Project Diary: The Galvanized Cardigan

My friend Mimi knitted the Galvanized Cardigan from the Fall 2010 issue of Interweave Knits, and it turned out beautifully.

There were lots of challenges in this cardigan knitting pattern, the big one being the corrugated ribbing at the waist, cuffs, and neckline. Here's Mimi to tell you more!

The Galvanized Cardigan, knitted by Mimi McClellan

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  My Galvanized Cardigan, designed by Amy Christoffers

I love the look of this cardigan—it's classic and interesting at the same time. The two yarns used (Rowan Felted Tweed and Rowan Kidsilk Haze) are soft and warm, too, and I finished knitting just in time for fall.

The first part of the cardigan to be knitted is the corrugated rib waistband. Since I knitted the largest size—the 49-inch bust—and the cardi is knitted in one piece, I had to cast on A LOT of stitches (293!). The corrugated ribbing is knit with both yarns, the Felted Tweed as the purls and the Kidsilk Haze as the knits.

If you're doing corrugated ribbing in the round it's easy because you're looking at the front of the work the whole time and keeping the yarns in the back, just like in most traditional Fair Isle knitting. But this cardigan is knitted back and forth, so I had to pass the yarns from the front to the back for the purl and knit stitches, while stranding the unused color at the same time. Sound complicated? Well it is!

But I soon got into the rhythm of the pattern and it became easier. It's like any new stitch pattern you learn in knitting—once you get some muscle memory, you're off and running.

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The purl-stitch faux seam
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Pre-neckband, button bands, and blocking. See how the shoulders pull a little bit?  

The body was the next step in knitting. I like the look of seams, but I also appreciate knitting something in one piece . . . what to do? Kathleen suggested a faux seam (photo at left), which is so easy. You simply purl the stitch that falls where the side seam would be on each side of the sweater. I'm really happy with how this looks.


I really just made one mod; I added short-rows to the bust area. I'm a pretty busty gal, so I needed that extra room. Kathleen helped me figure out where to add them and how many sets to do (three) to get me the two extra inches I wanted in the bust region.

The short-rows add just the right amount of length so the cardigan hangs right in the front and doesn't ride up.

This isn't really a mod, but I did have to go down a needle size for both the cuffs and the sleeves. They're knit in the round and my gauge is looser when I knit in the round—so check your in-the-round gauge so your sleeves won't be too big!

If I Had a Do-Over . . .

There are just a few things I'd do differently:

Make the raglan sleeve openings a little larger. The sweater pulls just a bit on the shoulders, and if I'd have done an inch or so more of the raglan decreases I think it would be perfect. But blocking will help a lot and I think it'll be fine.

Cast on more stitches for the waistband. The corrugated ribbing has almost no give, so it's just a bit tight when it's buttoned. For plus-sized folks I'd recommend doing a corrugated rib swatch and evaluating your gauge to see if you'll need to cast on more stitches (actually, I'd recommend this for everyone!). You can compensate for this when you're picking up stitches for the body—just pick up the correct number of stitches for the size you're knitting. Since there's not much stretch in the waistband, you won't have any puckering between the band and the sweater body.

Evaluate the pattern before committing to a deadline! This pattern is knit on size US 2s (ribbing) and 4s (body). That's a lot of stitches for a plus-size version and I finished just in time for Kathleen to put this on Knitting Daily for you!

I'm so happy with the result. I encourage you to knit this sweater for yourself; it's what Kathleen calls a "wardrobe builder" and I know I'll get a ton of wear out of it.

—Mimi McClellan

Great job, Mimi! And when can I borrow that sweater?

Check out the pattern in the new 2010 Interweave Knits CD collection, which is 30 percent off in our StashBuster sale!


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