I don’t like to deliver late on my promises… luckily, mom did not seem to mind that her birthday cardigan was (ahem) four months late.
Pattern: Interweave Knits, Fall 2006
Yarn: Classic Elite Classic Silk
Needles: Size US 7 and 8
This knit, like so many, has some stories attached to it. I told my mother back in the early spring that I wanted to make a garment for her for her birthday in April. We talked about patterns quite a bit and I showed her several that I thought she might like. From the very beginning, however, she told me what color she wanted: periwinkle. So, I kept my eye out for a lightweight periwinkle yarn – preferably a blend adequate for at least three seasons of wear. I had a little trouble finding the exact color, but once I found it… I knew it was it. Actually, it was dear Jenna who spotted this yarn… it was during our yarn crawl in Seattle back in March. This particular yarn was spotted at Weaving Works, and Kris whipped out his cell phone and did the math for me for the substitution. Right then and there, I made up my mind to use this yarn.
Initially, mom wanted the Smocked Jacket from Classic Elite – a truly lovely pattern, but after a few good inches, I realized that the yarn was not really a good suit for the pattern. Plus, the lace chart was a little too much for me to handle… so, I went back to the drawing board. I remembered the sweet and understated Sienna Cardigan and thought that mom would really like that. I was right. So, I set off – by this time, it was already past mom’s birthday, and I deluded myself in to thinking that I could finish by Mother’s Day. That deadline came and went, and with it came some of the summertime malaise that sets in (not so much of a malaise, actually… it is just that I have been reading like a fiend, so something got moved to the backburner… unfortunately it was mom’s cardigan that had that fate for a few weeks!) When I pulled the cardigan out again in July, I was resolved to finish. It was a lovely pattern and I really enjoyed working with this lovely cotton/silk blend.
I modified the pattern after consulting with mom; she didn’t like the hemline ribbing, so I thought about making an a-line/trapeze style coat with a very small flare. I used a simple garter border, casting on for the larger size, and then decreasing slowly into the waist shaping, matching up with the intended size. I also worked the body in the round up to the armholes to avoid seaming. It worked out very well, and I think it gives the garment a nice tailored look.
The collar was probably my favorite thing to work – I liked the small picot edges of the bind offs, along with the shape. This was mom’s favorite feature also. The small lace detail along the button band was also fun to work as it incorporated a small fagot lace with a cable. It was simple and classy. Finished off with some lovely square mother-of-pearl buttons that I bought in Berkeley, California last summer (coincidentally with Nova, who also made this cardigan) it was the perfect package.
Mom was a bit camera shy today, so the photos are from my backyard photo shoot. I liked the look of the bright periwinkle against the weathered fence.
Happy Birthday – Happy Mother’s Day – Happy I Love You day, Momma. I hope you enjoy your new cardigan!