It’s a weird experience for me to make things I can’t talk to you about, and extra weird that there are multiple top-secret knitting projects going on at the same time right now. Going back to my May queue check, the green sweater is off the needles and awaiting its moment in the spotlight. The grey yarn up top is in the process of becoming. (Becoming what, I still can’t tell you.) The charcoal Hole & Sons and I are still having deep, meaningful, late-night discussions about its destiny. And I still plan to knit Channel this year, but haven’t settled on yarn. So that leads me to that stash of beautiful Shibui.
For the summer cardigan I keep whining about needing, I’ve been imagining some combination of the finer-gauge Shibuis and finally got to swatch for it in the car last weekend. After knitting and blocking the 3-part swatch above, I’ve settled on the combination at the bottom: Ivory Pebble + Ash Twig. The resulting fabric is 45% silk (about half recycled), 23% linen, 18% merino, 8% cashmere, 6% wool — very lightweight and soft and, well, pretty much perfect. So what will it be?
It needs to be the most basic and timeless of grey cardigans, basically, and I’ve been thinking it would be Carrie Hoge’s Uniform, but A) my gauge is quite different, at 23 sts and 30 rows per 4 inches, and B) I’m really craving top-down. Been knitting too many pieced sweaters lately, and I really want to fit this one as I go. Now that I’ve struck on the whole basted knitting approach, I have no reason not to knit top-down. And since my top-down tutorial remains wildly popular (despite photos which really need to be updated!), I figure it might be useful to knit a cardigan version and share my notes. I’m not planning to do a blow-by-blow of blog posts like the original tutorial, since most of the information is the same whether you’re doing a pullover or cardigan. So most likely what I’ll do is post abbreviated notes for each stage on my @karentempler Instagram feed, and then do one comprehensive post here on the blog when the cardigan is finished.
At 23 sts/4 inches (and with another Fringe Hatalong coming up very soon!) it could take me a little while to get there …
PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: One, two, shuffle my queue
I need a summer cardigan too but haven’t found THE pattern. Maybe your top down will be the solution. I’ve only made pullovers in this method and it sounds like fun to do something different.
I’m a little lost with your swatch. Are you using all three yarns?
I am also on the market for a summer cardi. I will be watching this space! Love the Hole & Sons, it is so dreamy…
I know you’ve got an idea of what you want to make but can I throw another cardigan out there for you and others? The Union Station cardigan is kind of my favorite right now. I had to do my first provision cast on for the edging and it’s top down and the lace/chevron pattern is enough to keep it interesting. Here’s my finished project if you want to take a look: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/dwj1978/union-station-cardigan But I can’t wait to see what you end up crafting!
Shibui and Habu yarns are so much fun to strand. Pebble is one of my favorites. It has character and texture without too much heavy wooliness, something I try to consider in my quest for more all-season knits. Right now, I am swatching Shibui linen with silk fingering, probably for a shimmery top-down tee.
I think I am addicted to stranding. The only thing is, it can get really expensive. Except when you get the yarn for free, that is (sigh) …
I agree with you about Shibui and Habu yarns and have often thought it would be fun to be a fly on the wall listening in to the designers as they discuss ideas for new yarns! They’re so imaginative and really stretch our ideas of what yarn is and can be. I just swatched Habu Linen Roving with PurlSoho’s Line Weight for PurlBee’s Bottom Up Top (it’s drying as we speak!) and have used Habu’s Cork Chenille, as well, to make face cloths for a little spa gift I like to give. So much fun!
i have almost finished knitting uniform in an aran-weight yarn. i made a customfit pattern for it and mashed up the customfit numbers with the uniform design features. i’m really happy with it.
anyway, an idea if you want to knit uniform at a different gauge.
I am in the same predicament! I keep leaning toward the featherweight cardigan~I have worn and loved a version of it in Canopy fingering and also Malabrigo lace. Both were different, both were perfect! Also, a version of Sabine from Cocoknits might be good. It does have less of a “shoulder” so drapes differently than the featherweight. Can’t wait to see what gets onto the needles next!
Agreeing with Amelia – use your swatch numbers and work out how large you want Uniform to be = how many stitches are needed = what size Uniform to knit. Usually I find going up a couple of sizes will get the right size to knit when changing yarn weight.
That’s the way I typically knit sweaters — I almost never knit at pattern gauge. But like I said, I’d rather knit this one top-down!
Sorry, forgot B) of your reason :(
Thank you, Karen, for mentioning the Channel Cardigan – I just moved it to the top of my queue! I have to admit I’m a little intimidated by the 5 out of 5 difficulty rating, though. I think what I’ll do is first make a hat (Bough Hat by Brooklyn Tweed) out of the yarn I’ll be using to get a feel for the yarn, the gauge, etc., so that won’t be something I’ll need to contend with as I’m knitting the sweater. And, even though I’m a little intimidated by pattern, I’m ready for a project that allows me to dig in and stretch my skills. Thank you, also, for the reminder of your top-down sweater tutorial. Before I start the Channel Cardigan, I want to knit Opera, which will be my first top-down sweater.
Um. Yeah. I kind of need that sweater.
It’s all about the timing, isn’t it. I have 6 skeins of Twig that I fell in love with for a Shibui cardigan pattern. I am 6 inches into the knitting and I don’t like the crunchy open fabric I am getting. (Frankly, wasn’t keen on the swatch either but plowed ahead hoping more yardage would change my mind since I love the garment planned.) I was just about to give up – and then I read your exploration on pairing yarns. Brilliant! Perhaps I would like the Twig paired w another lace. You have reinvigorated my excitement over this pattern. Thanks!
Have you washed your swatch? I got to see Fancy Jaime’s tank in Twig over the weekend, which has been washed and worn, and it was substantially different than the skein or the swatch.
Yes, washed and let it dry. I think the big issue is that I am a loose knitter. I won’t bore you with the numerous needle types and sizes I’ve tried to get a denser fabric. Of course, I could try putting it in the dryer but that seems drastic. Still, I will keep trying with your ideas and seeing your swatch helps!
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