I have a cardigan crush. When I was watching Endeavor on PBS this week I stopped the program, rewound a frame or two, grabbed my camera and snapped a picture of a lovely cardigan on one of the characters. Instantly, I had a ‘cardigan crush’ and enough so, that I would actually take a picture. Now, will I endeavor (sorry, couldn’t resist) to copy this sweater into a design? Well, maybe. I think there just might be Elizabeth’s Percentage System (EPS) around here somewhere to calculate stitches for a yoke cardigan and I happen to have several books that might have that exact fair isle motif or something similar…. and Shetland yarn? yep…have some of that, too.
Cardigans, notably, open in the front and usually close with buttons. You can’t really see by this picture but the button band on this one is in moss stitch and I like that, I also like the taupe colored shell buttons. I also like how this one is worn with just the top two buttons being fastened. A fashion classic, cardigans can be knit in any number of silhouettes and this crewneck version looks comfortably loose. Another element drawing me to this particular design is the long ribbed cuff. I’m going to have watch the show again to see if the ribbing is equally as long. And last of all are the colors – a nice neutral palette – teal and brownish gold. Like I said, I have a cardigan crush.
In years past the main reason I would not knit cardigans because I did not know how to properly care for them. I had heard too many stories of beautiful hand knit sweaters being accidentally felted. Recently I read about caring for hand knits and thought I would pass along that information to you in case you have had similar concerns.
Did you know that all the information you need is on the ball band label of the yarn you use? Yep. Instructions for caring for your yarn, including the preferred cleaning method is recommended right there on the ball band. If you want to maximize the lifetime of your garment then just follow these recommendations. In fact, it is really best if you knit a gauge swatch before you even start and wash it or clean it according to the ball band.
To make things consistent across the industry, there are international care symbols used on yarn labels. That makes it a little easier for us. So, follow the advice on the ball band but also keep in mind that each time you wash a hand knit sweater it will need to be blocked again to the pattern’s schematics.