Minimalist Cardigan-Maximal Time

Originally, I planned to have the Minimalist Cardigan done in mid-October after starting in early August. But a lot of things got in the way, so it took me until last Wednesday to finally finish the finishing. I was home alone while M and his sister were up skiing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the peace and quiet were perfect for sweater finishing. It took 4 podcasts to get me through the finishing: 2 Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, 1 Cast-on, and 1 Car Talk. These photos are after two full days of wearing it.
Minimalist Cardigan
I had no idea how to seam invisibly moss stitch, and I had lost 15 pounds since starting this sweater. Therefore, I opted for backstitching to take it in a bit, especially in the shoulders where I knew it would be a little wide–a problem stemming from being pear-shaped. The backstitching appears to have worked fine. There are a couple of things I either don’t like about how this turned out, or I don’t understand why it turned out the way it did.

First, I made the knit even portion of the sleeves 1.5 inches shorter than the pattern called for, and I still ended up with 7/8- and not 3/4-sleeves. Since my row gauge wasn’t off, and I don’t have horribly short arms, I don’t know why this happened. But you can see that these aren’t 3/4-sleeves at all, even if I do have my t-shirt sleeve hanging out on one side. Therefore, without thinking about it, I keep pushing the sleeves up when I wear it, and now the sleeves are getting baggy (or is that because all the sleeve increases were done in one row–the last row of ribbing). I wish I had knit the ribbing on smaller needles even though the pattern didn’t call for doing that. I didn’t pin out the ribbing while blocking, but to me it looks like I did.
Minimalist Cardigan in Cascade 220
I’m wearing jeans that fit when I weighed 40 lbs more than I do now, and I didn’t wash my hair this morning, hence the cropped photo. Also, I could only find the 2 second delay on my camera and not the custom-set delay, so I didn’t have much time to pose. Sigh. But I couldn’t wait to get this post done and to get it marked finished on Ravelry. It just didn’t seem really done until all that was completed.
Minimalist Cardi side view
The body length, although not as cropped as in the magazine photo, is fine with me, as I’m really not cool enough to wear cropped tops. I was aware that the body length wouldn’t be cropped, as I had measured other cardigans of mine, but I did knit the length given in the pattern. I’m 5′ 6″ tall, so I don’t know how tall the magazine model was for the sweater to look as short as it did, but she must be pretty darn tall.

All in all, this was my third sweater and a definite improvement in both knitting quality, finishing and fit than my first two sweaters. So, even though it’s not perfect, I’m pretty pleased. I really enjoyed the moss stitch, and I like how it looks, especially juxtaposed with the stockinette. The bright navy color and the quality of the Cascade 220 are also big pluses in my book. I learned a lot with this sweater, including that cap-sleeves aren’t a big deal to seam properly, and I hope this new knowledge keeps my sweater making skills on the ascent.

25 thoughts on “Minimalist Cardigan-Maximal Time”

  • The sweater looks great!
    I have a bad habit of pushing my sleeves up so all of my sleeves are stretched out and baggy. I kind of like the look πŸ˜‰

  • What a nice sweater…I think you did a terrific job! It’s a beautiful color on you, too! And congratulations on the loss of 15 pounds, what an accomplishment.
    I’ve fallen in love with Cascade 220, myself.
    I’ve had this pattern on my mental list (not on the Ravelry Queue yet) for some time. And I’ll try to be cautious on the sleeves – I like 3/4 length myself. I appreciate the warnings!

  • Congratulations on the weight loss! Keep on keeping on!
    I’m almost a year in to a weight loss program myself, and find that thrift shops are my friend. I’m not ready for investment dressing yet — a work in progress. VBG!

    The reason your sleeves are too long is the width of the shoulders. Look at your side picture – the drop shoulder seam is about 2-3″ down below the prominence of the shoulder joint. My problem with patterns like this is I don’t know how to allow for it, shortening the sleeves accordingly.

    I started to say “like I could in sewing with a paper pattern”. There’s the answer: make a paper pattern from the schematic, and see how it hits you. My “duh!” moment – so glad I sat down to write to you!

  • Oh, it looks perfect! I’m the same way with sleeves – I do find I have munchkin arms, so I always shorten mine.

    It looks comfortable, and I agree – Cascade 220 is a great yarn.

  • It looks lovely! It’s going to be a while before the weather warms up, so you’ve still got plenty of time to wear it this year. Congratulations!

  • Your Minimalist Cardigan came out beautiful. I think it’s a great color in Cascade 220. Congrats! We all have our personal preferences on length and fit. Each garment I knit seems to be an improvement (in some way or another than the previous)…so far at least.

  • Very nice! The color and fit are quite impressive. I can’t believe this is only your third sweater! Hmm, it sounds like this sweater might have been designed for a six-foot tall woman.

  • Nicely done! The color is just beautiful, and I actually like the length of the sleeves. They look like they’d be cozy, pushed up a bit. Maybe the length of the sleeves is related to the shoulders being a bit too wide?

  • Re the sleeves, I can see wanting to make them either ever so slightly longer or shorter… you could, if you were feeling bold, cut off the cuffs and then either rip out a little or knit a little more sleeve before doing the ribbing again. I think you’ve done a lovely job on this project, though, and it’s fine as it is. πŸ™‚

  • Congrats on the weight loss – it’s not a terrible problem to have, trying to get your knitwear to fit! About the sleeves – I have really short arms, so I buy 3/4 length shirts and my sleeves always fit about the way those do! At least they’re not too long….

  • Even though the sleeves are a little longer than you wanted, they look great, as does the whole sweater! Congrats on the weight loss. You go, girl. πŸ™‚

  • Such a wearable cardigan – and so pretty too! Great call on the lovely blue color. I had plans to make this for my sister’s birthday, but opted for a summery cardi instead… so this means I will be making this for me at some point!

    enjoy your cardi! πŸ™‚

  • Congrats on finishing! It’s a perfect color and looks really wonderful on you. I think you’ll find you get lots of wear out of it. Great job!

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