What a difference buttons can make


Not too long ago I posted about Pam Allen’s Comfy Cardigan, published in Clara Parke’s The Knitter’s Book of Wool. It is indeed comfortable. In fact, as I’m writing this I’m wearing Comfy on a chilly Michigan spring evening. But, nice as these wooden buttons are, they were too much button for this sweater. I looked at the sweater and only saw the buttons. Plus, the fabric is is a bit limp and the buttonholes are placed very close to the edge. So, despite my serious sewing impairment, replacing the buttons had to happen.

These Dill buttons, purchased recently at Mary Maxim’s in Port Huron, are a much better fit for this sweater. They are thin and very lightweight. The mottled yellow green works well with the yarn colorway.

Again while shopping at Mary Maxim’s I also found the perfect thread. I did not know that thread came in variegated colors these days. An interesting development and, again, a good choice for this sweater and these buttons.

KBOW’s Comfy Cardigan

I don’t knit many sweaters. And when I do, they aren’t usually for me. But I was drawn to Pam Allen’s Comfy Cardigan from Clara Parkes’s Knitters Book of Wool. A friend knit it and recommended that it was one of her most comfortable sweaters. I’m a fan of slipped stitch and the honeycomb pattern of the bodice looked like it would be fun. It was. Twice.

First, I decided to modify the pattern to make it larger by adding honeycombs. Hmm. It seemed like a good idea, but before I was done I had a sweater with a 79 and 1/2 inch chest. That’s about two Dolly Partons and would not do. In my own defense, the sweater is unusually constructed and I did not understand exactly where I was in it most of the time. You start in the middle of the back with a provisional cast on and work to the edge of the back. Then you make a similar piece for the front. You join the pieces, and that’s where the sizing change occurs. Knit for a bit, cast off for the sleeve cut-out and then knit down to the cuff. Now back to that mid-back provisional cast-on and knit all the same sections for the other side. You pick up hundreds of stitches at the bodice and knit until it’s the length you want. A bit of ribbing, and you’re done.

After my Dolly Parton sojourn, I ripped back almost to the beginning and began again. This time I followed the pattern exactly, for the largest size. I was about 1/2 stitch per 4 inches above gauge, which ended up working out fairly well for me size-wise.

Maybe because of the somewhat lightweight worsted I used, Berrocco’s Vintage, this doesn’t have quite the “body” that might be best. The feel of it is soft and quite nice. But it isn’t doing too well with its rather dainty buttonholes, buttonband, and ribbing. Despite steaming, the buttonband and ribbing is curling some. I will tackle it again with more aggressive steaming.

Rather than shop for the perfect buttons, I used some nice wooden ones I had in my stash. They’re a bit too beefy and I’ll probably swap them out soon for something more lightweight. I’d like the sweater’s honeycomb pattern to catch the eye, more so than my button choice.

This turned to be a rather quick knit, as sweaters go. True to it’s name, it’s very comfy. The side-to-side construction assures that nothing binds.