perfect cardigan


Quest for the perfect cardi - cardi number 1. I haven’t taken this cardi off since I finished it so it’s definitely a winner :) I really enjoyed the cabling and the construction, it’s very tidy and well fitting. I did expect it to have more positive ease, but I love it just how it is. 

Pattern: Stonecutters cardigan

Yarn: Ice yarns tweed - grey

Needles: 5mm

Modifications: picked up stitches up the fronts to knit the button bands in seed stitch, with 10 button holes and therefore 10 buttons. 

30 day knitting challenge: 6/30

What is your favorite piece that you’ve knit?

In the interest of keeping this interesting and not showing the same picture again and again (the persian blanket), I will show you my favourite project instead of my favourite piece.

My favourite project was to knit my perfect cardigan. Firstly I spent some time figuring out what made my favourite cardigan at the time my favourite cardigan, then I spent hours looking at beautiful patterns on Ravelry picking out ones that matched the criteria - pockets, buttons, slouchy, cabley, then I knit 3 of my favourites.

After at least 6 months of wear my favourite is the Stonecutter (grey), this is because it is lighter weight than the Vivian (red), the yarn is less delicate and it’s easier to wash than the Chocolate stout (black) which takes forever to dry (and then starts to smell funky!). It also fits better, chocolate stout tends to annoy me by falling off my shoulders and Vivan needs a bit of a repair job on the zip :S Vivian is far far too warm! I’d be tempted to make it again in a less bulky yarn one day because it does look great on. 

The quest to knit the perfect cardigan

Over the last year I have knit 14 adult sized jumpers. However during this year my most often worn jumper is a shop bought black and cream cardigan from Republic that my sisters gave me for Christmas (as I announced I was planning to knit 12 sweaters in the next year)! 

So why do I favour this shop bought jumper over my lovely hand knit jumpers:

  • Long sleeves (most of my hand knits have ¾ lengths sleeves or shorter even if they were supposed to be full length while this cardi covers my hands)
  • Body length is perfect for me (not too short or too long)
  • Baggy (only my velvet morning was baggy and that didn’t look right on me)
  • Fits over other items of clothing (great in Iceland)
  • Black and White (can be worn with everything although it is probably a bit too patterned to be the perfect cardigan)
  • Acrylic - can just dump it in the washing machine and definitely not itchy

So next year I am on a quest to knit the perfect cardigan… it will be baggy, with long sleeves. I’m not intending to knit 12 sweaters in 2013, I have other challenges that I want to complete (more to come nearer Christmas on that) and no space for more jumpers! 

Perfect Cardigan Quest - Complete

I have knit 3 cardis on my perfect cardigan list and that store brought cardi is no longer the first cardi I pick up, so to me that means the quest for the perfect cardigan is complete. I might well knit some more cardigans that are on my perfect list one day, and there is still scope for the perfect summer cardigan although I do love my vitamin d for that already, it’s time to move on to the next challenge.

Potential patterns for the perfect cardigan

I have been through my ravelry favourites and patterns and put together a list of the cardis that I think meet my criteria, see my pinterest for all the pictures in one place:

  • Vivian - a cardi I’ve wanted to make for ever - but it’s usually made with negative ease so would it be too tight for the perfect cardi? Still really want to make it next year whatever! Top of (or close to) my knit list. 
  • Forestry - brought this pattern a while ago, but I am a bit put off by other peoples comments on rav, and it’s seamed which I’m not keen on doing, although after this year I’m not as intimidated as I was
  • Vogue cable cardi - was going to knit this for James until I saw it on a girl and loved it, so don’t see why I shouldn’t have one! 
  • Zephyr - quite plain but a lot of people on rav have made lovely jumpers with this pattern, so it’s a nice alternative
  • Rutland - the negative pattern page is not encouraging me to buy it, but I like the front and back of this pattern a lot, not loving the sleeves though
  • Exeter - not sure about the fit or pockets, or double breast styling, would it suit me? The cables are amazing, and I love beige cardis. 
  • Aidez - last time I knit this out of 10ply and it is a bit small, I would like to knit it again out of 12ply and maybe a bigger size, (gauge dependent)
  • Bloody Mary - Love Thea’s designs and the sample is in my favourite colour! Not sure the rounded neckline works for me though
  • Chocolate Stout? - Thea asked me if I would like to test knit this cardi and I love it but I was in the middle of test knitting a blanket at the time so I couldn’t, not sure what the neckline is yet!
  • Stonecutter cardigan - Love Amy’s designs too, really wanted to make Maxfield cardigan, but it’s too lightweight for this project and the yarn is hard to come by in the UK (I’ve been looking). This cardigan has potential for this project though, definitely meets my criteria, and it’s beautiful :)

Next step is to read all the ravelry info on all the patterns above and canvas for opinions, then make a short list! This list was originally about 20, but then I started being stern with my criteria (i.e. only one colour got rid of all the fairisle ones, 10ply yarn got rid of about 5). I can see myself making more than one of the above jumpers in my quest for the perfect cardi! I might have missed some cardis that meet my criteria, so please let me know if you have any thoughts of cardis that might be perfect for me. After I’ve decided the pattern I will have to determine:

  • Yarn
  • Colour
  • Sizing

What design would you pick for your perfect cardigan (and why)?