In Search of a Drapey Cardigan

 

I did something a few months ago that I feel a little guilty about. I bought a sweater. Not yarn for a sweater. A sweater. A drapey, soft, cozy sweater from Madewell. And I love it. I want to buy it in every shade. 

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But I won't! Because now that graduate school is over and I've officially launched my career, I do have more time for knitting and I would really like to make the drapey, soft, cozy sweater of my dreams. 

I've been scouring through Ravelry for weeks. And while I haven't found the perfect pattern, I have located a few contenders.

Clockwise from left:

1. BlueSand Cardigan by La Maison Rililie; 2. Liv by Carrie Bostick Hoge; 3. Pente by Carol Feller; 4. Palmer by Michele Wang

Ultimately, am looking for something that lives in the very middle of these. I love the textured quality of BlueSand, the simplicity and flow of Liv, the draping of Pente, and the construction of Palmer. 

Since I started the Better Sweater Project, I have rarely strayed from following a selected pattern to a T. Sure, I've modified and tweaked here and there for fit, but that's about it. Maybe it's time for some off-chart adventure!?  

 

Wedding Shawl

 

I'm getting married this summer and recently found the perfect wedding shawl pattern: In the Garden by Ilga Leja! The weekend before last I spent time in Southern California and while I was down there I visited the cutest little yarn shop in Pasadena. The staff were so patient with me while I compared all the white fingering-weight yarns and even let me take my favorites outside to see how they looked in natural light. And lo and behold, I found the perfect yarn: Lerke ("Lerke" means "lark" in Norwegian), a fingering-weight 2-ply from Dale Garn of Norway. It's 52% fine merino wool, 48% Egyptian cotton and super duper soft. So excited to begin this project! See images below for my fit inspiration.

 

I Sew Want To Make These...

 

See what I did there? Knowing that the winter break from grad school is just around the corner has made me want to craft like nobody's business (doesn't help that there are four more papers to submit before the semester ends)! These two patterns (Lou Box Top and Annie Dress) are at the top of my sewing queue and will be the first items I make after completing Ondawa. Source details at the bottom of the post.  

And I know a sleeveless dress in winter sounds crazy, but think of how cute it would look under a turtleneck! 

1. Lou Box Top and images from SweetKM // 2. Annie Dress and images from Tessuti

 

Olsen Sweater by Karen Templer

 

Growing up, the turtleneck was my least favorite item of clothing. In an effort to prevent my brother and me from catching colds, my dear Dad pushed us to wear them whenever the temperature dropped below 65 (to this day my Dad still abides by this rule for himself). For my pre-school graduation I wore a paisley turtleneck underneath my favorite frilly dress, not because I wanted to but because the padres thought the venue was too cold to wear the fancy dress on its own. I was only 4 and I still carry that memory. I cried a lot that day! Poor baby Kylin.

It wasn't just that I found the collar-like neckline of the turtleneck restrictive, I also thought the design was generally unflattering. All the cute LL Bean kids prints in the world couldn't incite me to want to wear one. I told myself that as soon as I grew up I would never wear a turtleneck again! 

Fast forward 15 years and I'm now pretty down with turtlenecks. They're classic, protective, and only occasionally restrictive. (Younger Kylin was also anti nose-piercings, armpit hair on girls, and compost...would probably strongly dislike older Kylin.) Audrey, Jackie O, and Marilyn knew what was up:

This week I stumbled upon Karen Templer's Olsen Sweater and became instantly obsessed. A note on her Ravelry project page mentions that she's:

"Been calling this my Olsen Sweater because in addition to being a tribute to a couple of beloved sweaters from my past, it was partially inspired by recent one from the Olsen Twins’ second line, Elizabeth and James."

The pattern has yet to be released (fingers crossed it comes out soon). In preparation I'm going to begin the hunt for some bulky yarn (i.e. head on down to the Goodwill). What a perfect winter staple, especially in the Bay Area where it's cold but not that cold. 

Anyway, to bring this whole post back around, I'm thinking of investing in this LL Bean top as a sign of my own maturity and growth. And also because it's damn cute. 

Images: 1. Karen Templer's Olsen Sweater on Ravelry // 2. Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face // 3. Classic Jackie O. // 4. Marilyn looking fiiine // Karen Templer in her Olsen Sweater.

 

Let It Be Known

 

A few missing buttons notwithstanding I'm ready to say... my Epistrophy cardigan is complete! Hurray!

And just in time for our San Francisco summer (think cold gloomy weather)! I've been wearing this cardi nonstop since it came off the blocking board. Thank you, Kate Davies, for an incredible pattern! And thanks to Mary for the yarn! All my project notes (of which there are many) and a few extra photos can be found on my Ravelry page.

 

Aran Weight Sweaters

 

Clockwise from left to right: 1. Wainwright by Bristol Ivy, 2. Dressage by Amy Miller, 3. Samantha by Amy Miller, 4. Parapluie by Hilary Smith Callis, 5. Golden Wheat Cardigan by Veera Välimäki

Now that Epistrophy is almost complete (I know! It's on the blocking board right now!), I'm getting ready to unravel my next sweater for Project No. 8. Unfortunately the aran weight pattern options in my Ravelry Library are rather minimal right now, but I've selected a few that I think might work. Now I just need to unravel, determine the yardage, wash, pick a pattern, and get to knitting!

 

Epistrophy in Progress

 

I am so close to completing Epistrophy! I only have a wee bit of the sleeve left to knit, some blocking, and the button band ribbon to add. Hooray! I finally settled on this adorable tape to cover the steek edges and it should arrive in the next couple weeks (all the way from South Korea!). 

I'll post more pictures and some thoughts on the knitting process when the cardi's 100% complete. Don't be surprised if it's a month from now... that's just how this sweater and I roll. Slowwwww mooootion. My monthly knitting average has gone wayyyy down. Get it together, Kylin!

 

Socks!

 

Clockwise from top right: 1. Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder // 2. Pavo Slipper Socks by Chrissy Gardiner // 3. Checked and Square Socks, Top Down by Lara Neel // 4. Irish Oats by Cabinfour // 5. Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock by Wendy D. Johnson // 6. Leyburn Socks by MintyFresh // 7. Laule'a by cabinfour

Most of the socks in my dresser are stolen from my mother's sock drawer. She is not happy about this. For some reason I find the notion of purchasing socks to be really tedious - maybe that's because, like sweaters, I know I have the ability to just knit them.

Well, I've never knit socks before, and never really had the inclination to do so...until now! Between the folks on Instagram who make knitting socks look so fun and the fact that my favorite pair of socks were handmade, I have never been more inspired to knit a pair.

I've compiled some choice patterns above. They're all bomb, but I think my favorite might be those Irish Oats by Cabinfour (bottom left). I want them. And given that I'm constantly losing my socks as well, I kind of need them. 

Though I've affirmed that I will stay monogamous to Epistrophy--I think that's the only way I'll get 'er done considering she's not a better sweater--I'm finding it hard not to dive into my better sweater leftover yarn stash. Actually, Better Sweater No. 8 is lace-weight and might make a nice sock yarn when held double or even triple. We'll see. It would also make an amazing sweater!