Grandpa Cardigan: Finished!


Grandpa Cardigan, by Joji Locatell, knit in Spirit Trail Birte in an OOAK reddish-raspberry color.

Finished! I finished my lovely Grandpa Cardigan a couple of weeks ago. It’s proven difficult to find the time to get photos taken, but I managed it last week!

I love this cardigan. It’s relatively lightweight, and the pattern is SO pretty.


I did not get gauge specified in the pattern, so I did some math and figured out where I was in terms of the pattern sizes and dimensions.The gauge I got with Birte on size 7 needles was 27.5 stitches and 32 rows over 4 inches – 6.875 stitches per inch and 8 rows per inch (versus the pattern gauge of 5.5 stitches and 7 rows). I liked the drape of the fabric on this needle size, so I increased to a size 46/48 since because this size corresponded closest with the 38/40 size at the different gauge.

There are many tutorials and posts on the internet about what to do if the yarn you want to use for a specific pattern isn’t the right gauge. Two blogs recently posted about this issue, and both do a great job explaining what to and how to do it:

Fringe Association’s How to Account for Gauge Differences, and

TinCan Knits’ How to Knit a Garment at a Different Gauge. TinCan’s post also describes how to account for gauge discrepancies when knitting colorwork projects.


Photos taken at my adorable little local coffee shop, Before and After, in Sperryville, VA. It will soon be opening a market and wine bar, too! woohoo!

Luckily, because the pattern is vertical and repetitive, the row gauge being off was not the complication that it could have been. I just knitted until I had the right length dimensions.


I love this sweater (and I love the green-tan-red wooden buttons I found in my button box, purchased years ago from who knows where!).

[Did you notice the error I made in the cable patterning? Yeah, most knitters will, and it’s very noticeable in the above photo. I didn’t see it until I had completely finished the body of the sweater, and decided I’d rather live with it than rip out literally weeks worth of work (or rip it all the way back to the shoulder seam in one spot and knit it back up … Nope). I decided it will be the detail in the project which makes it imperfect, much like the myth of Amish Quilters making purposeful mistakes to show humility. Navaho weavers do something similar in their weaving, when they leave a small opening in the border, or a line running through the border, so that their creativity and spirit don’t get stuck in the current project. For the Navaho, this is actually called the Spirit Trail  or weaver’s pathway (this is where the name of my company comes from; I was really taken with this concept, the spirituality behind it and the idea of freeing one’s spirit and creativity to move from the current project into the next). The story of purposeful mistakes in quilting may be a myth, but the Spirit Trail in Navaho weaving is very real. So, it’s my Spirit Trail. At least that’s the story I’m sticking with. :-)]

Hey, did you notice that Shannon is having her Tops, Tanks & Tees KAL? I’ve never participated in a KAL before, but I joined this one. I’m starting a Vivian in Spirit Trail Sunna this afternoon. My hope is that by joining Shannon’s KAL, i might actually finish this top in time to wear it sometime this season. Care to join? Details are on Shannon’s blog!

15 thoughts on “Grandpa Cardigan: Finished!

  1. So pretty! The color really helps define the cables.
    I didn’t spot your miscable. I’m sure most people wouldn’t.
    Followed the link from Mason Dixon Knitting blog.


      • Kay’s in search of a Granddad pattern. Someone in the 9/7 comments has linked to your post. And today, Kay has also mentioned & linked to your beautiful sweater!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! I went and looked last night after you left your comment, but didn’t see it. Then looked again this morning and found it … And then got so busy I totally forgot to message you to let you know I’d found it 😊


  2. I love your cardigan – cable changes included! I’ve drooled over Joji’s pattern, but alas, because I never get row AND stitch gauge together, I’m afraid of tackling a top-down pattern. (which is a shame, because this would be perfect for some Romney I’m handspinning… ah, Rhinebeck!)

    As for the Navajo belief, well, that’s wonderful – I must be *very* humble. I’m sure I have evidence of humility in virtually everything I’ve ever knit. Certainly my weaving is humble!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 This pattern would be a good one for you, since the row gauge doesn’t really matter, and the pattern is written “knit to xxx inches” rather than “knit xxx rows” (I hate it when a pattern only lists rows and not inches … I don’t usually get row gauge either so then I have to do more math to figure out where I need to be). For this pattern, you’d just knit in inches until you get to the length you want for the armhole depth and shaping, and then again for the length of the sweater (and, if you’re not sure of armhole depth, measure a sweater you like and see how that falls in this pattern). Since it’s knitted in the round, there’s no need to have to keep measuring to make sure your fronts and back line up. The sleeves are knitted from the top down as well, with short rows at the beginning, so it’s all relatively flexible.


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