As you know, the mega-event known as the #fringeandfriendsknitalong started simply with my dear friend Anna Dianich and me wanting to knit a fisherman cardigan, and her gorgeous, woolly version is now complete. Here are her final thoughts—
You were knitting for Team Seam, following the pattern as written. The flat pieces/seamless yoke hybrid is not a construction method either of us had encountered before. What were your thoughts on all that in the end? Were there times during the knitalong, seeing other people’s progress, where you wished you’d done anything differently?
Yes. I was constantly doubting myself and questioning the pattern as written. Many times I thought how silly it was that I didn’t do the sweater seamlessly and wondered if I should have not done the button bands as written. Now that the sweater is done I am very happy that I chose to be Team Seam! I actually feel much more confident about seaming sweaters and, I can’t believe I’m saying this, I actually enjoyed the seaming process. I did follow your lead and seamed my raglan sleeves. They look so much better and there is more strength in that area that gets stretched and pulled every time I slip my arms into the sleeves.
You’re the first panelist to have completed the button bands as written — that is, casting them on with the waistband, then setting aside those stitches, knitting them the rest of the way separately and seaming them on. Had you done a vertical band before? What do you think of it, and tell us about having gone through with the ribbon backing I bailed on. (Should I regret it?)
I felt like I had made a big mistake by doing my button band this way. After seeing everyone else picking up for the button band I thought that doing a vertical button band would be more complicated and fussy. I have never done a vertical button band like this before (actually, this is the first time I’ve heard of it) but it was just fine. I did have a freak-out moment when I tried on the sweater after doing the button band (and before blocking) and the button bands flipped open, I had this same issue with my New Treeline Cardigan. I am happy to report that this is no longer an issue — the blocking fixed that problem.
I didn’t plan on doing the ribbon backing, but after all the hard work that went into this sweater I really wanted to add a little something special. Again, this is something I’ve never done before but after late night texting with Tif and a reading a couple of online tutorials, I dove right in. I am very pleased with the way it turned out, and I also enjoyed the process and learning a new skill.
As you’re knitting this sweater and approaching the join at the underarms, the pattern tells you to end your sleeves on the same chart row as you ended your body pieces, so the yoke patterning will line up. For some of us, because it’s a 40-row chart, this meant making the sleeves a little too long or the body a little too short. But you had a revelation that escaped the rest of us.
As you know from knitting my Lila sleeves, I have long arms. I wanted the sleeves to be a bit longer but if I had ended the sleeves at the same place in the chart as the rest of the pieces, the sleeves would be way too long or too short. I decided that as long as the honeycomb pattern matched up it didn’t matter where I was in the diamond pattern.
Brilliant. You chose a really woolly wool for your sweater, and I think it’s gorgeous — I keep saying it looks like a cloud compared to mine. Are you happy with your yarn choice for this pattern?
I knit my Amanda using Imperial Yarn Columbia 2-Ply, which is considered a worsted-weight yarn but it it really acts more like an aran. When I knitted the swatch, I loved how dense the fabric was — this sweater would keep me warm and toasty here in the cool and foggy PNW. My problem is I love my 6″ x 6″ swatches dense like this but I need to imagine how an entire sweater would feel knit this densely. I mean, I still need to bend my elbows, right? As I was knitting, I worried that this sweater would be like a very heavy straightjacket, but after washing it the fabric relaxed and bloomed and it’s perfect! I should have trusted my swatch.
I’m so glad you texted me that night and said you couldn’t get that girl’s sweater out of your head, because this all turned into such an amazing experience. You basically started all of this! — are you happy with how it turned out? And are you eager to embark on another cable sweater or have you had enough?
I can’t take credit for this. I did want to knit the Chicago-to-Manchester-Airport-Fisherman-Cardigan, but you were the one who found the perfect pattern. And if it weren’t for this amazing knitalong that you hosted and the talented panelists, my Amanda cardigan would still be sitting in a project bag next to my other neglected knitting projects. This amount of cables can be intimidating, but I was really surprised how easy this stitch pattern was to memorize. And doing this project really built my confidence in knitting cables without a cable needle, dropping down and fixing cables, and seaming.
I am THRILLED with the way this sweater turned out! I had many, many doubts and if I did it again I would make my neckline a bit higher, but I really love it. I actually love it so much that I am a little scared to wear it. I’m nervous about having things spill on it. I take it off when I drink coffee, and I eye my kids’ fingers before they reach out to touch my sweater. No peanut butter and jelly on my Amanda, please.
Thank you, Anna! Some of you may be wondering what happened to panelist Amy Christoffers. Unfortunately, life happened and she had to bow out awhile back. But Rebekka Seale is still knitting and has taken a fascinating detour. I’ll talk to her about that on the blog next week!
PREVIOUSLY in #fringeandfriendsknitalong: Basted knitting: Or, how (and why) to seam a seamless sweater