Monday, January 25, 2010

Ring on, Bells of Ireland cardigan

Halt the socks! I've actually knit a wearable sweater.

It's a tremendous relief and a moderate pleasure to have remade one of my recent failures into a success. The yarn from my Scoop Pullover has now become the Bells of Ireland cardigan, from the recent Winter '09 issue of Interweave Knits. Since I used yarn I purchased from The Fibre Company's booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool a couple of years ago, I wanted to use the buttons I bought from Moving Mud's booth that same day. These four buttons determined the length of my version of this cardigan.

It's the hip-skimmer I wanted, with sleeves that fall at about the same level. I'm terribly happy about it--that it came out, that it looks OK, that it is done. The best compliment I can give it is that I rushed taking these photos so I could put it into use. I like it, and I need the warmth. In fact, it really wasn't warm enough for the outdoor photos. I suffered out there, especially since I like the sweater better unbuttoned. These mountains are pretty cold in January. At least we got a little bit of snow to dress things up.

I think I know why this cardigan looks better open. There's a problem with the sleeve construction. The bottom of the armhole is narrow and the raglan line is long, limiting the ease under the arms. I'd guess that more decreases on either side of the sleeve immediately after joining for the yoke would help. Decreasing sooner would shorten the distance to the shoulder, bringing the underarm up. While the shaping may work for the very short cardigan of the pattern specs, it is a noticeable fault for the longer version I knit. It would be easy to correct, though. I suspected there would be an issue when I saw the pattern image, but I wasn't sure why the armholes are so deep until I worked through the instructions.

Not that I can't wear it buttoned. It just doesn't look as nice or feel as comfortable. I've put a photo of it buttoned on my Ravelry project page, along with more details about the sweater and its sleeves, rather than exposing all here.

The buttons do deserve some exposure. Moving Mud's glass buttons and shawl pins are works of art. No wonder that I had to buy some when I first came across them at the festival. It's more that the buttons made me knit a sweater to put them on rather that the appropriate way, that I found the right buttons for a sweater I knit.

Still, they are a decent match, with their swirly bluish bits. They offer a lot of color options for coordinating t-shirts.

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Wool Winder said...

I like your longer version. The buttons are fabulous.

Mary-Kay said...

I love it, it's BEAUTIFUL!!!

Wool Enough said...

That is seriously cute! Congratulations on such a successful outcome.

Marjorie said...

I think the sweater turned out beautifully. I've done things as unusual as making a sweater to match buttons. I've made entire dresses to match an expensive belt (bought on sale) or to go with a particular pair of boots. It is a luxury those of us who make our own clothes can enjoy.

And seeing the buttons, your logic makes perfect sense to me. They are great. I have a MM shawl pin, and yarn to make a shawl that will set it off.

melissa said...

love the longhorn pictures and am intrigues by the snow angel photos. i havent commented before but i enjoy visiting your blog every so often....
interesting to see what the cardigan came out like.
longer i mean -its what i was thinking of doing.....if i can find a deccent substitute yarn

Jenn said...

I like your version a bit better. And it looks fantastic on you. I'm going to head over to ravelry to check out that yarn you's such a beautiful color(would look great on my oldest girl). I am so glad I stumbled back across you in my blogs of interest list :)