Winter's last Sweater - Audrey in Unst

6.11.2015

Winter's last sweater, aka the garment you didn't apply yourself studiously enough to finish before old man winter packed it up.  That sewing machine is a wicked, wicked distraction! "Ohhh Heather, come sew a bunch of summer dresses.....That Wasn't A Request!"  Then the sneaky machine set a cake trap and I found myself caught in the pedal unable to free myself until I lined a bodice.

Annnyway, after finishing my last sweater I was still in the mood for another cropped length cardigan. So cute with dresses, so much less to knit. Good old Ravelry pulled up a bunch of options and I was soon down a Gudrun Johnston rabbit hole.  Dear Gundrun, you've been bringing it in the cardigan department and I'm sorry it took me ohhhh something like 5 years to realize it. I blame the the small human who turned my brain into mush causing me to only be able to knit blankets and socks for a few years.  He laughs at my misfortune and sticks my hand knit socks in his mouth. Yeah, it's both gross and an affront to my handiwork. ;)
I could have cast on several of Gundrun's cardigan patterns, but went with the super popular choice of Audrey in Unst. The pattern matched the cropped cardigan requirement, the bib lace detail was very pretty and the amount of regular stockinette would make it good TV watching knitting. In fact I loved the design so much that got out the really good yarn to make it, the Sundara Sport.

Working Heather did splurge on a sweaters worth of this yarn in the mid aughts and then knit up an EPS cardigan in 2009. While knitting that sweater I came to the conclusion that this was one of the best yarns, and color, ever and wished that there was more.  For shits and giggles I visited the Ravelry sell and trade page for Sundara sport and, HOLY COW, another knitter had another sweater's worth she wanted to sell. Not sure if "TAKE MY MONEY!" was a thing in 2009, but that's pretty much what my DM message said. She happily did and sent me another 5 skeins of this precious yarn to augment my stash.
(Side note - The 2009 EPS cardigan is still going strong. The color faded a tad and I've worn off the cuff cast-on yarn and mended it twice. Otherwise the yarn has held up wonderfully, very little pilling and no holes to speak of.)
80% of this project was very enjoyable knitting. The other 20% was the horrible slog that is 36 rows of twisted rib knit flat. Oh my god how I hate knitting twisted rib, yet so many of my chosen projects feature it. I must have some sort of self torture through knitting thing going on. "It's not a real knitting project until the entire side of my neck cramps up!" *insert crazed laughter*  But anyway, after finishing up the giant waist ribbing of doom the rest of the sweater went smoothly.  The bib lace portion was fun to knit and I was kind of disappointed when that part went so quickly. I also enjoyed finally learning the technique of knitting on set in sleeves with short rows. Wow do I loooove that and want to do it all the time now.

Here are the knitting details for those of you dying to know.
- Went down a needle size on the pattern since I'm a habitual loose knitter. Hem and sleeve twisted rib was knit on 5's, stockinette on 4's and the button band was knit on 2's. Size knit was the 36" bust.

- Could not get exact row gauge in Sundara Sport, it was bigger, so the body length was shortened. I removed the 7 rows of St St before dividing for the fronts and back.

- Also shortened the armhole area a bit by stopping at at 16 rows instead of 18.

- Did not remove any of the length from the sleeves so they are more bracelet length than 3/4 length.

- Since I'd shortened the body length, I used the button band pick up numbers for the smallest size.

- I needed very little yarn from the 5th skein, only enough to knit the button bands and the i-cord neckline bind off.
Finding 10 tiny green buttons is a bit of a challenge in my area since JoAnn's doesn't stock that many colors of green. Actually if you need over 6 buttons for any sort of project good luck finding that many in stock. Etsy came to the rescue and I was able to get 10 buttons for a very reasonable price at AJ Stuff. They arrived in my mailbox very promptly too, so I'll be perusing their store for future projects.

The finished cardigan is probably the most perfect thing I've knit in a long time.  The amount of ease is just right, I like the length of both the body and the sleeves, the buttonband doesn't gap weirdly, I could go on and on.  No wonder this cardigan is so popular!  So that's my last cardigan project for awhile. In the mean time I'll be whipping out socks in front of the A/C unit, muttering about humidity and sewing summer dresses. Lots of summer dresses. 

17 comments:

  1. Ooh! Such a gorgeous shade of green! That is a beautiful sweater!

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  2. Truly gorgeous work! And that last photo is one of the most beautiful images I've seen of anyone in a long time :)

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  3. SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.comJune 12, 2015 at 5:00 AM

    Fabulous colour. I love the lace pattern at the front. Beautiful card.

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  4. It's a lovely sweater! I don't know if this is a pattern I'll ever be able to tackle myself, since I'm not sure how well it would work in non-wooly yarns, but it looks like a really flattering one that will go well stylistically with a lot of the things you make. And it's always fun to see what your Instagram in-progress shots end up being!

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  5. Is there anything you can't do?? This is gorgeous - I love that colour!

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  6. Thanks man! Sundara's colors are delightful.

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  7. Awww thanks. :) I don't really know what I'm doing with the Canon Rebel yet but sometimes I get lucky with a shot.

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  8. Thank you. The lace bib was what sold me on the pattern. What a nice little detail to add to a mostly stockinette cardigan. :)

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  9. Thanks Becky. Knitting twisted rib in wool is hard enough on your hands, I wouldn't recommend it in cotton. Granted I don't have a good idea of wool yarn alternatives like you might.


    Do you own the "No sheep for you" pattern book?" I know they have a lot of yarn ideas in there.

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  10. Haa haa! Thanks Heather. I promise there are plenty of things I can't do. Like speak in coherent sentences to people. ;)

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  11. Beautiful! The yarn is mesmerizing to look at [insert heart eyes here]. Even though all those rows of ribbing were a pain, it was so worth it! I love a good wide ribbed waist.

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  12. I do have that book, though I'll admit that I only use it for the yarn substitution reference. The patterns in there really don't appeal to me for the most part.

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  13. Dang.... I wish i could knit well. Another beautiful sweater Heather!

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  14. This is so pretty! The lace looks so fun to knit! I'm always tempted to try this because it's so pretty, even though I don't wear cardigans and I hate sweaters that end at my natural waist. So stop tempting me! ;)

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  15. Thanks Lisa. Awww man, I think Sundara has some sort of magical dying process. There has to be fairy dust in there or something.

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  16. You just in a bunch more free time to work on your knitting. So stop with all that pesky work stuff. ;)

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  17. Muhaaa haaa! I'm a bad influence. You can keep tempting me with boxy cabled sweaters that would look bad on me. Then we'll be even. :)

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