Monday, May 18, 2020

FO: Hortencia Cardigan

One nice perk of having all this Covid-19 craziness has been all the very generous free offers by various designers and artists out there. One of them was that Andi Satterlund (I've knit many of her patterns over the years) generously offered one pattern of your choice for free. I love her vintage aesthetic of her patterns, which is why I've knit so many. This freebie happened at the perfect time because I had suddenly developed a love for the Hortencia pattern, which I really didn't care much for when it was released. Funny how our tastes change, isn't it? I had contemplated grabbing this pattern a few times, but I just have so many patterns that I couldn't justify buying another that I wasn't necessarily going to knit up any time soon, you know? So when Andi put up the freebie code, I knew exactly what I wanted to get with it :) And I was ready for a simple knitting project AND I had yarn on hand to make it with. So this project was just meant to be. I officially started knitting this on March 27th, and even with not devoting a ton of time to knitting I managed to finish it by April 15th.
I checked through my whole stash on Ravelry (holy cow, I love the stash feature - seriously you should look into it), and I came across 5 skeins of Cascade Avalon in the Pirate Black colorway. Avalon is a 50/50 cotton and acrylic blend, so it makes for a sweater that is warm enough for air conditioning but not heavy like wool and too warm for Florida. I bought this yarn for crazy cheap in a Craftsy sale back in 2016 thinking that "black" meant black. My monitor showed it as closer to black black, maybe slightly lighter, and I know I had it flagged for a certain sweater pattern (can't remember what now); but when the yarn arrived it was very much not black. The yarn is a charcoal gray color, which is nice and all, but at the time it was just not what I had expected so I wasn't super happy with it. So this yarn sat for 4 years with no project in mind for it, making it perfect for this sweater :) And it turned out that I had the exact amount I needed - meaning "I had to unravel about half of my gauge swatch to finish this" exact amount. Kismet!
One thing I have noticed about Andi's patterns over the many years of knitting them up is that the shoulders always end up too wide on me. Given that I've lost weight and my other sweaters are all too big, I went down to a size Medium for this project. Even with that, the shoulders are still too wide on me. For this style, I think it looks fine, like a design choice, but I think next time I make up one of Andi's patterns I will have to figure out the alterations to narrow the shoulders. 
The real feature of this design is the shawl collar. The entire sweater is stockinette stitch, then the collar is garter stitch, which normally I'm not a huge fan of but I really like the contrast in texture on this sweater. She has a clever short row construction for the collar and it helps it lay nicely. Having said that, the pattern does recommend tacking the collar down to keep it in the right position, which I didn't do yet, but having worn this a few times and having to adjust the collar a lot I known I will be doing that sometime soon.
Interestingly (for me), I actually had no idea what buttons I would use, lol. This was such a quickly envisioned project that I never even thought about my buttons. Even after I finished the knitting, it was over a week before I started looking through my button stash to pick some buttons. The funny thing is that I went with the first option that I picked up - I didn't even dig further in my stash! That is pretty unheard of for me.
I have an entire vial of these buttons in 2 sizes that I grabbed at The Sewing Studio in one of their Annex sales. They are gray and have a slightly iridescent lined design. They looked good + I was in the mood to finish + I was already taking blog photos of my other makes, so I decided to just sew these buttons one and get the pics and call it done, lol. I'm glad I did because now I can wear this when I'm chilly at work.
So that's my Hortencia cardigan :) I really love the finished sweater. I think it will be great over dresses and high waisted skirts (once I make some that fit me). I like the style and color and cotton yarn. So yay for a quick and satisfying project!

Yarn: 5 skeins of Cascade Avalon in Pirate Black - $13.90
Pattern: Hortencia by Andi Satterlund - Free (Thank you, Andi!)
Notions: 2 buttons - $0.10
Time: 3 weeks
Total Cost: $ 14.00

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