I almost can’t believe it, my Miette Cardigan is finally finished! And it only took me a year! Oof. In my defense, some things came up and I did sew a wedding dress in that time as well. There is a whole new level of pride that came with completing this sweater though. It was probably a combo of how long it took, and how new I was to knitting when I first started, that made it feel like an impossible task at times. When I started this cardigan, I had only been knitting for a short time and had made a couple of scarves, a couple of wrist bands and some handwarmers. No hat, no socks… I just skipped right to a sweater, because that was what made me want to learn how to knit in the first place (I needed some cute hand knit sweaters to go with my homemade dresses after all!). Thank goodness for the lovely ladies at the knitting night I’ve been going to, especially the amazing Sharon Larson, who patiently showed me all the stitches I needed to know to knit this sweater… and Ruth, who helped me fixed so many of the mistakes I made along the way. Big thanks go out to all the ladies of Seattle Yarn, for all of your help and encouragement!
Now let’s talk about this sweater. First of all, this a free (you heard me, FREE!) pattern designed by the amazing Andi Satterlund of my the blog Untangling Knots. Andi is so talented and her sweaters are knit by people all over the world and she just so happens to live right here in Seattle! I had heard that this was a good beginner’s sweater and have seen some really cute ones online, including Lauren’s, Jennifer’s and Roisin’s.
It’s knit from the top down, starting at the neck, so there is no seaming that has to be done. The sleeves get put on scrap yarn, while you finish the body. You then pick up the sleeve stitches to finish the sleeves. The yarn I used was Cascade 220 Heathers in Shire. More notes are on my Ravelry.
I used Lauren’s tutorial on stabilizing button bands to finish the button bands and I love the way it turned out. I makes the buttons bands feel sturdier and gives it a nice finished look. The buttons I bought at Seattle Yarn.
Another great resource for knitting this sweater, were all of Gail’s Miette Knitalong posts. The actual knitalong was a few years ago, but her posts are so thorough and cover every step from gauge and sizing to picking up the sleeves to fixing mistakes. It was amazingly helpful. There are even videos. Yay for the internet! Thanks ladies!
I have to be honest, I still don’t get the whole negative ease thing (can someone please explain it to me?). I am a size 36″ in the bust and I did swatches to determine my gauge. The pattern calls for size 5mm and 4.5mm needles and I ended up knitting with 6mm and 5.5mm needles to get the correct gauge. That means I am a tight knitter, right? Ha ha, see what I mean that it’s a miracle I finished this sweater, there’s still so much I don’t know! Anyway, I knit the size for the 38″ bust and I must have either made the right choice or gotten lucky, because I think it fits great!
The pattern produces a cropped sweater, but I like my sweaters a little longer, so I lengthened the body by about 4″. It says in the pattern where to lengthen, so that part was easy. I just added rows. I also lengthened the sleeves to be full length. I kept the number of buttons the same, despite the length change. Gail’s blog had a link to a buttonhole calculator that helped me figure out how to put the buttonholes where I wanted them. I was very proud of myself when it turned out right!
I am wearing it open in these pics, because this is how I usually wear my cardigans, but also because the bottom of the sweater is a tad snug. Since I lengthened the body, I should have decreased the stitches less at the bust (or not all maybe?). That way the bottom would fit my hips, not my waist. I also could have bound off a bit looser. I think I need to learn this stretchy bind off I keep hearing about too! I tried to fix this a bit when I blocked it, but there was only so much I could do.
The back looks good I think! I was motivated to finish this sweater since it was in my 2014 goals to knit a sweater, but also because I really wanted to wear it with my Dahlia dress. I was right, they do look super cute together! Between the cotton flannel and the warm wool, this is such a great Winter outfit.
Here it is on my dress form, just so you can get an idea of the fit when it is buttoned.
I’m still not a fast knitter, but I do feel like I got better after all those rows of stockinette. I also don’t dread knitting through the back loop like I did at first. I am very excited to have my first sweater under my belt. I think my next sweater goal is the Owl Sweater by Kate Davies and I’ll be making a pair of cable mitts next to practice cables. Anyone have any yarn suggestions for me? Or tips on knitting cables?