2017 FO-2 : Camel Channel cardigan

2017 FO-2 : Camel Channel cardigan

Being that this was nearing completion so close to takeoff, I thought I was going to refrain from doing an FO post about it until I had photos of myself wearing it on the trip, but as soon as I snipped the last woven-in end yesterday, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand the wait. So here it is in all its glory — albeit on a hanger and an armless dress form. I’m sure there will still be Paris photos to come. ;)

In short: LOVE.

Sooo it’s not the sweater I originally set out to knit — different proportions than expected and, as a result, not shawl-collar — but I couldn’t love it any more for what it turned out to be. When I slip it on, it feels utterly perfect: like it’s exactly as it was meant to be, and like it suits my frame perfectly.

It’s a modified version of Jared Flood’s incredible Channel Cardigan pattern, knitted in Jones & Vandermeer’s Clever Camel, and like my Gentian hat of yore, this was a magical combination of yarn and stitch pattern. Every minute I spent with it in my hands was heaven, even when I was ripping back and redoing, and I am sad that it’s over! The fabric is beyond words. (And I wound up using far less yarn than I thought, so it wasn’t even as expensive as I was prepared for it to be! Although still definitely an investment, and very definitely worth it.)

There was a moment early on when I got nervous about using this natural camel color for this particular project. Halfway into the first sleeve, I realized the combination of color and texture was going to feel very ’70s to me, and the question was whether it would be good ’70s or bad ’70s. In the end, it does feel like a really great thrift-store find (and just a tiny bit like I pinched it off Mr. Rogers). But I’m glad I went with it. My only regret is not making the pockets about two chevrons deeper, but they’ll serve their purpose just fine.

Most of all, I want to say that this sweater is, somehow, truly next level. It terms of how polished and professional it feels, it easily surpasses everything I’ve knitted to date. I couldn’t be prouder — or more excited to wear it. Thankfully we’re traveling somewhere it stands a chance, because it’s too late in Nashville!

2017 FO-2 : Camel Channel cardigan

Pattern: Channel Cardigan by Jared Flood
Yarn: Clever Camel by Jones & Vandermeer in Naked (undyed)
Cost: 10 skeins @ $19.80/ea (spent in 2016) + $7.50 buttons + $8 pattern (spent in 2014) = $213.50
Buttons: 20mm bleached horn narrow-rim buttons from Fringe Supply Co.

– knitted sleeves flat and seamed
– added side seams (via basting stitch at each side)
– added inset pockets
– omitted waist shaping
– omitted eyelets/belt
– omitted seamed shawl collar; worked a plain, picked-up, garter-stitch band instead (US5)

Size notes:
I knitted the size 38.75 size at a very slightly larger stitch gauge, so it’s a more like 40-41″ in circumference (about 5-6″ positive ease on me), but all vertical dimensions (sleeve length, V depth, total length, etc) match the pattern/schematic.

You can scroll through all of my posts on this sweater hereInstagram posts here, and favorite it at Ravelry if you’re so inclined!


PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Black yoke sweater

72 thoughts on “2017 FO-2 : Camel Channel cardigan

  1. I was hoping you’d post it (I squealed with delight when I saw it in your Instagram story yesterday). It really is beautiful. It always amazes me when I knit a sweater that I made that with my two hands. I’m sure you’ll enjoy wearing it in Paris and take lots of pics and have a marvelous time! I went once for a day (I was in London an couldn’t resist taking the train) and it’s a beautiful and magical city. Safe travels!

  2. Oh it’s just absolutely stunning!!! A perfect basic will-go-with-everything cardigan and yet so special!!!

    • It’s a very simple chart — the way it’s laid out looks daunting, but when you break it down, there’s nothing to it. The moss sections are just moss. The English Rib sections are similarly just a two-row repeat, over and over, and don’t need to be charted. (I would recommend placing a marker between the rib portion and the chevron portion). And that just leaves the 13-stitch chevron chart. And it’s just knits and purls! It’s 6 rows tall, but if you’re working it flat, there are only 3 different stitch combinations. (row 4 is the same as row 1, row 5=2, row 6=3) so it’s VERY little to memorize.grasp and VERY easy to memorize. Try knitting a sleeve and see how it goes!

  3. Its aloely sweater, and you will love wearing it. Have a wonderful trip!

    I think the best sweaters are the ones that are allowed to take on a life and personality of their own during the creation process. Following the pattern to the letter will make exactly the sweater that a designer created for an anonymous someone, but letting the knitting find its way always produces a sweater that is truly your own.

    • Yeah, it’s extremely rare for me to stick to a pattern, but I’ve usually determined my changes up front. So it was interesting to watch this one sort of reveal itself at the end there.

  4. Incredible! What an amazing sweater! I aspire to be a better knitter every time I read your posts. Have a great trip!!

  5. WOW I love this more than the original!! On the models it looks cropped even, like blazer length. This looks much closer to the proportions of the jenny gordy cardigan that you like so much, too! Will be perfect in Paris :)

    • When you see it on me, it’s about half the scale of Jenny’s mega-sweater! But definitely longer and more voluminous than the samples on the models.

  6. This is so lovely and professional, Karen! I just love the 2nd shot in faded light!

  7. What a triumph! It’s so beautiful, and it must be wonderful to have been so successful with your modifications. I have admired this pattern for a long time, but I’ve avoided knitting it because I don’t think it would flatter my very short-waisted body. Perhaps now I will take the plunge and modify it to my needs, as you have! Thanks for providing such a wonderful source of inspiration. I hope you have a wonderful time in Pars–I was there almost exactly two years ago and dream about it almost daily.

