Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Meme Cardigan, Part One

In early October when the fall weather was just beginning to appear, I asked daughter Natalie and her doggy Graham to come with me to the park so we could snap some shots of my new 

I have named several of my sweater designs for family members, and while I had named a couple of other designs sort of after my mom (Rudy, her nickname that I now know she hates, and Marsaili, which is Marjorie in Gaelic and a now hibernating sweater design whose fate I am deciding), I had not done a full-fledged sweater in her honor.

Solved! The Meme Cardigan. We all call her Meme now since my daughters all have called her this their whole lives. Now there are four great-grandkids, and soon to be five, who call her Meme, too. I have another one in progress just for her, so I'll show you that one soon.

Let's look at how this design came about.

It started like this.
I was inspired by a sweater I'd seen in a movie and that sweater was a mock turtle. I lived with this design in this state for a while and just never could love it, soI left it to marinate for a couple of years. Then I picked it back up earlier this year and bingo, it told me it would rather be a cardigan. I went about changing all the parts that were affected, waiting until the end to figure out the closure. I kept trying to make some kind of clever thing happen with the front center cable, which is a repeat of the back center cable. The front one could be split right down the middle because the movement of the cable does not cross the center. I love cables like that.

In the end I just decided to make it simple: add a skinny vertical garter edge and attach a zipper. 

This one was knit with Cascade 220 in color #2441, a lovely oatmeal heather. On the second model, I decided to use a different yarn and to try adding buttons. 

For this one I used a stash of cream Cascade Sierra that I've had for years, waiting for the right project. I have always wanted a good, cotton sweater, and I knew Sierra, a good 80/20 cotton/wool blend, would be perfect. Unfortunately, this yarn has been discontinued, so if you can get your hands on some, grab it!
I love this sweater! It's just the right weight and can be a year-round layer. It would even work over a summer dress.

I kept the lines simple by putting in lots of vertical lines and low-relief cables and twisted stitches. I also made the neckline feminine--scooped and rather wide. In warmer weather this will keep you warm enough but not too much, and in colder weather you can wear a turtleneck or add a warm scarf, like I did in the pictures.

This is a top-down, seamless sweater with minimal finishing. You begin the project with working one of the saddle shoulder pieces as a swatch. When you get gauge, you follow with the second saddle piece and then pick up from there for first the upper back and then the upper front. On it goes from there down so you can make everything the length you want. The yarn amounts in this pattern are padded upward a bit for that purpose.

I'll be back next time for the next installment, in which I will show the steps of this project.
I hope you'll try a Meme Cardigan!

Big huge thanks to my daughter Natalie for the beautiful photos!

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