Category Archives: cardigans

FO: Tweedy Cardigan

I finished knitting my Tweedy Cardigan this week.  I’m glad I ripped back and re-knit the neckline because it looks much better this time around.


It is a lovely, soft, warm cardigan. And It looks terrible on me.  I can make it look nice and pretty on the dress form, but when I put it on, it is loose across the chest/underarms and tight across the hips.  I think part of the looseness is due to the fact that it is such a low-v neck that the buttons don’t start until below the waistline, so there’s nothing to hold the sweater together in the front.  While moving around in it, it starts creeping off the edges of my shoulders.  The tightness across the hips can probably be alleviated by a bit of block-and-stretch, so I’ll try that one of these days.  For now, I’m just going to go knit on something else.

New Finds

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on this blog, but the building I live in used to be a factory building that housed at least two knitwear manufacturers.  Right now there is construction on one of the lower floors to convert old factory space into loft apartments.  The other day I walked past a bin filled with construction debris from one of these floors- and something caught my eye:

An old Brother Knitting Machine!  And I also discovered:

A Singer Model 604 sewing machine, which I think was manufactured in the 1960s.

Both machines are missing parts- the sewing machine is missing its power cord, which would be fairly easy to replace, but it may have other issues.  The knitting machine is missing the piece that sits on top and passes back and forth, running the yarn over the hooks.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with these- they might even end up back in the construction bin if it seems like too big of a task to get them working again…. but for now its fun having them around to look at and think about all the knitting that used to go on in this building!

And speaking of knitting within these walls… Back when I was knitting the decreases for the v-neck on my cardigan while also doing the raglan shoulder decreases, I was worried that I was decreasing all of my stitches on the front sides of the sweater away, so I decided to eliminate the last four v-neck decreases.  This left about six stitches on each of the fronts.  Now that I’ve gotten the button/neck band knitted on, I see my error– those extra stitches ruin the smooth v-neck to back collar transition.  See what I mean?

I realize it’s not terrible, and that’s why I kept knitting when I first realized the mistake- because I thought it was something I could live with.  But now that I’m only inches away from being done I know I need to go back because it will bother me too much.  So I’m about to start ripping back- ripping back the button band and the top few inches of the sweater.  I’m not upset about it though– I wasn’t ready to be finished knitting this cardigan anyways!

Life As of Late

Fall is in the air in NYC today- crisp weather that just begs for a hand-knit cardigan.  Unfortunately, my cardigan has been languishing around looking like this for over two weeks now:

I knew that my needles weren’t long enough to pick up stitches all the way up one side, across the back neckline, and back down the other side.  So I put it aside and considered my options.  I considered buying the little metal connector piece that KnitPicks sells to combine two cables and create a long cable, but then I didn’t want to pay shipping for something that only costs $1.99.  Of course, I could always buy some more yarn…. but I am really trying to not buy yarn unless I have a specific project in mind.  I considered dropping by a couple of yarn shops to pick up a long circular needle, but again, talked myself out of buying another pair of needles that I don’t really need.  So I started picking up stitches one night just to see how crowded it would get.  Well, you can see where I stopped.  The cardigan has since lay dormant while I await my KnitPicks order (yes, I finally decided that the connector was still the least expensive way to go.)

In the mean time, this fall weather still has me itching to knit things.  I made another Ripley hat, this time in black for Joey:

And speaking of Joey, he’s been out on tour since the end of August, playing guitar for Midlake.  He’s having a wonderful time and playing some beautiful music.  They played in NYC last week and I was so proud of my talented husband.

Joey, in center, standing

In other fun husband-music-related news, his primary project, The Fieros just recently signed a deal with a Japanese record label and their album is now being sold in stores in Japan and on Amazon Japan.

He still has a lot more touring to do- they’re in North Carolina now, heading down through Tennessee and will play the Austin City Limits festival next weekend.  He’ll be back in NYC for a week (which happens to be our anniversary week!) and then he’ll head out again for another three weeks in the UK.  He’s going to get to go to some amazing places that I can’t even imagine getting to see- London, Paris, Dublin, Holland, Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg, Turkey… its just completely unimaginable.

