Monday, July 25, 2016

OAL2016: Sparkly Coral Hetty Cardigan

It's a big day, folks! I've finally finished my entry for the Outfit Along and I'm ready to share it with you. I've participated in the Outfit Along all 3 years it's been going on, and I've managed to complete the challenge of knitting 1 sweater and sewing at least 1 item to be worn together two of those times (here and today's post). In previous years, the suggested sewn item has always been a dress with a cardigan, so while I didn't sew or knit that particular pattern, I would still make a dress and a cardigan. This year, they switched it up on us, making the official knitting pattern Zinone (a linen tee) and the sewing pattern the Hollyburn Skirt by Sewaholic. The Hollyburn was on the top of my list to make up this year, so I was keen to use the suggested pattern this time around, but being that I never wear pullover style sweaters (even if they are light weight) I decided to stick with my style and knit a Hetty Cardigan.

All this is to say that I actually made 3 items this year for this challenge (a cardigan, a shirt, and a skirt), and I know that would be an absolutely enormous post to talk about all of them. This first post will be about the sweater (the biggest part by far) and there will be 2 other posts over the next few days about the shirt and skirt. *Spoiler Alert* I love every piece and they are great basics that will match a ton of stuff in my wardrobe, so I definitely feel like this project was a success. I did use all the 2 months allotted (I moved during these 2 months, so I cut myself a break), but most of that was just with the sweater, then the shirt was an after thought. Anyway, onto what you're here for: My completed Outfit!
Here is the whole she-bang all together (complete with Swedish Hasbeens - I am a sewing blogger, after all) :) When I posted a quick picture of my whole outfit to the board on Ravelry, I got what might possibly be the best compliment of my life...
So if this outfit makes people want to ask me about books, I take that as a major win, lol. I do love recommending and reviewing books. I'm glad I achieved that level of Librarian Chic :)
My post today is all about the sweater. I've had the Hetty pattern for quite a while intending to make it up long ago. I just always pushed other projects forward. When the OAL came along I knew it was the perfect opportunity. We weren't required to make one of Andi's patterns to participate, but personally I just love how her patterns fit me - since I've made so many I already know what to do to make them fit me well. For this pattern I just lengthened the body (I have a long torso plus I like them to sit a little lower than my waist) and I spaced out the decreases more to accommodate the added length. I made up a size Large but I did leave off a couple of decreases to make the waist a little bigger (not quite up to the next size though).
Because this is all over lace it's just as pretty on the back as it is on the front :) I love how it fits on the back! Not too tight where it dips in at my bra in an obvious way (a pet peeve of mine). I won't lie - I did my fair share of mess ups on this project. The whole sweater is knit in the round, so when I joined the fronts to the back I kept knitting away ... only to realize several inches later that I left off one of the lace rows on the back! It wasn't crazy obvious since it's a fairly busy pattern and I contemplated just leaving it until I noticed I did the same thing farther up on one of the fronts - which means the fronts wouldn't match. Now THAT would drive me nuts because I could see it. Frankly I blame knitting this while watching The English Patient - Ralph Fiennes is pretty distracting in that movie, amiright? Anyway, out it came back to where I had 3 separate pieces so I could make them all match. There is still one other bad area that I didn't even notice until I was completely finished with the body of the sweater, but I don't think anyone would ever be able to tell unless I point it out and I will never tell!
The sleeves are just as lovely as the body, Ah, knitting perfection ... I did shorten the sleeves by 1 repeat just as my preference. It sounds silly, but just that extra inch or two can really make a difference in how warm my sweaters make me. Maybe it's all in my head, but still - I'm knitting it, I made it shorter.
As usual, I lined my button bands. This time around I decided to try using some printed cotton tape I got a while ago at The Sewing Studio. It was natural colored with black butterflies printed on it. It's not bad, but not my favorite. The tape has a bit of stretch to it, making it ripple between the buttons plus it just doesn't have that stable heft of ribbon that makes it easier to button up. So this can stay, but I won't use it again...
I had a little drama with my buttons (when don't I?). I brought the completed sweater with me to The Sewing Studio sale on the 4th of July in hopes of finding some buttons. Man did I ever find the perfect ones! Look at those! They are the perfect color, the perfect size, they have a shank, and they even have a little sheen to the top to go with my yarn. There was only one catch: I made 10 buttonholes and the store only had 9 buttons. Ugh! I was left with the choice of either a)using a decorative button for the top one or b) re-knitting the button hole band AND the neckband (since the neckband comes last, it had to be taken off to make any button band changes). I deliberated for over a week, but in the end I just didn't love the look of the 1 button being different. I took an evening and pulled out the neckband and the button hole band and re-knit them.
I wanted to work from my crazy stash of yarn and pulled out this because I thought it would be a little fancy. It's Muench String of Pearls that I grabbed for a crazy clearance price from Jimmy Bean's Wool over a year ago ($10 for 10 skeins!). This was a stupid cheap deal so I bought it with no idea what to make from it (I have a purple colorway as well). It's 70% cotton, 20% rayon, and 10% polyester which is a pretty strand of iridescent thread that is twisted into the yarn. I was worried it would be too glitzy for me, but once it's knit up it's a very subtle sparkle (as you can see from these photos - the only photo you really even see it is in the one of the button band). I love how it came out and since this is cotton PLUS it's lace this is a great sweater to wear almost year round in Florida. Plus THE COLOR! I love this color. It's a very bright color in real life, but it still very wearable for me. This did make it a bit challenging when picking a fabric for the skirt to wear with it, but that's a tale for another post :) It's also worth noting that this yarn is a chainette weave, but it is wound like a tape yarn (meaning it's flat like a fettuccine). I was worried it would stay that way and knit a strange texture, but my gauge swatch showed me that after blocking it puffs up nicely - which the full sweater did as well. Yay gauge swatching!
So that's my Hetty cardigan :) If I hadn't been for the Outfit Along, this might have never come to pass. It's the sweater I never knew I wanted, lol. It's a comfy, pretty cotton sweater in one of my favorite colors. What's not to love?!
And since you've stuck around this long, here's a swishing photo (*swish*). I will post about the skirt and shirt throughout the week, so check back for more details!

Sweater Summary:
Yarn: 9.25 skeins of Muench String of Pearls yarn - $12.00
Pattern: Hetty by Andi Satterlund - $5.50
Notions: 9 buttons - $1.50, 41" butterfly printed cotton ribbon - $1.40, coral thread - $0.25
Time: 1.25 months (while moving)
Total Cost: $ 20.65

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining in the conversation!