wanted at least 7 inches of positive ease.
Even though the size seemed fine for me, I followed Allyson’s suggestion to knit the front pieces one size larger, in width, so that my sweater would button comfortably in front without any pulling. I doubt I’ll wear it buttoned, but I liked the option. In the photo above, it doesn’t look super flattering buttoned, but some of that is the angle it was taken at, and some is the fact that I’m wearing baggy cords that were almost falling off of me and I had to keep hitching up all day. Just being honest. So ignore it if you’re worried that you too will, suddenly, become pear shaped if you make this sweater. 🙂
So I made the fronts a size medium, making sure to lengthen them the way I did the back. Remember, I was already knitting the smallest size, expecting it to come out closer to the medium size. So I knit my fronts using the medium directions, knowing they would probably be wider than the size medium.
Buttoned, and laying flat it measures about 38″ at bust. Slightly open, like most of us will wear it, it is 40-42″. That’s a good 6-8″ of positive ease. It’s also a really flexible knit, that’s why it’s hard for me to pinpoint the exact measurements. It can so easily stretch any which-a-way. I think I could have blocked it more aggressively for length or width if I’d wanted to.
The finishing wasn’t bad at all. It is so much easier to sew seams when there is an obvious stitch pattern to help me line the pieces up straight. Sewing on the buttons, however, took me about as long as the knitting. It’s always this way. I will say that I’m getting pretty good at the button sewing thing. There was no blood or weird knots to be found. I did it all in one episode of Rectify. Basically, I was relieved to be finished and disturbed by the show i was watching, all at the same time.
These aren’t the best photos, but I’m using a different camera, trying to figure out all of the settings in bright, afternoon sun. I’m pleased to say that it wasn’t even uncomfortable to wear this sweater out.
I’d hoped it would get a little wear before the temperature rises. I miss having my daughter around to take quick photos for me. I can tell her what I want and she just “gets it.” Whereas my son, bless his heart, was more interested in telling me about a video game. He did contribute the photo of the sky through our tree, though.
So, what would I like to make next of Kirsten’s patterns? Axial was on my wish list, but I want to make it really oversized (like the blue sample) with City Tweed, so I’ll wait on that til next winter. I’m thinking either Summer Vanilla or Tungsten Tank needs to happen soon, maybe for the Tops, Tanks, and Tees KAL? I could wear those like crazy.
I also have this idea that I want to use Elemental Lines, and some other Holla Knits At Home collection patterns, plus a few I’ve pinned on Pinterest to spruce up our camper. I want all seventies colors like my kitchen, when I was growing up- avocado, yellow, orange, brown…