Project Diary: The Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan

Our magazine, knit.wear, has only existed for a year or so and it's already so popular. The designs are classically fashionable, clean and simple (mostly), and infinitely wearable.

Sue Falcone in her beautiful
Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan
Detail of the tucked buttonband and the really cool buttons Sue chose!

My friend Sue fell in love with the Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan on the cover of the fall 2012 knit.wear, so I asked her to knit it and keep a project diary.

Sue is a fantastic knitter, I've admired her intricate colorwork knitting in sweaters and scarves, and I knew she would knock this cardigan knitting pattern out of the park. And she did!

Here's Sue and her Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan:

The moment I saw the knit.wear fall 2012 cover, I wanted to make this sweater. I am drawn to patterns that are a little asymmetrical and have a few "surprise" details. This one fit the bill!

I used nine skeins of Fiberspates Scrumptious Aran, in color #402 Moss. Kathleen chose the yarn color for me—I was a little overwhelmed with the Fiberspates color palette. I laughed when I opened the box—mossy greens are my go-to color.  I usually wear a 2X top (I have a 45-inch bust), so I knit the size 48-inch bust. I got gauge on size 7 needles.

I wanted to love this yarn so much and wound several cakes right away. I had delusions that I was going to modify the sweater in several ways, but then I decided that the designer had reasons why she chose to style it that way so I decided to knit it as written. While I am not unhappy that I did, when I make it again (and I will) I will make the upper sleeves a little wider to accommodate all my upper arm "muscles" and just do a seed stitch border the same as the bands. I will also make the sleeves a little more tapered; I'm not sure how I feel about the slight belled-sleeve.

Back to the yarn. I loved the color of the yarn—Fiberspates seems to do "colors of nature," which I love. Also, the silk in the yarn gave it a nice glow and a sweet drape. This yarn has also inspired me to lose weight, because the pattern calls for making it one piece until the armholes, and the silk that made it so lovely to behold was killing my hands because of the miles of stockinette I was knitting. I came across several bad knots and horrible joins in a couple of the skeins.

It is my humble opinion that, with expensive yarn, you should not have to deal with those issues. But I know it happens, so I cut them out and carried on. This yarn is also one that, if you have to weave in ends, should be done at a seam. It did not "disappear" like most ends do when woven in. As there are not any side seams in this pattern, I just carried on. It's on the inside after all, but I seem to be getting more particular about the "wrong" side as I get older . . .


Sue's Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan

I followed the instructions as written, thinking maybe I should add an inch, but the sweater is a bit on the heavy side so the length grew to perfection. I cuffed the sleeves, which I think adds some interest.

I was in the midst of a love/hate relationship with the yarn, wondering how I could say, nicely, "I hate you," when it came time to block the sweater. I put it in Soak for about thirty minutes and squished out as much water as I could. Then I rolled it in some towels and stepped on the roll to get more water out because the sweater was still holding quite a bit. Even after the gentle stomping, there was a lot of water still in the sweater. So I took a hard gulp and put the sweater in my front-load washer and put it on spin for six minutes. That did the trick!

I laid it out on the sweater rack, pinned a few places I thought might get wonky, and walked away. The next day, I went to check it, and I had to laugh out loud. All the doubts I had about the yarn had to be taken back. It was exquisite. I am thrilled with it!

—Sue Falcone

Isn't is beautiful? This is yet another lesson in blocking! It can change the look, feel—and even size—of a knitted garment or accessory.

The weather is warming up quickly, so if you knit the Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan, you're probably getting sad about putting it to bed for the winter, but never fear—the spring 2013 issue of knit.wear is here, full of warm-weather patterns you'll love. Get your copy today!


P.S. Did you knit the Tucked-Buttonband Cardigan? Tell us about it below in the comments!

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