Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Featherweight Cardigan Saga

Before you ask, no. I didn't accomplish yesterday's goal to finish one mitt so we are just going to move on...

The Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig and published on knitbot. This is the beauty that I knit twice. Grab a cup of tea and sit back to hear the tale of the twice knit.

In early May I decided I would knit a white(ish) cardigan for a wedding we were attending the first weekend in June. Not only would it be cute, but it would make about three more of my "dressy" outfits more versatile.

I knew it would take awhile because it is for summer so I wanted to knit it with a finer yarn. I scouted out my local yarn shop and found some squishy merino silk mix in lace weight that was perfect for this project. I decided to get one skein since I wasn't sure how far using a double strand on size 6 needles would get me.

I followed the pattern pretty much to the letter, except for the part where you are supposed to check you gauge. I mean, I looked at it a little, but not in depth. I just kept knitting away. At one point I thought, "Sheesh, these arm holes are rather large." But when I would try it on I'd convince myself that somehow it was going to look just fine.

This knitting in uncertainty continued till the end of May. I started to realize my deadline for finishing this cardigan, it was a Thursday. I needed to pack it on the following Tuesday night so I needed to finish it by that Sunday night (so it would have time to dry from being blocked).

Because of this realization I decided I better knit fast and it looked I was going to need another skein for the last inch of the collar. So I headed over to the yarn shop.

For reasons beyond the control of the actual yarn shop owner, the people watching the shop had decided to close early. I thought no problem, I'll just come back tomorrow (Friday) and get my skein - I looked through the window to be sure it was there and it was.

Well, I had forgotten about the Pagosa Spring Fiber Festival that was starting on Friday night and going through the weekend. When I got to the shop on Friday I realized my error as quite a bit of yarn that was there the night before was taken out of the shop for the fest - including the skein I needed.

I knew that if I pulled out the entire cardigan and reknit it so that it wasn't too big I would probably have exactly enough yarn to finish it, but I thought "there is NO way I have time for that, I'm leaving in 4 days!".

What to do? I thought just maybe they yarn hadn't yet been taken to over the mountain just yet. So I got out the phone book (first time in years) and looked up the home number of my lys owner. From there I got her cell and caught her on the road.

Let's just say she is AMAZING! She stopped by my office on her way through town and we opened up every bag of yarn on her truck till we found the skein I needed! Seriously. She saved my knitting!

With my new skein in hand I was ready to finish my cardigan over the weekend. And I did! I stayed up till midnight on Sunday finishing the collar (why did I do a sewn bind off?!?!). I tried it on and didn't like it at all. It didn't fit right - the arms were way to big and it was really wide.

In my infinite wisdom I decided to check the gauge now that the project was complete. Yeah. As you wiser knitters know my row gauge was off by a few as were my stitches. Simply, I had knit about 18 too many rows for the arms.

This meant I needed to rip out the collar, the sleeves, and the body all the way back to where my sleeves should have ended. I went to bed then debating this ripping out - should I just wear it big for the wedding? Could I really re-knit it in time for the wedding? I laid there for an hour then got up and ripped it all out till about 2:30am.

Monday I knit the body. Tuesday I knit the collar. Wednesday (at the airport) I knit the arms. Thursday night I blocked it and Friday I wore it. Mission accomplished.

Now I have an entire skein left so I can knit another one or a similar cardigan and since it is white I can dye it whatever color I want! I do really like how this fits and I really like the texture of the yarn. It falls open a bit with tank tops, but over all it is a fabulous design!


  1. That is so pretty! Is it light-weight? I am looking for something like that (or some kind of scarf/wrap) for an upcoming trip to Italy. You can't wear bare shoulders into a church, even in summer!

  2. Oh my goodness - you are simply too funny! I am glad we found the skein anyway - but I am sorry you ended up not needing it after re-knitting everything. And you are a much more diligent knitter than I am, i would have just worn it the way it was.

  3. it's so cute emmy! loved reading the tale of it all. :)

  4. Also, it looks fabulous on you! The pictures don't even do it justice at all - it looks even better in person!

  5. What a story! You are amazing!! Nice work! I like it.


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