Velvet Morning Cardigan

The name “Velvet Morning” conjures up images of softness, serenity, a feeling of rejuvenation after a good sleep….

…NONE of which are the feelings I had while making this GODDAMN CARDIGAN.

Frivolous at Last - Velvet Morning Knit Cardigan

Oh sure, I can put on a good performance for these pictures, acting like it didn’t take me fully a YEAR AND A HALF to knit this. I can even look like I’m calmly reading the next book for the Literary Sewing Circle (which I am, actually, and it’s a good book with plenty of humour, so go check it out if you’re looking for your next enjoyable novel — Dance, Gladys, Dance by Cassie Stocks).

velvetmorningcardigan9

This jaunty “oh, hi there, I just thought I’d glance over my shoulder while casually holding my glasses and standing in such a way that you can see all that GODDAMN colourwork clearly” pose hides the pain of all the long hours spent on those complicated colourwork charts — only to discover when the whole sweater was almost, tantalizingly complete — that my tension was WAAAAAY off. I’d knitted NOT a slouchy weekend cardigan but rather a thermal layer for football practice with room for a linebacker’s shoulderpads in the upper part, slimming down to a tiny, fitted waist in the bottom part. I’d made my floats — the strands of yarn you have to carry behind the other colours to join up again further down the row of knitting — TOO SHORT. (Alas, I did not take any pictures of the sweater in this state. It was a hilarious mess. But I was too irritated to appreciate the humour and at that point I banished it to a dark basket in the far corner of my den for a term of several months.)

Frivolous at Last - Velvet Morning Knit Cardigan

Here’s an insider look at those floats on the sleeve, along with the ENDLESS number of yarn ends that needed to be woven in. But you might also recognize the corner of a serger in the photo, too. Yep, after the several-month cooling off period, I was about to slam this hot mess of a hand-knit through my serger to fix it! Added bonus: I didn’t have to weave in all those ends!

Frivolous at Last - Velvet Morning cardigan

Frivolous at Last - Velvet Morning Knit Cardigan

The result, after serging off the excess room in the upper body and upper sleeves (not to mention the usual steam-blocking-the-shit-out-of-it procedure), is a slightly out of proportion but still wearable sweater.

Frivolous at Last - Velvet Morning Knit Cardigan

Pattern details: Velvet Morning Cardigan (a free pattern)
Yarn: I used that wonderful workhorse of a yarn, Cascade 220 in shades 2448 Mallard, 9641 Purple Tourmaline, 8021 Beige, and 9450 Smoke Heather (green).

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This isn’t the first time I had to use the serger to rescue a sweater I had knit. You may recall my Sweetheart Sweater: here’s the before and the after of that one.

Frivolous at Last - Velvet Morning Knit Cardigan

I must say, this experience has put me off stranded colourwork knitting for a while. I’m happily back to knitting things like hats, scarves, and socks, that are much less of a dice-roll when it comes to fit.

Frivolous at Last - Velvet Morning Knit Cardigan

What about you? Have you ever spent months on making something only to have it not fit right? Were you able to rescue it?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

— Lori

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14 thoughts on “Velvet Morning Cardigan

  1. Lori you always make me snicker uncontrollably – I think after all that GODDAMN work, your sweater looks pretty wonderful! That blue colour is gorgeous. I spent almost a month on B5891 – 15 pieces cut out mostly on single layer layout (I did a practice run TOO but that didn’t help in the least) and invested my special, light-weight denim with an embroidered edge – only to get near the end and realize something horrifying – I had forgotten to pay attention to which side up my pattern pieces were (the ink on the tissue was so faded it was hard to tell). This meant more problems than I could list. Mostly there was no way that peplum was ever going to fit which had been all cut out on the embroidery section of the denim. I tossed the works in the bin (yes pattern too) and almost cried in sheer frustration and disappointment. No more crazy looking patterns for me. I’ll look carefully at how many pieces there are in the pattern first off. Right now I’m working on the Kastrup by How to Make Fashion in Denmark. I’m loving this pattern but so far I’m only in the practice run so we’ll see…

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  2. It looks great despite all the pain! On the rare occasions I knit, it has to be something complicated, I get so bored with plain knitting. Actually, I’m much the same with sewing I suppose- fast makes are fun and satisfying enough, but I have to ave some complex projects to engage my attention fully!

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    1. I go through phases like that, too. I knit too many simple things and I think, I really need to knit something more complicated. And then when I finish the complicated thing, I think, never doing something complicated again! I’m like a goldfish that forgets everything by the time I swim around the bowl once.

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      1. lol the last thing I knitted was a beautifully complicated cable knit chunky coat with a hood. Gorgeous, expensive, time consuming. It left my hands in agony [incipient arthritis] and I don’t wear it since a student said it looked like something Mrs Weasley would give as a Xmas present. Nuff said

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  3. It looks absolutely gorgeous after you did your surgery on it! Lovely colors. I tend not to take knitting as seriously as sewing as the whole tension thing bamboozles me, but have knitted some wearable items, much to my surprise!

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  4. I love everything about this post – the sweater, the snark, the serging! I have a sweater (sans color work) that may get the serger treatment soon too.

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  5. But Lori! It’s gorgeous! Some day all your sorrows will be forgotten and you’ll be left with a handsome piece of knitting in your wardrobe! And some learning too: I was rereading E. Zimmerman today “when you are colour knitting, leave those threads l-o-o-s-e. They can never be too loose.” But you repaired it handsomely, and the result is lovely. Only you know about the trouble it took. Well, and all of us 😉 Thank you for sharing, this will be also useful when some day in the future I am brave enough to attempt colour knitting.

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  6. This GODDAMN CARDIGAN looks fantastic on you!
    I can’t even imagine how anyone is able to knit something like that –
    (I gave up on knitting a simple rib neck scarf, which was too complicated for me.)
    I just have no patience for knitting at all.
    Still, I’m jealous of people that are able to knit something like this!

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  7. Yeah, I like knitting, and I enjoy colorwork, but I pretty much only knit non-sweater things because I’m worried about hating the result of a giant portion of my crafting life. I am *so* slow that anything is quite an investment. Which is why I’m even more selfish in my knitting than in my sewing. Oh well!

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