Project – Cropped Raglan Cardigan
Patons Pattern Book #500880 – Anti Freeze
Yarn – Patons Classic Wool Roving in Moss, Yellow, Magenta, Cherry
Blogger – JDknits
Sewing up this sweater caused me some problems, I have to admit.
Sewing The Raglan Seams
As with most of my knitting problems, however, it had less to do with the instructions and more to do with me trying to work on complicated things in the midst of family life. Let me advise you here: don't try to sew raglan seams while doing anything else - unless you happen to actually HAVE two arms growing out of the middle of your chest...
After I checked my anatomy, ripped out the seams and sewed the sweater back together again, I knitted the collar.
Knitting The Collar
I was happy that all I had to do was pick up stitches that had been sitting on stitch holders. I love it when I don't have to poke about picking up stitches from a finished edge. The collar was super simple, in a twisted rib, with virtually no shaping and it was finished in a flash, even though I was using my slippery metal circular needle instead of the sticky wood straights I had used for most of the knitting.
I was still pretty nervous about this thing ever fitting me. I am not the skinny model in the pattern's photo and I was less than confident about the cardigan's ability to button over my rather-more-ample bosom. It didn't help that the edges were rolling, as stocking stitch will do, which made the sweater look smaller than ever.
If I hadn't been writing about it here I might have been tempted to quietly shift it into the ever-expanding finish-it-later pile. But, happily, I AM writing about it here, so I soldiered on.
Of Buttonholes & Brads
Knitting the button band and sewing in into place gave me some hope. Even with only one-half of the buttonband pair done, I could see how this might actually fit me. With the buttonhole band finished and sewed into place, I started to believe.
(Maybe I wouldn't be sending this sweater off to my skinny, teenage niece after all!)
The instructions for the button band say to 'sew as you knit'. I strongly advise following this direction, otherwise I guarantee you'll end up with a band that is far too long. Holding and stretching it along the unfinished front of the sweater is no substitute for seeing it sewn in place.
Before I started the buttonhole band I raided the stationery closet once again for knitting supplies (doesn't everyone?).
I used brads/paper-fasteners to mark the places I wanted my buttons to be, then knitted my buttonhole band to match.
I also used some grosgrain ribbon to back the buttonband, because I always worry about buttons that are sewed only through the knitted fabric.
It's All Over Now
After all that, I let my sweater have a rest:
Then I tried it on:
I have to say that modelling this sweater on a sweltering, humid afternoon in July wasn't perhaps my favourite part of the process. However, the sweater itself feels very snug, like a great big hug. The wool is very soft (and I'm susceptible to itchiness) and the fabric feels firm in all the right ways.
I'm not sure I would have knitted this without the security blanket of the skinny teenage niece in the background, but now that I have, I can thoroughly recommend it for anyone who's not afraid to show off their curves.