FO: Blooming Cardigan

Pattern: Blooming Cardigan by Sarah Hoadley, Winter 2009 Interweave Knits

Yarn: Beaverslide Worsted in Mountain twilight

Needles: US 7 and 5

Notes: It’s possible that I have recently become obsessed with the tv show Mad Men. Not the plotlines (though I find them compelling) but rather the wonderful clothes worn by the women in the cast.  So when I found this pencil skirt at the thrift store the other day, I knew it would go perfectly with my nearly completed cardigan – and it did!  I even bought the shoes to match (I love this style of heel so much that I broke my rule of not paying full price for shoes.)  Yes… I’ve been going a little crazy lately looking for late 50s/early 60s era clothing.  And we won’t even talk about my new obsession with retro eyeliner.  I’m even wearing retro perfume – Baghari by Robert Piguet, a recent recreation of a classic 1950s perfume.  But that’s nothing new – I adore classic perfumes and have way too many – Chanel no 5, Guerlain Shalimar etc… they don’t smell old to me, they smell like a lady, which is how I would like to be seen.

Ahem… that’s a long way to say that I adore this sweater.  I made several alterations from the original pattern.  The largest, of course, is the subtraction of the belt.  As you can see, it doesn’t need one, and in fact is cuter without.   I added more buttons than called for in the pattern to compensate – I used 8 3/4 inch buttons, placed every 10 buttonband stitches or so.  I picked up fewer stitches that called for on the collar and the buttonbands.  Speaking of the collar – I love it!  I didn’t even notice how cute the large collar was in the magazine.  I left off the buttons called for on the collar, because I would never use them.  I slipped the first stitch on each turn of the bobbles, which made them not too huge.  The cabling I did without a cable needle, and it was pretty quick work.

The fit is great, though the sleeves are a tad bit small in the wrist.  I will say that the sleeve caps are too long to fit in the armholes – I don’t like so much ease, and they are a little big on me.    Unlike most cardigans, this one has enough shaping to be cute buttoned all the way up.   I also think that it would be easy to play with the proportions on this one by moving the cable panel in towards the center a little, which would give a slimming effect.  I’m not sure I approve of the cables being so close to the underarms, though I don’t think it’s that noticeable in the smallest size – the back would definitely be more flattering that way.

And the yarn… oh how I love this yarn.  A tweedy wool and mohair blend that isn’t as pricey as you would think.  It’s soft yet sturdy.  It’s minimally processed and I think it feels a bit of lanolin when you knit it, which I enjoy because it softens your hands.  It doesn’t smell sheepy.  It blocked beautifully, with some real size changes – so wash your swatch if you use this!  I did sew up with the yarn, and it was a little bit fragile, but not so much that it can’t be sewn with – just don’t pull hard enough to snap the yarn.

I think this is another victim of what I consider to be the lousy styling in Interweave Knits – this was the cover sweater last winter, but do you recognize it?  It was too big and not flattering at all on the model, and the belt didn’t really work.  It took me forever to finish, but only because warm weather interrupted the knitting – I’m so happy to have this in my wardrobe now!

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35 thoughts on “FO: Blooming Cardigan

  1. LOVELY! Like I said in comments on your last post – I didn’t recognize it at all. I think it’s too short for the belt and like it much better without. I agree about the panels too, they’d look nice moved in a bit. The whole outfit is too cute!

    • It fits you perfectly. I love the way you style your FO’s. That skirt is to die for. I don’t watch Mad Men, but I am about to start. I want to see all the fashions.

  2. Love the cardigan! I have the same obsession with 50’s fashion. My latest addiction is scouring ebay for gorgeous 50’s dresses. If only they were cheaper!

  3. Oh wow! I hadn’t realized at all that it is the same cardi as the shlubby one on the cover of IK.

    I’m so with you on the Mad Men love! Peggy is wearing some really cute dresses/suits this season, and Joan is gorgeous as always.

  4. Zsuzsanna says:

    This looks so much better than in the magazine! When I saw it there I didn’t think I’d ever want to knit this (it looked frumpy IMO) but looking at yours I realised what a cute cardigan this was. Beautiful job!

  5. mick says:

    What a fantastic sweater! You look beautiful in that first photo; it’s easy to see by your smile that you really love this FO. Nicely done!

  6. ShirleyN says:

    I had to look back at the 2009 issue to refresh my memory. You’re right. The sweater looked oversized and overdone with the belt. I think that was the styling then – add a belt to anything oversized. Like your version better.

  7. I’m not a huge fan of bobbles on garments, but you really manage to pull it off without looking like you ought to see a doctor. Very elegant, the color looks fabulous on you, and I like the vintage look.

  8. I adore it!! You are right about the IK styling – I didn’t even recognize it – yours is fabulous, theirs was sorta blah and oversized. Off to add this to my queue now….

  9. This cardigan is absolutely beautiful on you. I have a question for you actually – I am a beginning knitter, and I am worried about how slow I am at it. Can I ask you how many actual hours went into this project for you? You seem like a much more experienced knitter, so maybe that will give me a good idea of what I can hope for.

    I love your site by the way – there are so many beautiful projects!

  10. Melanie says:

    This is an absolutely gorgeous sweater and looks so great on you. Loved reading your comments and they give me pause about knitting it myself– unless I pay heed to what you found as the shortcomings. Good points; but just love it.

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