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18 May 2012 / freakapotimus

Marigold Sweater

Bow ties are cool

Each year, our knitting group votes on something we call our “house color”; we then all knit something, anything, in that color, and wear it to that year’s fiber festival. The color for 2011 was orange, and I knit Cadence in a Malabrigo called Sunset, which I then debuted at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival this past October.

Our color for 2012 is red, so I decided to whip up something that I would be able to wear at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival just a couple weekends ago. What you see here is my result.

I wanted something lacy and summery, that I could throw on over sleeveless dresses, but could also work well in the fall over a long sleeved shirt. I’d been meaning, for a while, to knit something with Hempathy; using Ravelry’s advanced pattern search, I narrowed my pattern down to a DK-weight knit cardigan, with a lacy stitch and short sleeves.

The Marigold Sweater had everything I was looking for! I was immediately drawn to the wide ribbing at the hem, which would look great over the dresses I have in my wardrobe. I usually prefer to knit my sweaters from the top down, with raglan sleeves, but figured I’d give this one a try.

The pattern is pretty easy to understand, especially if you’ve knit sweaters before. A beginner may be intimidated, but I suggest just diving right in and figuring it out. It’s separated into sections—back, right front, left front, sleeves, neckline, and buttonbands—which are then seamed up when everything is finished.

I wanted a more cropped sweater, and since I’m short-waisted, I shortened the sweater length to 5″ for the ribbed hem, and 12″ from the cast-on to the start of the armhole.

Marigold: buttons

The seaming of the pieces was completed the night before we went to the festival, but I didn’t have enough time to finish knitting the buttonbands. Instead, I wore it to the festival open-front; no one knew there were supposed to be buttons! I finally finished the buttonbands this week.

My first attempt at the buttonbands left me with a too-tight bind-off. I ripped it out, reknit the band, and used Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off to finish the band. Excellent! I’d used this bind-off on toe-up socks before, but this was the first time I’d used it on a sweater. It worked perfectly.

I had to do a bit of math (awesome!) to figure out how to evenly space my buttonholes; this may turn off beginner knitters. The pattern only instructs the knitter to evenly space buttons on one band, and to “[continuing] in patt, work a 3-st one-row buttonhole at each [marked button]”. I watched the buttonhole video at KnittingHelp.com several times before creating my own, and it was very helpful.

Marigold: sleeves

Another thing I should have kept in mind while knitting was shoulder width. I’ve written before about the importance of knowing your measurements, but completely forgot to take this into account. The consequence is a sweater with droopy shoulders. It’s noticeable here, mostly because the cardigan is designed to have puffed sleeves. I don’t want to rip the sweater back and seam the sleeves again, so at some point I’ll just sew the sleeves a little tighter.

Overall, I am very pleased with my finished project, especially considering I didn’t like the stitch pattern in the beginning! If you find yourself in the same boat, give it more than a few inches before calling it quits. The stitch pattern looks much better in the completed sweater.

You can view my Red Marigolds project on Ravelry. You can also purchase the Marigold Sweater pattern for download at Interweave Store or find it in the Summer 2010 issue of Interweave Knits.

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