Grandpa Cardigan by Joji Locatelli
I started this cardigan on January 1; the first of my 2016 Stash Down projects. I’m using some “old” Birte I had in my stash, in an OOAK (one-of-a-kind) “Soup Pot” colorway that’s a bright, rich burgundy / raspberry color.
My OOAK’s truly are one-of-a-kind, non-reproducible colors, too, so as much as I’d like to reproduce this color, it’s probably unlikely. My OOAK’s are basically left-over dye that I store in large bottles, by color. So, I have large bottles for reds, blues, greens, purples … and any leftover dye goes into the appropriate bottle. They’re a real mishmash of colors. Then, if the color isn’t quite what I like, I’ll add additional colors until I like the result. They are truly a “soup pot of color” (I envision the soup I make from leftovers in the refrigerator, to which I always add other veggies and such until they’re just right). Hence the name.
Anyway, back to my current project. I had this lovely Birte in my stash, and I’ve been wanting to make a cabled cardigan for a long time. I searched and searched, and kept coming back to Joji’s beautiful pattern. It was what I wanted. Birte is my DK weight superwash merino / cashmere / silk and is one of my favorite bases. Grandpa Cardigan calls for a DK weight yarn but, after swatching, I just could not get gauge (which is really unusual; typically I’m right on and sometimes ::gasp:: I don’t even swatch). I’m wondering if this is actually Sunna and not Birte. I don’t know. It wasn’t marked (because, you know, “I know I’ll remember what this is!” ha. More likely not; I label everything now). I went back to the drawing board and searched for a pattern that would fit my gauge, but I kept coming back to Grandpa.
So I did what many intrepid knitters do, and I made it work. I’m getting 27.5 stitches and 32 rows over 4 inches, instead of the 22/28 called or in the pattern (luckily the pattern is mostly written in inch measurements for length). I’m knitting a size 46-48 because, after doing the math, this is the size which most closely corresponds to the 38-40 I usually knit.
This is a fun pattern, because it’s knit from the top down, seamlessly. Provisional cast on, knit one side of the front to the armpits, then the other, pick up the provisional cast ons and knit the back and then join them all for the body. I was two rows off pattern when I went to join the fronts to the back (nobody’s perfect, right? I am the queen of compromise in my knitting. Well, sometimes, anyway.), so I knitted two extra rows across the back and voila! matching patterns to continue on with the body knitting.
I’m looking forward to the sleeves; they’re knit in the round from the top down, using short rows. The pattern needs to be worked into the short rows as it’s knit, which should be fun and perhaps slightly challenging to make sure both sides match.
Cables are so addictive. I’ve found myself still knitting “just one more row” at midnight on quite a few nights. Which is okay because I can’t wait to finish this sweater!
Now, I had 8 skeins of Birte in this color when I started. I’ve used about two and a half skeins for the body of the sweater, which means I’m going to have yarn left over. When I’m finished, I’m going to gift it to a lucky blog reader because, hey, I don’t really need more than one project in the same color when there are so many other colors to knit! It may not be enough for a sweater (unless it’s a smaller size) but it will certainly be enough for a good-sized project. So, stay tuned for that; I’ll do the give away once my sweater is finished.
In the meantime, Joji has generously donated a free pattern to a lucky blog reader. So, if you’d like a copy of the Grandpa Cardigan pattern, just leave a comment and I’ll pick a random winner on Sunday, February 14! Happy Valentine’s Day!