In the beginning there was yarn.
Here, I decided what I wanted to do. And then? Radio silence. I quit blogging but was still knitting. A lot. Class sweaters, finishing for customers, tons of Christmas hats and sweaters for family. (I love the dead fish hats with unreasoning fervor. Seriously. Awesome pattern. In fact, who else wants one because I'd love to make a few more.)
I got super busy and left the gray Print 0' the Hoof mash-up cardigan to languish as an idea until late winter.
But you'll remember that the yarn was gorgeous. A mottled gray with dark green and teal highlights. A complete and utter mistake if you ask Rachel, inspiration in grand (you might say biblical) proportion for me. DK weight, Polwarth wool and silk blend with a super knit hand. Gawd. This stuff is perfect yarn. (I also own a sweater's worth of it in a neon yellow, but that is another story.)
And you'll remember my serendipidous snagging of this yarn -- I was in the right place at the right time and I threw myself on the floor and begged and pleaded and promised her my first born, which is not that big of a deal because Rachel knows and loves her.
Anyhoo. The fronts of the cardigan, as written by dear Gladys, are fine if you want a traditional cardigan. The pocket construction is fine, the button bands are fine. But I've been buying the unstructured, middle-aged woman, Eileen Fischer look stuff for awhile now. And traditional cardigans emphasize a portion of my anatomy with which I am not particularly enamored. A stuffy way to communicate body shame, but there you have it.
How to make this cardigan back into something I'll wear?
Because I have to. I mean look at this yarn. And it's great with that cable pattern, right? Just enough busy-ness layered over the traditional to make a modern statement sweater, right? I know!
The idea was right in front of me, in some of the finishing I was doing. Hannah Fetig's Effortless Cardigan. Of course! And easy peasy to create this look from a traditional sweater pattern! Too many exclamation points, but I was excited!
Easy, you say. For you, maybe. No, I say. Easy for you too. Just look. (Oh, and buy Hannah's pattern too, because it's genius and you should purchase genius before you mess with it.)
For each front, and you'll need two as this is a cardigan, cast on the same number as for the back and work as for the back up to the underarm shaping. I used the Print o'the Hoof cardigan pattern for my stitch pattern and the cast on numbers, and the Effortless Cardigan schematic for my measurements.
On the next two right side rows, cast off 1/5 of your neck side stitches (while working the traditional cardigan armscye shaping) and then cast off 2 stitches every right side row until you have 1/3 of the total number of stitches left. Then work the neck shaping as in the Thompson pattern (essentially a v-neck) and the shoulder shaping as in her pattern as well. Knit up some Print o'the Hoof cardigan sleeves, and pick up and rib a ton of edging, and voila! (Why not do the Effortless sleeves? Because I already have a back primed for set-in sleeves, remember?)
I say voila, like it was easy. Because, as a sweater knitter, I'd say it was pretty easy. I had two really good patterns to work from and mash together, so to speak, and jumping back and forth between the two was kind of fun and a challenge.
The color of the yarn is somewhere between these two pictures -- not quite so blue as the top, nor so flat as the bottm.
My one disappointment is that I made Gladys' sleeves, which are 3/4 and I'm constantly tugging at them or pushing them up.
I wore this to the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling which made Rachel happy and horrified in equal measure. Happy because the yarn is flippin' gorgeous and everyone who commented on the sweater commented as well on the yarn's gorgeosity. Horrified because she can't reproduce it. Though she's trying. Just you wait, Henry 'Iggins, just you wait.