Hi friends, and happy weekend! Today, I’m really happy to be sharing a finished object that’s been a long time in the making …. it’s my finished Southwell Cardigan!
The Southwell Cardigan made it’s first appearance on the blog … let’s see … over 2 years ago! I was living in Philadelphia and had flown home to my parents for a little visit, and my mom and I cast these on together!
On and off progress continued on Southwell the following summer when I was in LA (including a bit of cardigan surgery), but by the time I arrived in Lancaster in late August, with temperatures already cool, I put the lightweight cardigan aside, thinking it wouldn’t be needed before the following spring. And thus it was consigned to my heap of unfinished objects.
Then, spring did in fact come, and the cardi sat no nearer completion, I fished it out again, thinking what a great wardrobe staple it’d be through the British summer. I picked up collar stitches, I started a sleeve, I made plans to get the buttonband finished. But once again, autumn came, the cardigan wasn’t done, and back to to the UFO bin it went.
Fast forward to this spring, a day or two before EYF. My Threipmuir was fresh off the needles (yay!), and I found myself without a simple project to take for social knitting at EYF and remembered I was part way through a sleeve of my Southwell! So the cardigan came with me to the festival, and one sleeve got done. Then I packed it for my trip to the US and returned with only button bands to be done. By that point, not even my dislike of picking up stitches (or sewing on buttons) could stand in the way of finishing.
And I have to say, I’m so glad I did. I’ve worn this cardigan nearly every day since I finished it. The pattern is Southwell Cardigan by Marie Green, knit in Sherwood Yarns Bluefaced Leicester Sock in shade Holly Blue. I think it was easy to keep shoving this aside as I’d started to wonder whether I liked this color, and the knitting wasn’t particularly exciting. But now that it’s done, I’m really enjoying having a simple lightweight cardigan in my handmade wardrobe and have also been pleasantly surprised with how well the color, which is a bit out of my normal palette, fits in with the rest of my wardrobe.
I knit size 36 of this cardigan, and ended up using less than three skeins of yarn. I knit this top down, raglan cardigan pattern (from what I can remember) pretty much as written. Since I picked it up and put it down over, ahem, two years, there was a certain amount of guesswork getting things like sleeves to match up. I did alter the button band slightly. Following advice from Jen Arnall-Culliford, I picked up every stitch of the button band on the first row, then decreased down as needed. I found that the suggested pick up rate of 9 out of 10 stitches gave me a button band that flared out, so decreased to something between 3 out of every 4 or 4 out of every 5.
Before I sign off, I just want to take a final moment to celebrate the little buttons that grace this cardigan. Before we left Los Angeles, Mr. N and I took a trip over to West Hollywood to The Button Store, without a doubt the most impressive button shop I’ve ever been in. I had several projects that would need buttons in what I thought was the near future, including this cardi, and the formidable woman who ran the place came out with drawer upon drawer of buttons to fit the bill. I chose these little milled Italian buttons, and while I had a bit of a shock when we rang up my button purchases (I’ve never before or since paid so much for buttons — and I hadn’t thought to ask the price!), I have to say I am so pleased with how they look on the cardigan. If you find yourself in Los Angeles and on the hunt for very nice buttons, I definitely recommend a visit (just please don’t tell the owner I used yarn to sew these on — she categorically forbade me from doing it, but I lost the spool of coordinating thread I got on the same visit!)
Thanks, as always, for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely weekend with a bit of knitting planned!