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Project Diary: The Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan

Apr 3, 2013

Our magazine, knit.wear, has only existed for a year or so and it's already so popular. The designs are classically fashionable, clean and simple (mostly), and infinitely wearable.

    
Sue Falcone in her beautiful
Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan
Detail of the tucked buttonband and the really cool buttons Sue chose!
My friend Sue fell in love with the Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan on the cover of the fall 2012 knit.wear, so I asked her to knit it and keep a project diary.

Sue is a fantastic knitter, I've admired her intricate colorwork knitting in sweaters and scarves, and I knew she would knock this cardigan knitting pattern out of the park. And she did!

Here's Sue and her Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan:

The moment I saw the knit.wear fall 2012 cover, I wanted to make this sweater. I am drawn to patterns that are a little asymmetrical and have a few "surprise" details. This one fit the bill!

I used nine skeins of Fiberspates Scrumptious Aran, in color #402 Moss. Kathleen chose the yarn color for me—I was a little overwhelmed with the Fiberspates color palette. I laughed when I opened the box—mossy greens are my go-to color.  I usually wear a 2X top (I have a 45-inch bust), so I knit the size 48-inch bust. I got gauge on size 7 needles.

I wanted to love this yarn so much and wound several cakes right away. I had delusions that I was going to modify the sweater in several ways, but then I decided that the designer had reasons why she chose to style it that way so I decided to knit it as written. While I am not unhappy that I did, when I make it again (and I will) I will make the upper sleeves a little wider to accommodate all my upper arm "muscles" and just do a seed stitch border the same as the bands. I will also make the sleeves a little more tapered; I'm not sure how I feel about the slight belled-sleeve.

Back to the yarn. I loved the color of the yarn—Fiberspates seems to do "colors of nature," which I love. Also, the silk in the yarn gave it a nice glow and a sweet drape. This yarn has also inspired me to lose weight, because the pattern calls for making it one piece until the armholes, and the silk that made it so lovely to behold was killing my hands because of the miles of stockinette I was knitting. I came across several bad knots and horrible joins in a couple of the skeins.

It is my humble opinion that, with expensive yarn, you should not have to deal with those issues. But I know it happens, so I cut them out and carried on. This yarn is also one that, if you have to weave in ends, should be done at a seam. It did not "disappear" like most ends do when woven in. As there are not any side seams in this pattern, I just carried on. It's on the inside after all, but I seem to be getting more particular about the "wrong" side as I get older . . .

    

Sue's Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan

I followed the instructions as written, thinking maybe I should add an inch, but the sweater is a bit on the heavy side so the length grew to perfection. I cuffed the sleeves, which I think adds some interest.

I was in the midst of a love/hate relationship with the yarn, wondering how I could say, nicely, "I hate you," when it came time to block the sweater. I put it in Soak for about thirty minutes and squished out as much water as I could. Then I rolled it in some towels and stepped on the roll to get more water out because the sweater was still holding quite a bit. Even after the gentle stomping, there was a lot of water still in the sweater. So I took a hard gulp and put the sweater in my front-load washer and put it on spin for six minutes. That did the trick!

I laid it out on the sweater rack, pinned a few places I thought might get wonky, and walked away. The next day, I went to check it, and I had to laugh out loud. All the doubts I had about the yarn had to be taken back. It was exquisite. I am thrilled with it!

—Sue Falcone

Isn't is beautiful? This is yet another lesson in blocking! It can change the look, feel—and even size—of a knitted garment or accessory.

The weather is warming up quickly, so if you knit the Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan, you're probably getting sad about putting it to bed for the winter, but never fear—the spring 2013 issue of knit.wear is here, full of warm-weather patterns you'll love. Get your copy today!

Cheers,

P.S. Did you knit the Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan? Tell us about it below in the comments!


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Comments

tnutley wrote
on May 20, 2013 1:46 PM

Hi Sue, Beautiful work. I LOVE the buttons and am  hoping you can tell me where you got them. I just finished a knitted jacket and need 10 buttons and have yet to find some I like.  Thanks for your help -

tmnutan@yahoo.com

marbarn wrote
on Apr 6, 2013 8:18 AM

Kathleen , After seeing how beautiful the sweater looks on Sue, I'd love to knit it for myself.  How can I buy that issue of knit.wear or the pattern?  Thank you.

Marty

suefalcone wrote
on Apr 5, 2013 12:15 AM

MaryMe - I did not alter the pattern at all. It really does end up even. I suppose if I was "posing" like a real model, it would have been sort of asymmetrical as in the magazine by falling open or askew. As for the sleeves - since the yarn was on the heavy side, they "grew" a little bit, so I just turned them up about 1-1/2" to make a cuff. Since they are knit in the round, there are no seams - so no problem! I also found that if you followed the directions EXACTLY as written (and not try to second guess the designer like I did) it will be fine and you wont have any tearing back. Just do what the directions say and move on to the next set of directions - really it worked out fine.

MaureenG@4 - it really is a cardigan - it just bottons at the side of the neck so it sort of looks like a pullover.

Just Barb - there is silk in the yarn, giving it a beautful glow and drape. And it's nice to see that someone usually knits for others because of "fit fear" - I suffer the same disease - but with my Knitting Groups (Knit Wits and Knorthside Knitters) I am getting over it! I hope you try it!

MaureenG@4 wrote
on Apr 3, 2013 11:00 PM

Why is this pattern called a "cardigan?"    I like the look, but it looks like a "pullover" to me...  Am I missing something?  Do tell!

MaryMe wrote
on Apr 3, 2013 9:10 AM

I am confused. Sue's sweater appears to be even at the bottom with the right and left sides matching up. The pattern on the mag cover is definitely asymmetrical. I liked Sue's look a lot better! Sue ... did you change the pattern a bit so it wouldn't hang awkwardly on the left side? I love the bell sleeves but would love to see Sue's cuff treatment. I am terrified to try this sweater after the comments about the pattern being so not user-friendly. I'm no mathematician so this is frightening me. I'm ready to order the yarn but I'm hesitating ...

daylecrain wrote
on Apr 3, 2013 7:40 AM

I also fell in love with this pattern.  I love no seam construction and happily began using a variegated wool.  Knitting was easy until the sleeve decreases. I was quite frustrated with the directions as they lacked clear sequencing.  The math just wasn't working out. I contacted the publishers and someone was able to clear up the mystery.  I completed the sweater and it fit.  Now I have decided to rip it all out and use the beautiful wool in a different pattern.  This pattern needs a single color yarn. My variegated wool made the sweater look dowdy and frumpy!

justbarb wrote
on Apr 3, 2013 7:17 AM

Beautiful work, Sue! I have loved this pattern since I first saw it!  I too, am a amply busted gal, so I'm happy to see how well this sweater looks on you. I tend to knit more for others than myself to avoid the disapointment of an unflattering sweater.  I love the look of the yarn and the moss color is fabulous; does the yarn have bamboo in it? Silk?

Monica@25 wrote
on Apr 3, 2013 7:15 AM

When I saw this sweater in the magazine, I was not impressed - and after reading this post I had to go back and take another look. Still not impressed - I didn't like the way it hung in the front. When I say this post I thought it was a really beautiful sweater. It hangs beautifully (and the buttons look lovely on it, too!) After seeing Sue's version, I would definitely knit this sweater.