Friday, October 24, 2014

Dutch Cardigan

If you were following this blog over the summer, you may have already seen this sweater.  I wore it daily while biking around the Netherlands and it was just the thing.

It's got all sorts of details that make it one of those sweaters that I know I'll wear for years.  It's got an oversized fit for the body, making it extremely comfortable, but waist and shoulder shaping, slender sleeves, and a wide scooped neckline create a flattering look.  After the front steek is reinforced and cut open, a turned hem encases the steek edges for a neat and durable band.  Using snaps instead of buttons leaves the front of the band clean and neat.  (I also love that I can pull the snaps open with one hand while riding!)  The sleeves are extra long, so you can turn up the cuffs to get them out of your way, or turn them down for extra warmth or for wrist coverage when you reach for your handlebars.

A few recommendations for knitting up your own -

Be sure to make it with the recommended positive ease.  The sleeves and shoulders are designed to fit based on the idea that you'll make your cardigan with 12-14" of positive ease.  If you make it smaller, your sleeves are likely to be too small and too short. Mine has about 13" of positive ease.

Swatch both plain stockinette and color work to see if you need to use a larger needle for the color work sections.  I usually go up three sizes for color work!  (I used sizes US #2 and US #5 for my sample.)

Use a smooth yarn in a similar color and lighter weight than your main yarn to reinforce your steek before cutting.  Using a lighter yarn helps prevent rippling along the cut edge.  If you're new to steeking, you can get some great practice by reinforcing and cutting your swatch before going for the real thing.

If you choose Brooklyn Tweed Loft like I did, you may want to seam the sleeves in using a smoother, stronger yarn.  Loft is a very special yarn and makes a tough, long-lasting fabric, but it can break easily until it's knit up, which can lead to seaming frustration.
You can find the pattern on Ravelry and on my website

Here are the Specs:

Bust Circumference, including Facing: 43 (47.75, 51.75, 56.5, 60.5, 65, 69, 73.75) in/109 (121.5, 131.5, 143.5, 153.5, 165, 175.5, 187.5) cm

Intended to be worn with +12-14 in/30.5-35.5 cm of ease at bust for oversized fit; shown in size 43 in/109 cm with +13 in/33 cm of ease on model.

Fingering weight yarn in three colors (yarn amounts are approximate): 
Color A (Main Color): 949 (1054, 1142, 1247, 1335, 1434, 1522, 1627) yd/868 (964, 1044, 1140, 1221, 1311, 1392, 1488) m 
Color B: 702 (780, 845, 923, 988, 1061, 1126, 1204) yd/642, 713, 773, 844, 903, 970, 1030, 1101) m 
Color C: 204 (248, 269, 294, 315, 338, 359, 384) yd/187 (227, 246, 269, 288, 309, 328, 351) m

Shown in Brooklyn Tweed Loft (100% Targhee-Columbia Wool; 275 yd/251 m per 50 g skein)

Color A: 03 Old World; 4 (4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6) skeins 
Color B: 27 Woodsmoke; 3 (3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5) skeins 
Color C: 17 Embers 1 (1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) skeins

Gauge measurement should be taken after blocking. 
24 sts/30 rows = 4 in/10 cm in Stockinette stitch using Gauge Needle (Needle A)

Needle Sizes are recommendations only. Always use needle size necessary to obtain gauge.

Needle A (Gauge Needle): US #3/3.25 mm 40 in/100 cm circular needle 
Needle B: US #5/3.75 mm 40 in/100 cm circular needle 
Needle C: US #3/3.25 mm needle; use preferred small-circumference circular knitting method (set double pointed needles, long circular for magic loop method, or two circular needles) 
Needle D: US #5/3.75 mm needle; use preferred small-circumference circular knitting method (set double pointed needles, long circular for magic loop method, or two circular needles)

size 1.75 mm crochet hook 
stitch markers 
tapestry needle 
stitch holders or waste yarn 
contrasting color waste yarn 
strong, light fingering weight yarn for reinforcing steek 
nine .5 in/1 cm snaps 
needle and thread

color work in the round, shaping, steeking, seaming

Technical Editing: Heather Zoppetti 
Copy Editing: Jessie Kwak
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