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


Rhonda said...

The Effortless is next on my list - right after I finish my Wispy cardigan - another Hannah design!
I love her work. I just bought Coastal Knits and want to make almost everything in it.

Julie said...

Love the sweater and the yarn! Also, I just had to tell you that I started knitting "Oink", my first toy, and I am having SO MUCH FUN! I feel giddy while I'm knitting! Thanks for sharing such a cute pattern!

Tiphanie said...

The Effortless Cardigan has been in my queue for awhile... it's a beautiful sweater. I'm sorry the sizing is bothering you. Knowing you (from your blogs), you'll come up with a unique way to make it work for you. Looking forward to seeing your next sweater.

Barb T. said...

I love Hannah's patterns, too. I knit the Effortless Cardigan last year and I love it!

Kelly said...

So pretty! I love the shade of blue. I'm using Miss Babs Yowza right now on a sweater, too, so it was nice to see how yours looked completed!

Annie in the Round said...

The sweater looks beautiful.
If the shoulders are saggy you might want to try and attached icord along the inside of the sweater. If you pick up stitches along the inside from one shoulder acrossthe back of your neck to the other shoulder and them knit and applied icord it hold it together nicely. the idea comes from Zimmermann and Swansen in Knitting Around on the Aran Sweater. I used this technique and it works great.

Megan said...

I have a Featherweight cardigan done in Madelinetosh in my closet and I just adore that sweater. Hannah is a great talent.
This weekend I am finishing up Cedar Leaf Shawlette, celebrating my son's 6th birthday, building a lifesized 3story tower at the Scout-o-rama and having a group over for Sunday dinner. Whew!
I'm just glad I can sneak some knitting time in there! ;)

Vicki Maynes said...

You should hear me give a little yelp of delight when I find a new posting from you! I learn so much about designers, yarn, shops, and patterns that I might not have found on my own. You are a one-woman cheering section for everything knitting and I love it!
Just finished the 8th section of my Citron and loving the Malabrigo sock yarn I'm using. I can hardly wait to be finished and wrap it around me!

AnnK said...

I was a sporadic reader of the Spud and Chloe blog but now I am really enjoying your blog. I've had this Effortless Cardigan on my faves list for a while but your review is making me consider moving it up in my queue!

BListello said...

I'm finishing the large hippo, but need to get back to the Wee Ones - so many projects going at one time.

peaknits said...

Love the cardigan - so cozy. I bought some of the Miss Babs at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool and you again, inspire me...:) And thanks for the tip on the mitten KAL - I could use something other than socks to KAL right now! Take care!

Elisabeth said...

Love it! This pattern is next on my list and I already have a list of yarn options to look for at Stitches West in a few weeks. I hope mine comes out as nice as yours.

Suzanne said...

I really appreciate you sharing the sizing challenges. I am due to make the featherweight cardi soon. I have the pattern and the yarn ready to go.

Jessica said...

Thank you so much for giving Knitting Brooklyn a shout out on the blog :0) I am planning on starting the Effortless Cardigan soon and was going to do a medium- but after reading your post, I think I'll consider going dwon a size- thanks again!!!

Unknown said...

It's a very lovely cardigan. And I'm curious about the yarn, too.

Cambria Washington said...

I knit an Effortless cardigan last year (my first finished object of the year), and wore it every single chilly day of the year until I finally knit something else, lol. I also noticed an issue with the shoulders slipping forward, and I'm thinking about sewing a ribbon across the neckline and shoulders (on the inside) to see if that will stabilize it a little bit. Otherwise, I love mine to death!

Stefanie said...

Hooray! You finished it; I think you've talked lots about it before yeah? Love the teal color.

lelah said...

Love yours!! Mine is also too big - the problem is tht my shoulders are actually narrow, and I went by my bust size. I should have gone down a size!! It falls off me in an annoying way. :(

lelah said...

Ooooooh, just read Annie's comment about the I-cord!! Totally doing that today. Thanks, Annie, and thanks Susan!!

lelah said...

Ooooooh, just read Annie's comment about the I-cord!! Totally doing that today. Thanks, Annie, and thanks Susan!!

lelah said...

Made the applied icord last night, BIG success!!! Amazing! My sweater is awesome now.

Kristy said...

Your cardigan is beautiful! Thanks for sharing it.