When I took a look at my me-made wardrobe before the start of Me-Made-May, I quickly realised that I was pretty lacking in the cardigan department. Cardigans are one of my staples, yet I only knit three of them, isn’t that crazy? So of course I decided my next knitting project would have to be a cardigan.
I still owned a store-bought mustard cardigan that went with virtually everything in my wardrobe, but it had started pilling and showing other signs of age, so I had been thinking about replacing it with a me-made version for a long time. I had some mustard merino yarn in my stash, so I browsed Ravelry by entering its gauge in the search parameters and I came upon Kelly Brooker’s Mama Vertebrae pattern. Aside from the fact that that name freaked me out a little bit (still does: to me it evokes scary creatures with a prominent spine – creepy!), I really liked the simplicity of the pattern, so I immediately bought it and got to work.
I was in-between two sizes and I chose the smallest one because I wanted a close fitting cardigan. I followed the suggestion of stopping the raglan increases early in order to get a smaller armhole and I didn’t cast on more stitches to compensate for the omitted raglan increases when I started working on the sleeves so that I’d get a closer fit on the sleeves. Also for that closer fit on the sleeves, I decreased two stitches every eighth row as suggested in the pattern. I really liked the fact that the pattern is easy to customise to get the fit you want, and also that it is written for four yarn weights!
I initially debated knitting long or 3/4 sleeves, and I opted for the 3/4 sleeves mostly out of laziness, but when I reached the 3/4 length indicated by the pattern, I felt like the sleeves hit my arms at a weird place, so I went on knitting until I felt like they were long enough to be a true 3/4 length. And of course after blocking I realised I had actually knit long sleeves… Happy accident!
Before blocking I was really worried about the number of stitches I had picked up along the neckline: even though I had used Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off, the ribbing pulled the whole front of the cardigan in and I felt like no blocking would be strong enough to make it the right size. Turns out I was totally wrong: once the yarn was wet, it was really easy to get it to conform to whatever shape I wanted it to take.
So this is not the most original knitting project, but it fills a hole in my wardrobe and I can only hope I’ll wear it even half as often as that old store-bought mustard cardigan! Next on the list: a navy cardigan! Can you believe it’s been at least ten years since I owned one?