I started the Channel Cardigan at the very tail end of Chicago Winter & beginning of our very chilly Spring. It felt like Winter was never going to end – I was sick of being cold and this cardigan seemed like the perfect solution.
I wasn’t going to knit this up since it’s not quite my style- but I got pulled in by the Meg-Michelle-Mari-(Liz) Knitting Collective group.
I’m not intending on wearing this sweater out in public actually – I made it as my lazy, cozy house coat during the winter.
I wanted something rustic and car-coat like so Cascade 220 was the perfect solution – economy prices & a durable, warm yarn. My color is: 8013 in Walnut Heather.
Meg also made her’s up in Cascase 220 with a lovely grey shade. Originally I wanted an oatmeal color, but couldn’t find one I liked at the shop I visited, so I opted for this slightly darker shade. (Again not my usual color choice.)
Sleeves & Gauge:
The first thing Jared Flood (pattern designer) has you knit up is the sleeves. It was nice to get them out of the way, but also a pain to knit up first before the body.
I am a loose knitter so my tension is always vastly different than stated in the pattern. I always make a swatch first.
Using the worsted weight yarn, I knit my swatch first with one needle size down, a US size 6 needle and I didn’t have the correct tension – my swatch was too big. I then swatched to a US size 5, 2 sizes down from what was stated and got the same exact tension as the US size 6 needle. This is crazy in itself, and I even brought it to show Michelle, just to prove I wasn’t going insane.
Not wanting to knit a worsted weight yarn with US size 4’s – (which is just crazy! & what Mari had to do on hers!!) I went about re-figuring the pattern to fit me like I always do.
After re-figuring everything out I knit up my first sleeve, exactly based on the xs pattern size – with my mods. I made my sleeve so that it would exactly match the finished pattern’s sleeve measurements. It did – and it was HUGE! It was so wide a sleeve that it fit my husband with EXTRA room. It was crazy! I showed the girls & they were like – you have it knit it smaller.
Theirs were fine, mind you. But theirs also don’t match the finished patterns measurements either.
I wish I had a photo of this for you, but it was all so wrong. The tension on this sweater, IMO can’t be trusted! I’m convinced that the model in the photo has sweater clips in it, pulling it in to make it more attractive. It would also be the reason why there are NO images of the back of the cardigan in the original photo shoot with the model.
I had to go back to the drawing board and fit the sleeve like I wanted it to fit, with some positive ease for lounging but not so large it would be too big even for my hubby.
Knowing all this, I set about re-figuring the body of the sweater also. I just used my body measurements, added some wearing ease (4″-5″) and recalculated all of the stitch counts throughout the sweater. In order to keep the same design, I increased/decreased the stitch counts in the moss stitch pattern between all of the chevron details.
In the end, I doubt you even see a difference between mine and the other 3 gals’ sweaters. It just looks like the same Channel Cardigan – which is good I guess. I just hated that I had to do so much work to get this thing to fit when the pattern instructions were already a whopping 18 pages long.
Having extra yarn (1+ skeins) and extra time to finish before our deadline, I went and knit myself up some pockets. Since I’m wearing mine around the house, I thought it was essential to make a pocket (or two) to carry things like my phone or tissues when I move from upstairs to downstairs.
I knit them in exactly the same chevron pattern as the body of the sweater so you wouldn’t know they were there. This worked out wonderfully – since Michelle only noticed I added pockets to mine when I pointed them out to her 45 mins after first starting our photo shoot. heh
Raglan seams are notoriously tricky to fit on my short, narrow shoulders. I decided that I was going to knit my sleeve caps up as many times as it took to get the right fit. Three sleeve-caps later, I got there. My raglan seams happen at a much sharper angle than the other girls’ sweaters but it was essential for me since I always get a great amount of pooling of fabric at my underarm.
I only altered the sleeve caps raglan seam, not the body of the cardigan to achieve the better fit. The raglan seams of the body hit more or less at the appropriate point, I just needed to remove many more stitches on the front half of the cap (only) to fit my shoulders.
So… Mari and Michelle ‘softly’ hosted this KAL online, but it felt like it was primarily the four of us since we meet in person once a week or once every two weeks to knit together. Knitting with friends on the same project is so much easier than knitting on your own sometimes – well especially when you’re all making the same thing. I don’t have any problem relaxing solo after a long work day with a movie and my knits, but its also nice to take such a solitary project in public and knit among friends and tea.
I love how fitted & short Mari’s cardigan turned out. I’d actually wear hers out in public (unlike mine). Her version reminds me of a cute boyfriend cardigan or fall jacket for layering. She actually knit hers shorter due to time constraints, but it turned out wonderful, imo.
I mentioned it earlier, but Mari had to knit her (worsted weight) cardigan with US size 4’s just to get gauge and to fit correctly. Craziness!
Meg’s cardigan was knit using the same yarn as mine, but turned out very different.
She omitted the belt loops and has paired the prettiest metal buttons on her cardigan.
Meg is the least experienced knitter in the bunch, but you’d never tell based on her finished garments. She’s an adventurous knitter, just like her personality would imply. With each new pattern, she delves into brand new techniques (buttonholes, short rows, multiple colors, etc.). With a quick, in person guidance from us, she goes and tackles them with no problems having done everything just once.
Michelle‘s cardigan turned out great too and the color on hers is so rich and vibrant.
She has one of those bodies that enables her to make very little alterations to the pattern, besides height – it makes me quite jealous. Despite that, I know it does take a great amount of skill and all of her knitting garments I’ve seen her make look flawless – very tailored to her.
I always joke that her knits look “like they were perfectly tailored for her body” and they truly are of course since she knits (and sews) them all herself. :)
What’s the point of taking photos without a little silliness…
I keep photo bombing our shoots – I just can’t help myself it seems. heh
And here’s us on a roller-coaster ride. I went for holding-on-for-my-dear-life-face.
Nailed it! LOL
Thumb’s up to you too Meg.
We started knitting while it was cold, yet these shots were taken during 70+ temps this past weekend. It got a it warm – and then we noticed we’re all wearing various shades of blue.
And as always, a special shout out to our handsome photographers, Mike and Felix.
We couldn’t do this without you & your wonderful direction. Cheers & Happy Knitting.