Work in Progress: The Perfect Cardi

January 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm 3 comments

Ever since I’ve gotten into knitting , I’ve wanted a perfect, basic, black cardigan. When I first started working with Liberty Wool by Classic Elite last year, I knew I had to make myself a cardi out of it. A couple months ago, I started this…

The picture makes the black a tad washed out, but the yarn is a beautiful jet black with incredible stitch definition.

I put it down for a while to work on a couple other projects, but then just picked it up again. I’ve wanted this sweater for a couple years and with babies coming in March or April, it’s probably the last big thing I’ll knit for me in a while.

I’m loving the stitch pattern, it’s a slip stitch pattern that resembles a cable, but has a much more squishy texture than most cable patterns.

I am having a bit of difficulty in designing the sleeve caps. I feel like a set-in sleeve is the most flattering sleeve design on women’s garments, especially if you like a more tailored look, like I do. But in my opinion, it happens to be the most finicky to calculate compared with raglan and yoke shaping, especially since these can be done top down and seamlessly. Yes, I know there are ways to do a set in sleeve top down and seamlessly, but from the last two sweaters I’ve used those methods on, I’ve found you can’t really get the exact same effect as when it’s done in pieces. As I get more experience, I may change my mind. But this sweater definitely required the structure and precision that you get when working in pieces. I spent most of the weekend wrestling with math and trying to get my sleeve caps to make sense, but that math I normally use to design a sleeve cap just wasn’t working for me. I finally figured out the problem. Gauge. Isn’t that always the way? This time it wasn’t really an error, so much as realizing once again why gauge matters. This ribbed “cable” stitch had completely different stitch to row proportions than normal stockinette, making the math I normally use completely useless. I could have messed around and figured something else out, but I decided to call in an expert.

Shirley Paden’s Knitwear Design Workshop.

The cheapskate in me rarely, rarely buys knitting books. If it isn’t yarn or needles, or maybe a pattern, I feel like I’m being extravagant, because I’m not directly contributing to a final project. Which is just a silly perspective. But I actually did it, I put in an order to amazon right then. I hope to get it sometime this week. I’m really excited about getting a bit more educated on the ins and outs of how to design a garments structure from scratch. I’ve learned a lot from experience, blogs and podcasts, and patterns. But it’s just been a little here and a little there. I feel like this will be a much more comprehensive approach that will add quite a bit of polish to my designs.

Well, I’ll give a more complete review when I’ve actually gotten a chance to dig into the book a bit more.

In the mean time it’s back to knitting, I haven’t even started the sleeves yet!


Entry filed under: Knitting. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Finished Object: Some super quick socks! Podcast Episode 4 – Harnessing Inspiration without Getting Disorganized

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Erin-Kate  |  January 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    It’s so hard to photograph black! Your sweater looks great, I’m designing a sweater right now & I’m stuck on the sleeve caps too!

    • 2. elegant economy  |  January 3, 2012 at 1:13 am

      Aren’t they a bear and a half?!?! I’m glad I’m not the only one! 🙂

  • 3. mapleleaf5  |  January 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks for taking time to visit my blog and leave such encouraging words.

    Your cardigan is lovely and I look forward to seeing the finished product. It’s also lovely to find fellow knitters out there as there’s always something we can learn from each other.

    Have a wonderful evening!

    Ravenhill Cottage


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