With this post, I introduce an occasional series called Wearability Wednesdays, in which I look in detail at some item I have knit in the past, and explore how wearable it has turned out to be. Do I wear it frequently? If so, why? How do I style it? Do I dress it up or down? Does it wash well? How has it held up to time, changing styles, etc? If it doesn’t get worn much, why not? Is it a fit issue, or just the wrong style for the right person?
This week, I will look at the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, designed by Eunny Jang for the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. I knit it in March 2008, using the recommended yarn, Felted Tweed by Rowan. I finished knitting it just in time for a trip to Arizona to visit my mom and stepdad. Below are two photos of me wearing it at the Grand Canyon, just after I finished it. (Unfortunately, I have good photos of the cardigan and good photos of the Grand Canyon, but not a good photo of me in the cardigan with a great vista in the background.)
Those photos were taken almost four years ago. In the intervening years, this has been my go-to cardigan. It is warm and cozy, but not bulky, it is stylish in an understated way, it looks great with jeans or with a dress, the colour is really basic and matches many things in my wardrobe, it isn’t fussy, and the fit is good. I have probably worn it a hundred times.
Here are some photos of it taken six weeks ago. We were visiting Clivedon, a majestic manor in Buckinghamshire, England, once the home of Waldorf and Nancy Astor and now a National Trust property known for its beautiful gardens. Clivedon is a short drive from my home and a lovely place to wander on a pretty fall day. Here is a photo of me leaning against a wall to the back of the house.
Now, to put the place in perspective, the following is a photo which pulls back so you can appreciate the sweep of garden behind me. This is a shot of the famous parterre, a geometric garden of carved hedges and flower beds.
And here, you can see the view in front of me, of Clivedon Manor itself. It’s also a nice shot of the Tangled Yoke cardigan. This photo actually points out one of the few things I would have changed about the cardigan; I feel like the neck line should have been either an inch wider or an inch narrower. When I wear it with a T-shirt, as I often do, I don’t like the look of the small circle of T-shirt that peeks through at the neck. I think it would be more elegant if the cardigan neckline covered the T-shirt neckline.
While this is a niggling complaint, I do have a more substantive complaint, which is that the front of the cardigan has stretched out. This happened very soon after knitting, and hasn’t been corrected by reblocking. I wish that I had reinforced the front edges of the cardigan with ribbon before I ever wore it; I think this might have prevented this stretching, or at least kept it in line. In the below photo, you can clearly see how the fronts of the sweater are very stretched out compared to the back. Because of this, I rarely wear the cardigan unbuttoned.
Here you can see some of the nice features of the pattern. The ribbing isn’t the standard K2P2 rib, and looks softer, the decreases at the sides of the long rib section look pretty and architectural, and the fake seam that is created on the sides by having a purl stitch running up, gives the cardigan a bit of structure.
This photo really shows off the sweater at its best: comfortable but classy and pretty.
And below, another close up shot of the fake seam (this time on the sleeve and underarm) which shows how well the Felted Tweed has held up. This is after a dozen washes and lots of wear, but you can see that the yarn still looks great; no pilling, and the stitch definition is still good.