Sunny little Sólbein cardigan (2019 FO-1)

I know, right? It’s so cute. This is my first finish of the year — my miniaturized version of the Sólbein Cardigan from the #fringeandfriendssteekalong. The palette was inspired by Mary Jane’s pre-steekalong remarks about the inspiration for this motif having been the idea of fractured daylight falling across the surface of the sweater, which made me want to do it in a sunny yellow combo. And you’ll recall I decided to knit it at worsted gauge and let it come out child-sized, in the hopes that it would fit one of my little nieces. (Details on how I scaled it down — including yarns, needles and gauge — are all here.)

The only changes I made were to leave off the colorwork at the hem and cuffs, and to do the button bands in garter stitch (on US6) instead of ribbing. I had used an incredibly soft merino for the middle yellow and felt it was not going to have enough heft as a ribbed button band. Garter has that added density, and I think in this case it also contributes to the little-girl looks of it. The bone buttons came from Fringe Supply Co., and the ribbon (a gift) came from Fancy Tiger Crafts.

Sunny little Sólbein cardigan

It’s not my very best work, if I’m honest. You can see my colorwork is a little bit bunchy, especially in the 3-color rows, and this was my first time sewing ribbon onto a button band — despite having sworn I would how many times? My whipstitching is, um, inelegant (although I kind of like that about it) and the act of lashing the ribbon onto the knitted fabric caused the bands to lengthen a bit. It’s all fine — it’s full of love! — and the imperfections just make it less precious. I’m definitely not worried about anyone wearing it and messing it up!

I just hope they can wear it. I opted not to do any math ahead of time and just let fate determine the outcome, and it came out smaller than I’d imagined. I was secretly hoping it would fit either the 11- or 8 year-old in the group and be handed down from there. But in the end, I’m concerned it may be a hair too small for the youngest, two 5-year-olds. After finishing, it clocks in at about a 24″ circumference at the chest, 11″ sleeves, and 15″ from shoulder to hem. Which is sort of a 4-5 range?

Time to send it off and see! With fingers firmly crossed.

Happy weekend, everyone—

IN UNRELATED SHOP NEWS: We’ve got the new MDK Field Guide No. 10: Downtown in the shop this morning, patterns by Isabell Kraemer, along with a fresh batch of Bury Me totes, the waxed plum Field Bag and lots more …

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PREVIOUSLY in Fringe and Friends Steekalong: Highlights and random winners


15 thoughts on “Sunny little Sólbein cardigan (2019 FO-1)

  1. Absolutely lovely, regardless of “imperfections”. And so suitable for spring (if only it will ever come) Incidentally, many years of teaching stranded knitting have convinced me that the most difficult thing to teach is to make the carries loose enough. It can be so hard to let go!

    • It’s so sweet, that ribbon. And the yellow “stitches” made it easy to make sure I had used an equal length on both sides.

  2. It’s adorable and will likely be loved by someone! I always feel like my whip stitches are less than elegant when I sew ribbon onto a knitted fabric. It seems so much easier to sew fabric to fabric for me. Hope this sweater brings on some real sunshine and warmth!

  3. Karen–My advice: Don’t worry about the color work stitches–the child won’t notice! Happy knitting, Heidi Cohen (aka: Knitted Yarns!)

  4. Just darling! Love the colorwork – but thinking if I knit a Solbein, I might just do the colorwork using the Philosopher’s Wool Two-Handed Fair Isle technique. No floats!! It’s my favorite colorwork method yet.

  5. Wabi-sabi! Karen, I first discovered that forgiving term on your blog and thank you, as any “mistakes” in my knitting are now part of the finished product. Your colors feel so cheery and match the tiny daffodils I have popping up.

  6. What, no wise floral ribbon? I’m so impressed you trapped the steeks in that thinner one. What a lucky nieceling!

    • I know the girls would have loved the floral — and I loved that it was AMH’s — but it was just too wide when it came to sewing it on. This one was a tiny bit skimpy for the steek edge, but it juuuuust worked.

  7. I knit fairly loose to begin with, but my secret to not having floats be too tight is to knit inside out. You have to have a couple of inches of knitting for this to work, but I find that just that wee bit of extra tension on the outside keeps the floats as they need to be. If you’re trying to visualize this, your circular needle work is O shaped (obviously), and you’re working at the bottom of the O with the knit stitches on the outside and the purls & floats on the inside. If you put the stranded work inside out, you’re still working knit stitches, but you’re working at the top of the O, and on the inside. It takes a moment to get used to it, and then you wonder why you ever did stranded work any other way.

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