Back to the knitting….  I’ve also started a Wurstwarmer for Henry.  I’m having to size this one up since Henry isn’t a tiny dachshund, but I think this one will come out pretty cute.  I’m using a heathered charcoal color of Peace Fleece.  I think it will be classy and sophisticated.  Cause we all know Henry is one sophisticated hound.

The Home Stretch

See, I told you the cardigan wasn’t suffering from a lack of interest.

Now we’ll see if my circular needles are long enough to pick up stitches all around for the button band/neckline.


Tweedy Sleeves

I always think sleeves should knit up super-quickly, but they never actually do. Maybe its because there are two of them?  Or maybe its because this is about the time when the newness of the project has started to wear off and I start dreaming about what  I’m going to knit next.

Ugh, look at the plastic needles I’ve been forced to work with.  I know some people probably prefer plastic needles, but I really do not enjoy their squeaky-bendy-ness and the random piece of metal inside that slides around and rattles while I knit.  Their tips aren’t pointy enough, and one of them has a ragged bit of excess plastic at the tip that snags my yarn.  I had thought I owned a pair of bamboo dpns in size 8, but upon searching, I was left empty-handed.  I stopped by Lion Brand Studio on my way home from work the next day to pick up a pair, but they only carry size 8s in plastic.  I bought them anyways, knowing I didn’t want to put my knitting on hold long enough to receive an order my favorite Harmony woodens from KnitPicks.  By the way- the Lion Brand Studio is a beautiful and welcoming space, and their new LB Collection of yarns?  Very nice-especially that cashmere.

Where was I?  Oh yes, sleeves.  I hope to finish the second sleeve soon, so that I can wrangle everything together on one needle and knit the yoke of this cardigan.  I’m ready for the fall weather!

Tweed Cardigan Progress

I’ve reached the underam area of my cardigan.  The waist shaping is complete, and I’ve just started the shaping of the v-neck.

From here, I’ll start on the sleeves, and then join everything together on one needle to knit the yoke.

I had to do some crazy math yesterday and felt pretty brain fried afterwards, but luckily, it’s working out pretty well so far.

How Things Are Shaping Up

I’m almost finished with the waist decreases and will soon start the bust increases.

I’ve been knitting this cardigan as part of a sweater knitalong with my sister in law Heather and her friend Sharon. They’re making such speedy progress that its keeping me inspired to work on this round the clock.  I worked on it while grilling burgers on our rooftop today:

And now I’m going to spend the rest of my Sunday evening figuring out how to turn this thing into a v-neck.

Grand Plans

A while back I mentioned that I was waiting for inspiration to strike.  I decided the best way to find my inspiration was to start thinking about what exactly I want in a sweater.

First off, it has to be a cardigan.  I want something that is warm and cozy and can be a great layering piece.  Something long-sleeved with a v-neck and that hits mid to lower hip.

Secondly, I want something that I can wear fully buttoned. I can’t stand wearing flyaway cardigans, though I love the way they look on other people.  They drive me crazy when they flap back in the wind while I’m walking.   In order to get a cardigan that I can wear fully buttoned, I need to incorporate some waist shaping, seeing as there’s a moderate size difference between my upper and lower halves, and I don’t want to make it so large that it’s baggy on my top, or so small that it streeeeeetches across my lower half.  If I’m gonna custom design this thing, it had better fit, right?

Speaking of custom designing your own sweater, have any of you ran across Nina’s Sweater Class on the Knit Picks Blog?  I am so glad I came across this online video knitalong/tutorial because it has been extremely helpful.  It is broken into sessions with video instructions as well as accompanying printable notes where you can fill in your own body measurements and it walks you step by step through calculating your gauge, measurements, increase/decrease sections, hemlines, necklines, and sleeves. Its perfect for someone who wants to learn how to make the sweater in their mind come out successfully on their needles.