Thursday, July 23, 2015

Louise Cardigan

Hi, Knitters,
I am still on a sweater kick. I have completed three sweaters this summer and I am pretty far on a fourth. I am feeling good about updating and adding to my handknit fall and winter wardrobe for the cold weather season that's approaching. It has been so much fun and really refreshing knitting these garments over the last few months. My knitting feels a bit rejuvenated and my love for our craft has grown even stronger if that's possible.

The latest cardigan I finished is called Louise.

Here is some information you might like to know:

Yarn: Quince & Co. Osprey (considered an Aran weight yarn) in Kumlien's Gull, Honey and Belize

Needles: US size 9 and 10, 32 inch circulars; US size 9 and 10 dpns

Cardigan Size: 35 3/4-inch bust size

Buttons: Six 1-inch golden wood buttons from Wooly Moss Roots on Etsy (my favorite button shop - highly recommended!)

~ ribbed edge on bottom of the body is knit on the US size 9 needles instead of the recommended US size 10
~ lengthened the body
~ took out the waist shaping
~ shortened the sleeve length
~ Instead of binding off under the arms/sleeves and seaming, I left the stitches live and used the kitchener stitch to graft the sleeves and body together.
~ added patch pockets to both fronts (picked up and knit onto the body, sides of pockets stitched down)
~ added one additional button and buttonhole

The cardigan is knit from the bottom up. Once you reach the underarms, you place stitches on both sides on scrap yarn or bind off as the pattern has you do where the sleeves will be lined up and placed. Set the body aside. Knit both of the sleeves up to the underarm. Place the underarm stitches on scrap yarn or bind off as directed in the pattern.

Join the body and sleeves together and work the raglan yoke. Bind off to make the front neckline lower and slightly scooped. Bind off at neck edge. Graft or seam the stitches under the arms together.

I soaked and blocked the cardigan at this point to make the collar and button bands easier to pick up. This makes the fronts roll less and makes it a little easier to figure out where to place the buttons. 

Pick up and work the ribbed collar. Pick up and work the garter stitch button band and buttonhole band. I like to knit the button band first and place stitch markers where I want the buttons. I figure out how many stitches I want in between the buttons and the distance for the buttons to be placed from the top and bottom edges of the front.

I picked up and added the two patch pockets. The pockets are 5-inch squares including 1-inch of rib at the top. The pockets are set 7 or 8 stitches over from the button bands and 3 rows up from the bottom rib.

Once the button bands and collar are in place I steamed those sections and the pockets before I sewed on the buttons.

Stitch on the buttons across from the buttonholes. I used light blue thread and a sewing needle.

I highly recommend this pattern. Louise is simple, easy, cute and wearable. It is easy enough for a first time cardigan knitter. With the heavier weight yarn and larger needles it works up in a flash. 

Carrie Bostick Hoge is a master of creating incredibly easy but entertaining knitwear. Her use of color in Louise is part of what drew me in. The color choices I used are the same colors Carrie used in the pattern and sample. Carrie gets all of the credit for the colors. I love that Honey gold color but it isn't the best color for me to wear all over. By limiting the Honey color to the cuffs and making them bold and wide I get to enjoy wearing the color without having it right by my face. It's perfect. 

And if you are interested in my skirt, it is called the Rising Sun Patched Skirt. I just purchased it last weekend while I was in Nashville. I found one skirt like this on the racks at the new retail and workshop space called Craftsouth. The skirt is sewn by one of my longtime favorite fabric designers/sewing artists/pattern designers/illustrators, Anna Maria Horner. My skirt is a size small and it fits great. 

Anna Maria also has classes on Creativebug. I have taken her Whole Cloth Quilt Class online at Creativebug and it was wonderful. She is charming and talented. I have also purchased a lot of her fabrics through the years and many of my quilted placemats are sewn using her beautiful fabrics. 

Click here to visit the Craftsouth website! This is Anna Maria's new retail and teaching space. It is so much fun in the shop. Make sure to visit if you are in Nashville. They have gorgeous yarns, too!

Click here to visit Anna Maria Horner's blog! (one of my favorite blogs of all time!)

I'll be back soon with the SSK 2015 review! I've been busy doing lots of book editing this week and the time has slipped by too quickly. 

Have a good weekend. July is almost over and that's a little hard to believe.
xo ~ susan