FO: Millefiori Cardigan

Pattern: Millefiori cardigan, Interweave Knits Spring 2009

Yarn: Ella Rae Bamboo Silk

Needles: US 4 and 5

Notes: Finished in time for St. Patrick’s day!  I made this pattern with no mods other than the yarn substitution.  I am fairly pleased with the outcome, but it was frustrating to knit.  I’m not sure that I would use this yarn again.  While it is very soft and drapey, it sheds like nothing I have used before.  The black skirt I was wearing in these photos is covered in green fluff, and while I was knitting it kept ending up in my mouth and nose.  It worked out ok as a sub, but it doesn’t have a lot of body to it.  The sweater could benefit from a little more structure I think.

Now the pattern.  Well… it’s super cute in the magazine, and I do like it on me.  However, the clam stitch was frustrating to knit, and to be honest I don’t think it’s all that pretty.  It might be better with single rather than double YOs, but this would affect the length of the lace panel.  The pattern asks for you to knit the button bands with the fronts through the ribbing, and then knit the rest of them separately and seam them on.  I generally don’t see a lot of benefit from this technique – I would rather pick up and knit stitches than seam them on.  It this case, because of the large number of buttons and buttonholes, it was impossible to get them to line up properly when seaming, even if I made them on the same rows.  That’s why it isn’t completely buttoned – it looks wonky.  The buttonholes are impossible to find as well, a common problem in this sort of band.  The clam stitch is not pretty wherever it meets as seam, including the button bands, so I prefer not to emphasize that.

I just remembered one mod – I did knit the sleeves flat and seam them up.  I hate sleeves in the round, and find them hard to sew into armholes.

I know I’m being all complainy, but this sweater is really lovely to wear.  I would recommend the pattern, but be aware that you’re getting into something that will take longer than you think.  It took me quite a bit more time that I would have expected from this sort of sweater.

I think my hair looks red in these photos.  I can’t tell if the brown didn’t take properly, or if the sun is just reflecting off of it.  It does look more brown when I’m indoors.  I think I’m going to end up at the hairdressers.  I’m not going to be happy with it if it fades back to red… though it does look nice with the green!

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46 thoughts on “FO: Millefiori Cardigan

  1. Wow, this looks better on you than in the magazine. YOU should be a knitwear model. Or maybe not. I can’t afford to be tempted by yarn right now…

  2. Very pretty! The color is great on you. It’s good to hear about the issues with the pattern, too — thanks!

    Speaking as a lifelong brunette, my hair glows red/orange in the sun, though it doesn’t look at all red indoors.

  3. Regardless of all your comments, I think the sweater is beautiful. Each sweater & yarn has its challenges. The skirt goes perfectly and your hair looks great also! Always nice to see your completed projects!

  4. I’m making the same sweater (much more slowly!) and doing the same with knitting the sleeves flat; I don’t understand why the body is done in 3 pieces, yet the sleeves are in the round. It’s just inconsistent…AND I’m leaving the clam stitch off the sleeves so it’s on the body only. I’ve read other complaints about the buttonholes, and I haven’t quite decided if I want to change that or not, so I’m doing the sleeves before the fronts.
    In any case, yours looks really beautiful!

  5. I love it, and it is so cute on you with the pretty skirt too. Pity there were a few annoying things about the pattern, but I guess we come across them sometimes in things we love.

  6. Gorgeous! Thanks for the heads up on the yarn. So many of these bamboo yarns are turning out a bit disappointing.

    ps– I have black hair that looks red in bright sun, so I wouldn’t worry about your hair color.

  7. kelly-ann says:

    Beautiful cardi! The clam stitch looks really pretty. That stinks about the shedding – I hope it subsides after awhile.

    Now, I love that skirt! Do you mind sharing where you bought it?

  8. I think the cardi looks fabulous. You always have such lovely FO photos. Cute skirt, too.

    Your hair does seem to have reverted to red! Did they bleach it before dyeing it? Maybe the dye didn’t adhere if not. Not that I know much about that. I’ve never had mine *professionally* dyed before. Tee hee.

  9. patryce says:

    just want to second what everyone else is saying…the sweater is much nicer than i would have expected from the magazine, the clam stitch is quite nice. also, i really like your new brown hair. the entire outfit is really sweet.

  10. i always love reading your blog (although i don’t comment that often) as i find your pattern reveiws and comments invaluable. in this case i was interested to hear what you said about this cardigan as i also have plans to knit it.

    thank you so much for your feedback – i had already considered knitting the sleeves flat because like you i can’t stand seaming them in the round unless i absolutely have to. the bands was good to know as well.

    although it sounded painful to knit and isn’t your favourite project, it looks absolutely fantastic on you. well done.

  11. Eva says:

    Very beautiful! Your millefiori cardigan looks much better than in the magazine. And your style is lovely. Perfect for spring.
    Have a wonderful day.

  12. I really like it on you! Looks great with your hair, actually. :)

    I can sympathize, however, with having a totally wear-able garment, but not being completely happy with it. It’s hard when you’ve spent that much time knitting something not to be deliriously happy with it, isn’t it??

  13. It looks really gorgeous!
    Red is notoriously difficult to tone/strip out of hair. Coloring over it may only increase highlight it more as the color begins to oxidize.

  14. Millefiori looks great and it’s so pretty with your skirt! Thanks so much for your thorough review of the pattern; I’ve just started my cardi (with the back piece) and I’ll probably make some pattern mods for the button band.

  15. That looks incredible on you! I love the whole outfit. Green looks really pretty with the reddish brown hair – which probably is just looking redder because it’s in the sun.

  16. Susan says:

    The sweater is adorable and looks perfect with your skirt and shoes. But I don’t think i will try this cardi – if it took you longer than expected, it would take me a year!
    Congratulations on another beautiful sweater!

  17. melissa says:

    love the cardi your such a fast knitter.
    I’m a hairdresser and your brown is pretty. some have a red or gold base and only show in the natural lighting. looks great

  18. lisa says:

    So, so pretty! Absolutely love the color and it is truly great with the skirt you’re wearing. Makes me want to pull out the yarn and start swatching!

  19. Mikiska says:

    A lovely cardi, so feminine and delicate, by the way my favorite color is green!!!
    I visit your blog since last year, i live in South American, and i’m a knit-amateur, then your projects inspires me. Go for the next cardi ok? Hugs

  20. Penny says:

    That cardigan has turned out beautifully! I have it on my list of cardigans I’m allowed to start after I finish some other things! :)

  21. Wow! You do knit fast. It looks great! That pattern is really nice I think and chances are it will be on my needles in the coming year! Your version is very inspiring!

  22. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….you are such a fast knitter! You make a list, you stick to it and you finish everything you start. I’m amazed. BTW thanks for warning me off that yarn. I was considering it for a project, but if it sheds then I’ll steer clear……

  23. you did a great job on the millefiori-have gotten to the row on the clamshell pattern where you’re doing the whole k2tog, don’t take off needle- blah blah-it just looks weird when i go to the following row and drop and k-am wondering if it’s really worth it for the yarn i’m using or if i will evenutally get this figured out-help!

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