Thursday, October 04, 2018

My Rhinebeck Sweater

Back in July, I bought this topshop cardigan during the Nordstrom anniversary sale. I loved the color and the coziness of the bulky cables. It was a pretty good price, so I figured I would just buy it and save myself the trouble of knitting one. Then it arrived and I discovered it was made from the crappiest nastiest acrylic imaginable. Seriously it felt like Red Heart. I could not believe reviews that said it was soft and cosy. Honestly if I can get on my soapbox for a minute, we have been so brainwashed when it comes to what is considered quality in our garments. Here's a crappy mirror shot of me wearing the original sweater:

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So the cardigan got returned. But before I did so, I took some time to measure the garment and study the stitch patterns because I had my heart set on a cabled cardigan in that exact color. I found some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash Worsted that was a close color match and ordered 15-ish skeins.

Rhinebeck 2018 Sweater

Because I was copying a sweater already in existence I was able to swatch and then do most of the math ahead of time so that I could just knit the cardigan instead of figuring it out as I go (which is honestly what I generally do when I design my own sweaters). As you can see from the mirror shot I needed to shorten the sleeves quite a lot and I didn't want the sleeves to be quite as full at the bottom, but otherwise I closely mimicked the original sweater dimensions.

I knit the sleeves first. I always try to knit the sleeves before anything else if I can because I hate knitting sleeves with all the fire of my being and if they are one of the last things I knit the entire process will take much longer. I knit in pieces from the bottom-up and seamed them, which is my preferred garment construction. I knit the front buttonbands with the fronts but waited to knit the back neckband until the garment was seamed at the shoulders, then finished the back buttonbands and joined at the neck with a 3-needle bindoff. I seamed the back neckband on.

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I kept the first and last 2 stitches at both ends in stockinette stitch to make it easier to seam. I discovered this little trick when knitting my Must Have Cardigan. I really like the look of having that thin stockinette line at the seam lines. It makes such a clean seam edge and it's so much easier to deal with than trying to seam moss stitch.

Rhinebeck 2018 Sweater

I debated for a long time if I should add pockets or not but ultimately decided against it. The sweater is pretty thick as is and I think side seam pockets would add even more bulk. I prefer to have pockets in my cardigans but most of the time I will probably wear this with jeans so it's not super necessary.

Rhinebeck 2018 Sweater

I knit this on and off for a couple of months. During the summer it was often too hot to knit a bulky wool sweater so it took me longer to finish than I would have liked. I think I ended up using 12 skeins or so of yarn. I haven't worn it yet because the weather hasn't been right so far but I'm sure it'll be in heavy rotation once winter comes. I'm pretty sure this will be the sweater I wear to Rhinebeck this year, unless I end up finishing and wearing my backup Rhinebeck sweater instead.

But that's a post for another day.

Cost Breakdown

  • Rough Estimate of Time Spent: ~34 hours (swatching, writing pattern, knitting, seaming, blocking)
  • Yarn: $36.24
  • Pattern: $0
  • Notions: $0

Approximate total: $36.24

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