The Selfish Sweater Knitalong is an event designed to allow knitters to make something for themselves after a long period of gift knitting in the run up to Christmas. It is run by Andi Satterlund of Untangling Knots, who has some amazing patterns for a range of knitted jumpers and cardigans.
I had never knitted a garment before so I thought this knitalong was the perfect excuse to give it a try but decided to play it safe with her Miette pattern which is free! So there was nothing to loose if it turned out to be way too difficult! (It wasn’t too difficult at all though, and the pattern was really easy to follow)
I knit my very first cardigan!
I started to make my cardigan over the Christmas break. I had so much time during the days to just sit and knit. Especially given all the horrible rain we had there wasn’t much to do outside and given the fact that a lot of places were flooded we couldn’t really go anywhere. So I actually made loads of progress really quickly and had most of the cardigan knitted in just a couple of weeks.
Taking part in the knitalong made knitting my first garment so much fun and through the Ravelry group I was able to get loads of help whenever I got stuck with anything. I’d really recommend taking part in a knitalong if you are trying something for the first time. The community spirit was great and I didn’t feel stupid at all asking silly questions as everyone was so helpful!
One of the new aspects to me that came with knitting my first ever garment was binding off in a stretchy way. I chose to use a modified stretchy bind-off adapted from the one described here. To make this work for a 2×2 bind off I knit the knit stitches and passed the previous stitch over as usual. Where there were purl stitches I passed the yarn over before purling and then passed 2 stitches over.
Also new to me was picking up stitches for the button band and ribbing around the neckline. This was something I found really tricky. The button band wasn’t too bad but required picking up fewer stitches than there were rows so required a little bit of working out. However, on about the third try I got it.
However, for the ribbing around the neckline things got even trickier as some of it was in the same direction as the stitches and other parts were across rows. It took me about an hour of working out, picking up the stitches, realising I had done it wrong and stating again before I was finally happy with the way I had picked up the stitches and could start knitting the ribbing. I am glad I persevered though as I know it would bother me if it wasn’t how I wanted it (even if nobody else would even notice!)
The only other thing I found a bit tricky was putting the sleeves back onto the needles (They had previously been put onto scrap yarn whilst continuing with the rest of the body. Somehow I had managed to twist all the stitches whilst transferring them to the yarn which made it really hard to get them back on the needles. I think this was probably something to do with the way I took them from the needle to put them onto the yarn. I used a crochet hook but I think I would have been better to use a darning needle and thread the scrap yarn through whilst the stitches were still on the needle before taking the needle out.
Pattern: Miette Cardigan by Andi Satterlund
Yarn: Drops Paris in Petrol
Needles:Drops Pro circular needles 5mm (4.5mm for ribbing)
Alterations: 34in bust cardigan with sleeves shortened by a total of 8 rows
Thoughts on the pattern and fit
I really loved the pattern as it was so easy to follow. I was terrified of attempting some of the scarier aspects of garment knitting like joining sleeves but this seamless approach made it really easy to follow
The only modification I made to the pattern was to omit 6 rows from the sleeves and an additional 2 rows from the ribbing on the sleeves. They are supposed to be cropped but even now they are still a little bit too long.
I am fairly short (5’3) and this pattern is a good length for me. It is cropped but sits just about on my natural waistline. It is a little longer at the back.
I chose to knit the 34” bust size as it was the smallest available. My bust measurment is 34” so there should be no negative ease on me and I would say this is fairly accurate. Although this pattern is designed to be worn with negative ease I am very happy with the fit and like the fitted feel without any stretch as it means the button holes don’t gape!
Thoughts on the yarn
I used Drops Paris in Petrol.
I love the feel of the yarn, it was really nice to knit with and moved easily along the needles. The only issue I found with it was if you caught a single thread it easily snagged and, unlike wool, did not easily return to the main twist.
The colour is amazing, I really love it but I am not sure I would describe it as petrol, it is more blue and fairly pale.
All in all i really love this cardigan and I am so happy to be able to wear my first knitted garment even if it is seasonally inappropriate for the sudden cold spell we are having
If you like to know more about this make why not check out some more detailed notes on my Ravelry project page.
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