Simple Swingy Garter Stitch Cardigan FO

Better late than never. This crossed the finish line a couple of weeks ago now and the cool weather has meant I have worn it almsot daily!.
Started: April 17 Finished: June 2, 2010
Colour: 148 "Gypsy" 
Needles: 5mm Circular (Body) & 5mm dpn's (sleeves)
Modifications: Custom Pattern based on Jenn's formula (details below)
This pattern is more of a formula than a pattern. You decide on gauge (I went with the second version I tried - no matching someone else's gauge requirement!) you measure across the back of your shoulders to determine how far apart you want your collar turns to land - again just pick whatever distance you want! Next its the same for the distance across your shoulder from back to front. Multiply the sum of those inches by your gauge and cast on,  placing markers at the four points at which you want your collar to turn...
Oh and you also need to decide where you want the front closure to land. I chose to put it just left of centre.

Start knitting in stockinette, adding a single stitch either side of the four corners every other row. After 4 rows change to Garter stitch and keep going like that until you reach your underarms when you put the arm stitches on waste yarn, stop with the increases and knit straight to wherever you want the hem to be which you figure out by just trying the thing on. Mine ended up just south of my "southern end" (26.5" from the shoulder).  Finish with 4 rows stockinette. 
The sleeves are knit on dpn's straight down to a stockinette finish, again, wherever you want it to be - mine are a couple of inches past the elbow. If you're careful starting the sleeves you don't even have to go back and sew up under the arms!
The only fiddly part was the buttons.  My first plan to use a single large button fixed with a knitted bobble failed to keep the long fronts hanging straight.
In trying to make it work though I got the idea of using some remnant STR for the i-cord loops fastening the buttons rather than the heavier yarn from the sweater. I also used it to sew the buttons to the sweater.
I think the result softens the overall effect and helps blend the stark redness of the buttons with the deep blue of the sweater. The finer sock yarn also yields loops that are easier to use than ones made of  worsted.
This sweater goes over anything and doesn't get in the way. I think its one of those patterns that could be done in any yarn and gauge and would also work in stockinette with garter hems and edges.
So too I think with careful placement of the front closures and consideration of length for sleeves and body (so easily done by just repeatedly trying it on) this pattern would work for any figure - especially in garter which I now see really will discretely skim over a myriad of "sins".
While the intense blue of the yarn always engaged me, the texture pre blocking was a little course. (I imagine the silk content to be responsible for both these things)  The wet bocking in SOAK made the yarn bloom to a lovely and soft hand. So much so the 400 yards left over has gone back into the stash from the "Return to Romni" bin where I immediately tossed it after casting off.

(Hey I just noticed - the Silkroad colour chart features an asymmetrical a-line jacket in this yarn - very similar to this pattern - the yarn must be well suited to the task)

So that's that! If you're struggling for a fool proof sweater pattern where you can be the boss and expect a good result check out this free little gem and be sure to look at all the great variations of it on Ravelry! In fact I think so much of it I may make another one myself - I'm thinking big needles and a light coloured mohair blend knit in stockinette!

Thanks for the fabulous pattern Jenn and thank you for dropping by today!


elizabeth said...

I love it! The color, the fit, the buttons - everything!!! You knit that really fast too, for garter stitch!

Brenda said...

I love it too. And you didn't seem to get too tired of garter garter garter.

Stephanie said...

Oh that's a great idea! I've been having tons of trouble trying to match other people's gauges, maybe I should look into a sweater based on a formula instead of a gauge, since yours looks so great!

LynS said...

This looks so good. I've used such 'recipes' for babies' clothes before, but not for grown up clothes. Most inspirational - though I think this particular pattern might need some rethinking for my rather generous proportions.

Rue said...

Lovely! The fit is great on you and I absolutely love those big red buttons. They bring a really nice sense of playfulness to the piece.

Does this project make you want to tackle more percentage system (a la EZ) or "guidelines" patterns? I find them very freeing, but I have to remember to do the math up front!

Lorraine said...

I love the Jo Sharp tweed, and the colored button loops are a great touch.

Rachel said...

Stumbled on your blog this morning as I took a break and followed some links...I loved the post on Fit even if I realized just how lazy of a knitter I really am!

And I adore this sweater...it's a 'simple' but classic design and looks fabulous on you! Thanks for all the detail!

Sandra said...

love the red buttons and the STR loops - really adds a thoughtful touch to the sweater. I love the top down try on as you go formula - one of my favourite styles!

Siga said...

This is a beauty. Thanks for sharing, now I need to move this up in my queue.

Tina said...

Love that one! Again absolutely my colour! Sometimes the simplest things are the most beautiful! I like how you added these contrasting buttons.