Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rebirth of The Cardi

Today, I must report the sad demise of my favorite sweater. My mother bought this cashmere cardigan for me several winters ago, and I have to admit that I've finally worn the poor thing into the ground. I'm just not sure I can wear any more holes into the poor thing with good conscience. Ever since its demise, I've realized just how much I wore this sweater, because I simply don't have anything else this flattering or flexible in my wardrobe. Thus, the cardi must be reincarnated. Like all reincarnation, the goal will be to improve the sweater, not simply recreate it.

Cardi pros:

  • A light grey colour that coordinates with nearly everything I own, including my dark grey pants, my jeans, and all the purple I seem to be wearing.
  • A clingy shape that doesn't make me look like I'm wearing maternity wear. There's something about loose tops that makes me look downright odd, for some reason.
  • Warmth and softness. The poor cardi made a perfect bottom layer to keep on indoors, but wasn't too hot when I layered my down coat over it.
  • Classic styling. The 1x1 ribbing to the waist gives it some interest, but it's simple enough to look great with anything.

In fact, I didn't realize how much I missed my sweater until I felt this Prime Alpaca. Prime Alpaca comes in... alpaca colours. Seriously. They don't dye it at all, which might explain part of why it's so soft. Stunningly, it's actually cheaper to knit this out of this incredible yarn than to buy myself a replacement cashmere cardi. I'm actually lacking words to explain exactly how soft this yarn is, but it's a good bit softer than the rather nice cashmere it's replacing. When I picked it up and couldn't stop cuddling it, I knew that it was the perfect candidate to replace my poor holey cardi. The yarn itself fulfills the colour, warmth, and softness requirements for the Replacement Cardi. Now, I need to pick a pattern that fulfils its promise.

Pattern needs:

  • While the original cardi didn't have a lot of waist shaping, its drape and 1x1 rib went a long way. It could have used more waist shaping, however, to give a bit more ease to my hips.
  • I could not button the original cardi over my bust. This actually isn't surprising, as I've never had a decently fitting cardi that I could button. Inspired by Grumperina's cardi, I decided that this time, I'd be able to button the thing. There's got to be a first for everything, right? Most likely, I'll use a normal cardigan pattern and add short-row bust shaping like the shaping from the Shapely Tank.

This still leaves me looking for a classic cardi pattern, but with some interest. I could simply recreate original cardi, with some shaping fixes (and a slightly thicker fabric, because the original sweater is in a stunningly small gauge), but I'm more than open to suggestions. Does anyone have a pattern they love, or would love to see someone knit? (Keep in mind that I'm about 36-27-38 with a shirt on, so I will have to add shaping to anything not already shaped.) I have enough yarn to knit anything you could think of in my size; extras will probably be turned into presents for very good boys and girls.


  1. Hey, I'd love it if you'd come join my Olympic Team - Team DPN!!


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