Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Effortless Cardigan

Hi Knitters,
Here is a little (but kind of big) cardigan I finished up late last fall. For some reason I haven't shared it with you yet. 

For those interested, here is some general information about it:
Size: Medium (will discuss this more later in the post), 38.5 inch bust
Needles: US size 9
Yarn: Miss Babs Yowza-Whatta Skein! in the Black Watch colorway (purchased at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival last May 2011)

This is the first time I've used Miss Babs yarn after hearing about it for years. Well, my conclusion is that it is fantastic. Yowza skeins are gigantic at 560 yards per skein (love that) and suggests a 4-5 stitches per inch gauge on US 6-8 needles. It is 100% superwash merino and knits up as light as air. I really enjoyed working with this yarn and I love the colorway, so much depth.

Miss Babs helped me match the skeins at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, inside a hot and steamy tent, by holding them under a light. She did a great job because they were a perfect match. She was wonderful and very helpful. I purchased 3 hanks of the Yowza and I have a lot leftover so I will be working something up with the rest of this gorgeous yarn. It's too good to leave sitting on a shelf.

I love Hannah Fettig. I've reviewed her work, written about her, hosted giveaways for her and generally gushed about her in the past. Click here for her fun blog! She is as clever and cute as they get. Hannah is the queen of creating drape in knit fabric and for her modern and very wearable designs. Her designs are usually with clean, simple lines which makes them perfect for longevity and practicality.

The Effortless Cardigan has an unusual structure. It is a top-down seamless cardigan that continues to increase out in the front to create the long draping front pieces. I love this feature. The cardigan requires a lot of knitting and a lot of stockinette. The knitting goes fast as you are working on a large needle for the yarn (a US size 9 for a worsted weight). This is a signature design move for Hannah as working on a bigger gauge than usual for the yarn is how she creates the drapey fabrics in many of her garments.

I wasn't kidding when I said that this is a lot of knitting for a cardigan. This is my Effortless cardigan stretched out and it looks like a gigantic rectangle basically. Pretty clever stuff by Hannah, and one of the most fantastic patterns around. Hannah is a genius at writing simple, clear patterns. This is an easy, easy knit and really fun, too.

My only regret is that I made it a little too big. If it was more snug-fitting in the shoulders and arms I think it would sit better and wouldn't shift around so much. I feel like I have to adjust the cardigan on my shoulders a lot when I wear it. It pulls forward due to the weight of the fronts making it rise up in the back. That is my error, not anything to do with the pattern. I had a lot of yardage to use up with the Yowza so I went ahead and made it in the medium size, which is a 38.5- inch, I usually make a 36-inch bust sweater/cardigan size.  The next size down was a 34.5-inch bust which would have been much better with only an inch and a half of negative ease which would have held the garment in place better.

I still love the Effortless Cardigan even with the size and wear it all of the time. It is just one cozy, comfy garment.

Next up from Hannah, I am making her Calligraphy Cardigan in madeline tosh dk that I purchased at Nina's in Chicago on a tour trip last spring. I'll share as I go!

I managed to sneak in a tiny bit of spinning . I am making a pretty thick and rustic yarn out of the Dyeabolical mini-batts. Here is the first half of my singles. I am hoping to make a fun hat out of the yarn when it is done. The colors are so spring-like and refreshing. The batt is a firestar, wool and silk blend.

I joined a knitalong for mittens. Click here to see more and possibly join, too!

I started listening to and enjoyed a new podcast this week, Knitting Brooklyn, on the recommendation of the lovely Miss Paula (Knitting Pipeline). Click here to find out about Knitting Brooklyn.

Well, I am off to one busy, busy weekend with my family! Have a good weekend, Knitters, and I know you are all busy as well. I'd love to hear about what you are up to.
best, susie