    • It would be easy to modify the length if you do it between the hem and the first V neck decrease. Just knit fewer repeats, and then you would need to adjust the bands and buttonholes accordingly. But as long as it was contained to the lower section, you wouldn’t have to make any changes to the collar shaping. (If you’re doing the collar. If not, it’s even easier!)

      • That makes perfect sense–thank you for the suggestion! I like the original collar, but now that I live in the south I think the way you have knit yours might make more sense. I’m just about to cast on Bronwyn (aiming to wear it next winter!) but I think I’ll be adding this to the queue. Thanks!!

  8. That looks incredible. I’m looking forward to starting this pattern once I find the right yarn.

  9. It is truly beautiful and you did a great job. I don’t think that longer pockets would have looked right. The ones on your sweater are just the right proportion for it. Congratulations on a job well done.

  10. Really like your modifications ~ a perfect sweater! Very nice knitting, too :-) Bon voyage!

  11. Absolutely lovely, and I know that in this yarn it will feel wonderful to wear, too!

  12. I would say that it is more of a classic than a particular era…timeless! It looks gorgeous, and can’t wait to see it in Paris!

  13. This is magnificent. I’ve always thought you had mad skillz, but believe you when you say it feels like the next level for you. I know that feeling of pride at pulling off something that was a stretch skill-wise and turned out just as you wanted it to. You’ll wear this forever. Eager to see a picture of you wearing it with a Paris backdrop.

    • Thank you, but this one really wasn’t a particular skill stretcher — definitely not the hardest thing I’ve ever knitted. Of course, I skipped over all of Jared’s beautiful details (the eyelets and loops, the collar) and the parts I did are just knits and purls and shaping. I think a lot of people have been scared off of it by the BT rating, but it’s really not that complicated — I’d say more mid-range than high-end.

  14. So beautiful! You should indeed feel very proud–what an accomplishment! I’ve had Channel in my “someday” queue, but I may need to move it to the top of my “Karen Templer Copycat queue”.

  15. Agreed, stunning and amazing. You are correct, it did bounce you up to another level. For a person who only started knitting not that long ago, you are a natural!! It isn’t just a plain cardigan, it has details on every spot on the sweater. The tension is perfect and I think any other color would take away from the quality of your knitting and wouldn’t see the detail. Nobody will believe it is hand made. It will be the go everyware garmet in Paris. Congratulations!

  16. I appreciate how you put so much thought into your knitting (and sewing) projects, and end up with a product that you really love! I’m too impatient and more of a “I really want to wear this now, even if it doesn’t fit properly” kind of person, but I’m trying to move more toward your approach. Very inspiring :)

    • It’s taken me a long time to learn that (and I learned it from the patience of so many in this community and from getting things wrong by rushing), but it’s soooo valuable.

  17. Simply gorgeous. Your finishing is beautiful. Also, thanks for the link to the yarn company; it’s one I hadn’t heard of before. Hard to believe it’s too warm anywhere in March for a wool sweater, but then even June isn’t too warm for wool where I live. Happy travelling. Have you got your travel knitting organized yet?

  18. This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing so much of your process. I’m curious what about this sweater makes it feel more polished and professional? Was it the thoughtfully designed pattern from Brooklyn Tweed or your own handwork? Thanks!

    • It’s definitely Jared’s pattern, first and foremost. The shaping it just perfect at every turn — especially the way the raglans come together at the neck, which is an obsession of mine. Combined with this very luxurious yarn, and the extra care I put into the finishing (side seams, seamed sleeves, taking care to get the bands exactly the right length and the buttons perfectly spaced), it just has it all!

  19. So very chic! Truly a beautiful sweater, and indeed a perfect combination of yarn and pattern. This camel looks so luxurious. As the French would say: c’est magnifique !

  20. Congratulations! There’s something so satisfying about seeing your level of accomplishment go to the next level, and it’s so apparent when that happens. Sometimes you look at something you’ve made and think, “Wow. That’s pretty amazing,” and that’s what you should be thinking here. Have fun on the trip!

  21. The previous photo you posted of this sweater, when it still lacked button bands, sent me on a hunt through Ravelry for v-necked cardigan patterns. I had suddenly realized that my life lacked purpose and my destiny was unfulfilled unless I knit one and wore it every day all winter from now until I go toes-up. (And I will get on it just as soon as I finish the thre–, er, four, afghans OTN.) Love this cardigan!

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  27. Hi Karen, I love your version of this sweater, and am attempting it myself right now. I’m really not a fan of the shawl collar, but don’t have a ton of experience modifying patterns. Would you be willing to share some of your modifications? I’m wondering if you picked up every stitch along the neckline, or every 2? Also, what technique do you prefer for button holes? Thank you!

    • You almost never want to pick up that many stitches, since stitches are wider than they are tall. The exact right ratio for you will depend on your tension and yarn and needles and everything, so you’ll just have to test to find out. There’s a whole post about how to do that, along with the details on what I did for this one, right here: https://fringeassociation.com/2017/05/23/hot-tip-test-your-pick-up-ratio/

      And I’m pretty sure on this one I used whatever buttonhole method was in the pattern (YOs, maybe?) but I use a different method all the time. It depends in part on which direction you’re knitting, for one thing, but I think I tend to prefer binding off and casting on over the YO versions.

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