I’ve written a lot of posts about the Tinder Cardigan that I have been knitting for Emma. Some of them funny, some of them frustrated, and many of them nit-picky. But, I have to say, this cardigan is really worth the effort.
I fretted about the seaming, complained about the yarn, worried that it wouldn’t fit, dragged it around the world and back and then back again, had ridiculous conversations with Emma about whether and how to modify it, ripped out seams, blocked it TWICE, bought three different sets of buttons, knit it in four countries on three continents, and………
it is pretty much perfect in every way.
I will leave you to read through my earlier posts for in-depth details. The cardigan was designed by the great Jared Flood for Brooklyn Tweed (the Ravelry link is here). I used Shelter worsted weight yarn (also from Brooklyn Tweed) in the shade Birdbook. Despite the fact that it is not my favorite yarn to knit with (I don’t like the feel of it in my hands), once washed and blocked it really delivered! It is so light and lofty and has one of the best tweed palettes anywhere.
I knit it in a size 34 planning on an inch or two of ease; my gauge swatch lied a bit (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) and it ended up being REALLY narrow. I blocked it out twice in order to get more width, particularly in the collar and biceps. It ended up with zero ease – not the look we were going for – but both Emma and I agreed that it looked fantastic this way.
I made very few modifications. I knit it two inches longer than called for – both in body length and sleeve length. I knit the ribbing for 6 inches (instead of the 4.5″ called for). I put in more buttons (9 instead of 7), and they were also slightly larger than the pattern called for (1″ as opposed to 3/4″). I found a beautiful ribbon which has a pattern in the very same shade of green, and I painstakingly sewed it over the pick-up seams on both the button and the button hole band. My hope is that the ribbon will give the cardigan some stability over time and keep it from stretching out of shape.
I took the unfinished cardigan with me to Vancouver, where we were spending the holiday with our daughters. While there, I knit the button bands, picked out buttons with Emma (at the funky shop Button Button), sewed on the buttons, and then, as said before (but it demands repeating) painstakingly sewed on the ribbon.
On New Year’s Day, we drove up the coast, first to Horseshoe Bay and then farther up towards Whistler. The day was stunning with blue skies and fabulous scenery, but it was icy cold and extremely windy. In fact, the road into Horseshoe Bay was covered with downed branches and we nearly drove under a tree just as it crashed onto the highway during the drive. As you might expect from our family, we made Emma get out of the car in the freezing cold and gale force winds – repeatedly – in order to photograph the sweater. The things we do for this blog!
On the photos we took during that drive, you may notice that the cardigan has no buttons or ribbon yet, thus compounding the child cruelty in making Emma pose in the cold and wind! Once we headed back into Deep Cove, I sat by a roaring fire and started to sew.
As always, when Doug and I find ourselves in Vancouver, we head down to Deep Cove to take a photo of us on the spot where we were married. Here we are, at the very spot, a mere 25 years (and a few months) later!
Beautiful Sweater! Love it. Kelly you are a Fabulous knitter! Thanks for the update. I agree I think it is the perfect sweater. You do inspire. Ciao
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Thank you so much. Luckily, with knitting you can rip out your mistakes and start over again. That makes me look like a better knitter than I am!
Kelly, The cardigan came out beautiful! Looks perfect.
Kelly, the sweater is indeed perfect! I just might need one. And, your blog. I so appreciate you sharing the good, the bad and everything in between.
But seriously. A picture of you and Doug now on the site of your wedding? This photo and comment begs the question — when do we get a picture of the day, 25 years ago?
HI Susan. This sweater would look great on you! As to the photo, I will see. But truly, I think that Doug and I are improving with age….like smelly cheese.
Amazing cardigan. Recently find your blog and love it . Read back through lots of posts and found them very helpful in my new updated knitting. Took myself to Loop on your recommendation. Thank you.
Oh, I’m always happy to send someone to Loop. I was there myself yesterday. Thanks so much for the nice comments.
What a beautiful cardigan! Well worth the effort! I’m inspired by the use of ribbon on the button band, I hadn’t seen that done before and I have a vast hoard of ribbon which can be put to good use in a similar way! Well done!
Hi Jen. I used ribbon on the waistband of Emma’s Carnaby Skirt and it really helped to keep its shape. I see it’s becoming more common to finish sweaters this way. Kate Davies has documented quite a few sweaters on her blog recently that she has finished with ribbon on the button bands. What I like about this one is that the ribbon doesn’t cover the button holes, so there is no fiddling with cutting button holes in the ribbon.
I’m definitely going to give this a try. I have a couple of hats where the brim stretches, I reckon ribbon would be a great solution for that as well! Thank you.
Wow, it just looks fantastic, and absolutely worth the fretting! This is particularly timely as I have just ripped out a project for the second time (this time due to a failure of maths – I meant to make it 1/3 bigger, but managed to make it 83% bigger… don’t ask!)
Oh I love this one! Math failure just keeps us knitters on our toes! At the speed at which you knit, Kate, you could rip a sweater out 20 times and still finish before me. And think of the money you save by knitting with the same yarn twice!
Kelly, this cardigan is stunning!
Have a wonderful new year!!
Gudrun, thanks so much! Guten Rutsch!
EXCELLENT JOB! It looks wonderful.
Thanks. You were right about the ribbon. Good thing she liked it!
Wow! The final button choice is PERFECT, and you’re right, so is the entire FO, everything about it is just spot on. Lucky girl!
I think that Emma and I looked at about 40 different buttons. I’m really happy with the ones we settled on. Thanks for the nice words.
congratulations on your beautiful finishing! What a special piece, I am sure it will be treasured!
Thank you, Leah. I think it took longer to finish it than to knit it. And thanks for your input on finishing reverse stockinette.
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This sweater is GORGEOUS! Congratulations! All that effort is so worth it in the longrun, and it makes the FO more appreciated, don’t you think? As a late discoverer of your blog I have to tell you how much I am enjoying it and have had several Laugh Out Loud moments. This entry was one of the best. Emma does not look like she is being tortured so I think you probably can get away with it. (This time)
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