Ohhh hi....how long have you been standing there? Crazy story right? Lizard people knitting and what not. No, no, doesn't pertain to me at all. First rule of lizard people is not talking about being lizard people. Annny way check out this new sweater that I, who am not a lizard person, knit this winter. *Adjusts Mask*
This baby is "The Sweetie" from Subversive Femme, an Etsy store I only know about thanks to Tasha's lovely "Ten of Hearts Cardgian." The pattern took my fancy because A) the model is lounging around in a deck chair like she has nothing to do today but drink until she falls out of said chair. B) This pattern seemed like it would be a good match for the Madelinetosh Tosh DK yarn in the stash. I guilt bought the "Flash Dance" colorway at my local yarn store some years ago. (Guilt buy definition - Buying something in a store because you feel it's rude not to.)
The yarn was a guilt buy because there were only 4 skeins left and that's not enough to cover my cake enhanced body. Instead of putting the yarn down like a sensible person, I Scarlet O'Hara-ed it up pushing my credit card across the counter while thinking "Fiddle dee dee, I'll think about it tomorrow/distant future. The purple color must be MINE!"
Years later it seemed like I could finally stop thinking about what to do with that yarn. Surely a cropped cardigan could be squeezed out of 4 skeins. (Spoiler - It can't, but more about that later.) I also wanted to take the opportunity to try out a vintage knitting pattern that was fairly easy. The Sweetie is the vintage equivalent of splashing around in the kiddie pool. Here are all the pros:
- The pattern has multiple bust sizes already worked out, including my usual 36" size.
- No fancy stitches, only easy stockinette stitch and garter stitch.
- The cropped length means you only have to worry about waist and hip measurements.
- The waist area is all garter stitch, which gives you some sizing wiggle room due to it's stretchiness.
If you're a seasoned sweater knitter like I am, the only thing you really miss is a nice schematic of the garment's finished measurements. We modern day knitters are so spoiled.
1. I knit a straight size 36" bust even though my waist measurement is usually a size bigger in vintage patterns. This worked out fine.
2. All the garter portions were knit on size 6 needles and the stockinette portions on size 5.
3. The length of the body is very short even to someone with a short torso. I added 2 extra inches of length before starting the armhole shaping.
4. The button bands are knit separately from the body of the cardigan and seamed. This lead to the question of how long to make then since I'd added 2" of length to the main body. I'm sure this could have been figured out mathematically using row gauge, but that's not my style. My solution was to leave the stitches on the top of the garter bands live, seam the band to the cardigan, and then match the length to the top the neck. I also decided to space the buttonholes further apart then instructed. Sadly this part bit me in the butt and the top buttonholes way too high. I had to rip that button band out and re-knit the button holes with the spacing suggested in the pattern.
5. Added 1/2" more length to the sleeves before starting the sleeve cap shaping.
6. Four skeins were almost enough for this sweater. I got everything knitted but the upper half of the second sleeve. Luckily Madelinetosh is pretty easy to find and I bought another skein off of yarn.com The dye lot was a bit different, but the join isn't that noticeable when you wear the cardigan. Since the color change happens right at the elbow it looks more like a trick of the light.
7. Buttons from Etsy store Yummy Treasures. They have plenty more if you love them. Due to the garter button band I did sew them together with some clear buttons to help support the weight.
The Sweetie was a great TV knitting project with only a little shaping to keep track of. I found the majority of the process to be fun and go rather quickly. Having to reknit one of those button bands was a bummer, but hey I can't blame anyone for that but me.
I'd say that the finished sweater is 90% a success. The length is perfect to go with skirts and the amount of ease through the body and sleeves is to my liking. I'm also fond of the double breasted look and the cute little wing collar. My main beef is with garter button bands in general. I love the look of the stitch, but it's always too stretchy for buttons to stay where I want therm. That one bottom button on the cardigan seems to be doing it's own thing no matter how I adjust it. Get back in line you free spirit!!!! My other small beef is that the Tosh DK yarn base seems to start pilling immediately. I've used this yarn before so that was more of a known variable rather than a surprise. I'll concede that it's a decent trade off for being able to get your hands on prettily dyed yarn a lot easier than Sundara or Wollmeise. Though when my money tree sprouts I'll be buying all the Sundara and
dancing on your human graves knitting lots of sweaters.
So that's the skinny on my winter knitting and no information what so ever about lizard people. If you'd like the short and sweet version here's the link to the Ravelry project page.
* Yep, making old school "V" jokes again. I might have lost my shit when Titus made a V joke in episode 6 of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Haa haa you crazy guy, we don't use spirit gum.