Monday, November 16, 2015

FO: Penelope Cardigan

After 3 weeks of waiting on buttons, my sweater is finally finished!
This is the Penelope Cardigan by Andi Satterlund. The pattern was just released in September, and I received the pattern as a prize in the Nosegay Vest Knit Along (which was seriously so nice!). Andi actually made the sweater for herself a year or so ago, and I was hoping she would release it as a pattern so I was quite excited when the knit along was announced. 
I made this entirely of stashed yarns. The coral is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and the blue is Cascade 220 Superwash Paints in Sapphire Seas. I grabbed both of these years ago for a sweet deal and just sat on them until a good project came along. I was worried about the odd color combo at first, but now that it's finished I absolutely love it. The colors are right up my alley and I think it will be a fun addition to my wardrobe.
The sweater is actually incredibly simple - it's all stockinette stitch, the only thing that makes it different is the color blocked section which is actually only 2 rows of stranding. Because of the simple construction and me having about a week where I just couldn't make myself do anything but knit, I finished all the knitting in just over 3 weeks. 
I even like the sweater opened up, which is realistically how I will wear it. I deliberated for a while if I would stick with the pattern or make the sleeves longer. In the end, I decided to just try the 3/4 length. I'm hoping that the sleeves not being full length will keep me just that little bit cooler so I'm able to wear this more often than some of my other wool cardis. The last few of Andi's patterns I've made up, I've combined sizes in an effort to custom fit me, but they ended up being a little too loose in the waist. This time, I decided to just knit a straight size Large and see how it worked out, and I'm really happy with the fit. The stretch of the wool really helped the fit, and it doesn't look too tight either - perfect. The only change I made was to lengthen the waist section of the sweater by 3" to accommodate my long torso.
Obligatory mannequin shot. You can see the subtle color variation in the blue yarn better in these photos too. It's hand painted yarn, so it has several tones of blue and a few purple as well. I'm not generally a big fan of variegated yarns, but when it's this subtle I think it's a really nice effect. Also, because of the color variation, the buttons I found were absolutely perfect. The buttons are glass with metal shanks. The glass is an iridescent bluey purple and they remind me of a garden gazing ball. The buttons help pick up the purple in the yarn, plus they make the coral pop. I really can't believe how good they look, and even though I complained heavily about having to wait so long to get the last 3 (seriously, it took the store 5 weeks to restock them and I checked every week) they were definitely worth the wait.
In these close ups of the sweater back you can see my slight mistake. This was my first time doing stranded color work and the back was the first piece of the pattern. You can see little blue spots in the center of my little coral scallops - this is where I tried to trap the floats (which are the strands of yarn you are not using) so that they weren't so long. I've always read that you just periodically overlap the working yarn, but I was worried I would pull it too tight (as is my usual trouble) and I ended up with the opposite problem. I should've pulled the coral stitches a little tighter when I trapped the float, but since they are a little loose you can see a little blue there. It's not awful looking and I improved when I got to the front so I'm not that broken up about it. I also stabilized the button bands with petersham ribbon (like I always do). The button bands still pull slightly just since the coral yarn is more stretchy than usual, but it's much better than it would've been without, that's for sure.
So there you have it - my Penelope cardigan :) I'm really excited for the weather to cool off a bit so I can actually wear it out in the wild. Thanks, Andi, for such a cute pattern and the fun knit along!

Yarn: 3.89 skeins Cascade 220 Superwash Paints in Sapphire Seas - $19.83, 1.7 skeins Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Coral - $9.60
Pattern: Penelope Cardigan - Free (Thanks, Andi!)
Notions: 11 buttons (La Petite #573) - $7.00, 50" of 1" wide Petersham ribbon in Creamsicle - $3.00
Time: 3 weeks (plus waiting for buttons - ugh!)
Total Cost: $39.43

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