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Sugar Plum Sunshower Cardigan by Andi Satterlund |Outfit Along 2015

6 Aug

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Hi, friends! I can’t believe I’m back with a second knitted garment in less than a month! I didn’t knit two things in less than a month but I did finish this one in about 2.5 weeks. I decided to participate in this year’s Outfit Along hosted by Andi Satterlund of Untangling Knots and Lauren Taylor of Lladybird but it took me a while to decide what to make.

First, I knit my Aures Lace Tank but I couldn’t decide what to sew to go with it. Then I sewed the Vogue 1353 Poppies Dress and couldn’t decide what to knit to go with it. So at the last minute (July 13 to be exact with a deadline of July 31), I decide to start from scratch and create two completely new things, so enter the Sunshower Cardigan by Andi and another Vogue 1353 (which I will share later this week).

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The Sunshower Cardigan is a new release as part of a collection of Andi’s patterns from KnitPicks. It immediately caught my attention because of the polka dot like lace pattern. And for some reason when I saw it I immediately envisioned it in a lilac shade. Luckily the recommended KnitPicks Swish Worsted came in the perfect color — Sugar Plum — and was a reasonable price, too.

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The pattern wasn’t difficult to knit, especially if you have knit a few of Andi’s patterns before. They are all pretty similar in techniques. I did have a problem with the lace pattern not lining up once I joined the front and back pieces but I decided not to worry about it because I don’t think anyone will be looking in my armpits 🙂

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I am also a little aggravated that the lace motif isn’t symmetrical at the front button band and I noticed the model’s cardigan is the same way. If I ever make this cardigan again, I would correct the pattern for both of these problems. On top of that, it took me a little while to get the hang of the lace pattern so my “polka dots” aren’t perfectly lined up in some places but I don’t think it’s noticeable and it’s not going to stop me from wearing it.

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As for sizing, I went with the 38.25″ bust and find the bust to fit well but the waist is a bit big. I will try to block it smaller next time I wash it.

As for any helpful construction techniques, I have never found “bind off in pattern” to work for 1×1 rib on openings that need to stretch so I rely on this method. I used it on the waist and sleeve cuffs. I don’t think the tubular bind off is necessary for the neckline but I would use something a little more stretchy than “bind off in pattern,” maybe this one. I didn’t do this here but wish I had as my neckline binding is a little tight.

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I think the most interesting thing I did with this cardigan is my button bands. I followed Lauren’s idea for adding a grosgrain ribbon facing for stability but I did the buttonholes differently. I have learned quickly in my short knitting career that I don’t like the look or functionality of knitted buttonholes, even when they are reinforced with a ribbon band. Plus it is tricky getting the ribbon band buttonholes to line up perfectly with the knitted buttonholes.

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So I decided to omit knitting them and to stitch them in with my sewing machine instead. I will be bringing you more details on this process later this week so stay tuned.

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I think that’s about it for this cardigan. You can see my Ravelry project page here and check out the winners of the 2015 OAL here.

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Finished Knit | Aures Lace Yoke Tee

12 Jul

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Happy Sunday, friends! I am so excited to share this most recent finished object with you today! Let the record show that this is my first official presentation of a completed, truly wearable, hand-knitted garment!!

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The pattern is the Aures Lace Yoke Tee by Rhiannon Owens and I knitted it up in some gorgeous azalea-colored silk-tencel blend yarn that I picked up at my local yarn shop (Zitron Glanz Punkt in color 8028). The finished product is not perfect but it is close enough for me to be happy to wear this tee out of the house proudly. It fits well thanks to the thoughtful sizing of the pattern designed for hourglass shapes and the color goes with several things already in my wardrobe (Gabriola maxi case-in-point). Win-win!

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The construction is nice because it is knit all in one piece from the bottom up, even the little cap sleeves are knit in unison with the body of the sweater. I was able to try it on as I went to make sure the circumference of the hip was going to be adequate. I included the short row bust dart for a D cup (my first time to do this in a knitting pattern), but I think it may have provided a little bit too much length in the front. I used the Icelandic bind off for the neckline as I read it was supposed to be a stretchy bind off for garter stitch but I don’t find it to stretch very well.

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My critiques of the pattern are few and minor and may result from my relative inexperience with knitting. First, I would prefer to have the pattern designer include what she considers A, B, C, D, and DD cup sizes. Sometimes cup sizes for patterns are different than bra sizes and bra sizes can vary depending on which country you buy your bra from… I would also like to see a diagram with finished garment measurements like many other patterns include. Finally, because I am super OCD, I would like to have stitch counts included for the final row when you begin the neckline binding to make sure I have done all my decreases correctly. I know I could do the math myself but having the designer include it is an extra safety measure.

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For my next version of this top, I would make it a little longer. Maybe my row gauge is off but I would like an extra 2″ in length to cover my hips. I would also make the neckline a little deeper. As it sits now, it is a little tight, both while wearing and when putting it on/taking it off. I think I would stop the lacework one repeat down and begin the binding at that point. I might also try a different bind off to see if something is stretchier than the Icelandic. Finally, I think I would only include a C-cup bust dart as I find the D-cup dart a little long and I think the front of the sweater is a little longer than the back. Or maybe that’s because of my swayback? Maybe some more experienced knitters can chime in here…

Overall I am tickled pink with my new sweater and can’t wait to get started on my next knitting project. What have you been crafting?

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