04 June 2011

Button it up

My Featherweight Cardi has been bugging me ever since I finished it.  I don't blame the pattern...I decided I was smarter than the pattern, something I'm frequently guilty of, and knit it in a heavier weight yarn than called for (Wollmeise 100% Merino, a sturdy fingering weight).  I had to go way down in needle size to get anywhere near gauge.  These factors in combination meant that my finished cardi was more welterweight than featherweight.  Also I decided to work the shawl collar in 1x1 rib so that it would lay flat, which I think exacerbated the problem described below.

When it was finally done (all that stockinette!  And nothing but 1x1 ribbing for relief!), I actually liked the extra heft; it was nice and warm and substantial.  What I didn't like was the way it wanted to hang WAY open - not open in an effortless, comfortable way, but open in a way that I couldn't keep the shoulders from sliding off without pinning my elbows at my sides.  Add this to the somewhat saggy armhole situation (described on the project page linked above, if you're interested), and things were looking pretty unhappy.  I thought a little bit about solutions, but was too demoralized to tinker further with it.  I jammed it in a dark corner for a few months to think about what it had done.

I unearthed it the other day on my way to walk the dog, and when it threatened to fall off before I'd even left the house I stuffed a short cable needle into it in lieu of a proper closure.  Whilst walking around in public sporting my ersatz accessory, two things occurred to me: first and most importantly, that I might lose one of the few worthwhile cable needles I've ever used (usually just skip 'em altogether) and second, that this might be pushing "eccentric knitting lady" territory.  (Which I guess I technically am, but I'd rather earn my title by knitting socks on the U-Bahn.)

Clearly, it was time for a better solution.

Here it is:

I tried on the sweater, and marked the place where I wanted it to close.

Then I cast 3 stitches onto a skinny DPN for i-cord application.  I applied said i-cord up one side of the knit column of one rib, picking up one half of each knit stitch "v"...

...and knitting it together with the first stitch of each mini-i-cord-row.

Here's what it looked like after doing that for awhile:

Once I got to the edge, I continued with some free-agent i-cord, then turned around and came back down the other side of the same rib, and sewed the ends down in a moderately neat fashion.

Then I had fun digging through my button jar till I found one I liked (yes, if I was a better planner I would have chosen a button first and THEN made my button loop, but I what can I say...I'm not).  I went ahead and attached that, then admired my handiwork.

Jury's out on whether this will be a permanent fix, but it's a serious improvement at least.


  1. HiAmanda,

    I always have this problem too, i just let it be....

    I like the way you closed up the front. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Absolutely great idea!