Project Diary: The Manteo Cardigan

From time to time, I ask people to knit projects from an Interweave magazine or book. I love seeing people make projects their own, and it's neat to see how real knitters make modifications to knitting patterns for women so that they get a finished project that they love and one that fits them nicely.

Kathy O'Neill in her Manteo Cardigan

My friend Kathy knitted the Manteo Cardigan, which originally appeared in Interweave Knits Spring 2012. Here's her story:

The Manteo Cardigan by Lisa Hoffman, knitted by Kathy O'Neill
Kathy usually wears a size 12 top; she's 5' 4" tall.

Bust: 38¾"
Waist: 33"
Hips: 40"
Size knitted: 39½-inch bust
Yarn and Needles: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 8 balls, size U.S. 6 needles.

It was a combination of the cute design and working with cashmere yarn that drew me to this project. However, by the time I was ready to knit the project, the yarn the designer used, Araucania Truaco, had been discontinued.

Kathleen had me look for alternatives, so I ended up choosing Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. It's not 100 percent cashmere, but it is really soft and I love my raspberry color.

Using the Baby Cashmerino had the huge advantage of allowing me to get proper gauge without having to carry two strands of yarn, as instructed for the Truaco. So much simpler to work with and it's machine washable, too!

I made the 39½-bust and I got gauge with a size 6 needle. Normally, this yarn calls for a size 4 needle, but I'm a compulsively snug knitter so the size 6 loosened me up to get the perfect gauge. The fabric weight is ideal; it has a bit of give to it and will be very comfortable to wear.

I didn't run into any issues with interpreting the pattern.



Sloped Bind-Off

This technique is used for shaping the armholes,
shoulders and sleeve caps,
and affects only the first stitch
to be bound off. On the row before the BO, do not work
the last st. Turn the work— unworked st is now on right needle. To BO the first st, sl 1
st pwise, then pass the unworked st of the previous
row over the slipped st.
BO the rest of the stitches
as usual.


I was averse to doing the sloped bind-off [description at right] on the sleeve because it seemed like a tedious and unnecessary detail. However, for the sake of this gallery I decided to give it a go on my second sleeve. Now I've been educated on the how and why of it! The sloped bind-off made a much nicer shoulder seam to stitch together and didn't have the washboard edge on it like the sleeve without it. It's really not very difficult to accomplish; I do have to keep myself from wanting to cut corners at times.

The instructions didn't quite clarify if it was the same whether you were on a knit side decreasing or a purl side decreasing so I did the slip as if to knit on the knit side and slip as if to purl on the purl side. Keep an open mind about these new techniques that Interweave likes to throw at us!

The Manteo Cardigan looks
cute over a spring dress, too.

I haven't put the buttons on as I'm writing this! I have to see how it will look double breasted on me; I might not have enough overlap, if you can relate to that issue.

I should be able to do anything I'd like with the buttons (including leaving them off!). With the eyelet stitch pattern, though, there are built-in buttonholes everywhere!

—Kathy O'Neill

Kathy's Manteo looks great on her, don't you think? As you can see in the photo, she decided to place a single button instead of making the sweater double-breasted. It looks really nice that way, and it's the perfect sweater to wear this time of year. I know Kathy will wear her sweater a lot.

You can knit the Manteo, too. Just download the Manteo Cardigan pattern today and get started!


P.S. Have you knit the Manteo or another spring sweater? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

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