I knit my first cardigan when I was 12. I remember it was a Patons variegated yarn, in a kind of raspberry colour. I remember it had raglan sleeves, and a v-neck. When I was finished knitting it, I had a back, two fronts and two sleeves. Then I realized that I had knit two right fronts. My mother said I would have to ravel the second one, and knit a left front. But, I decided to improvise.
I sewed my sweater together with one smooth (stockinette) front and the other a bumpy (garter stitch) front. To make it look intentional, I sewed one sleeve in smooth side out, and the other bumpy side out. Little did I know that years later, this would become known as a "design element". lol.
That was the first of many cardigans. And the first of even more "improvisational" approaches.
Right now I am working on the finishing details of "Desperate Housewife", which I introduced you to in my last post. I have just finished the button band on the right front, and will now pick up and knit the other side. Then, there are still pockets to be done.
Here is a picture of the button band, which is probably one of the best I have ever knit.
There are three very good reasons for me to say that. One is that I finally learned - 60 years after knitting my first cardigan - how to correctly pick up the stitches on the front for the button bands. I found a video by Roxanne Richardson that was total eureka moment!!! (BTW, she has videos for everything, which you will see if you go take a look.)
Amazingly, the tips she shared created a firm button bad that is just the perfect length. Too bad I didn't know this umpteen cardigans ago. Definite game changer, especially since I have decided I am more of a cardigan person than a pullover gal.
Next up, the one-row buttonhole. I think I knew this once, but probably forgot. And my last few cardigans didn't have button bands or button holes, so I got to discover this all over again. And my teacher, for this one, is Andrea Mowry aka Dreareneeknits.
Andrea is also a fountain of knowledge. I am sure she also has a button band tutorial, but I found Roxanne's first. Good to share the wealth and appreciation, I say. And this technique is surprisingly easy, once you try it a couple of times. Desperate Housewife has 10 buttonholes, so I got very good after the first two.
And last but not least, I thought I had seen a tutorial for binding off your very last stitch. In fact, there are many. I usually end up with a little bump where that last stitch comes off and I darn it in. But today, I discovered this tutorial by Knit Purl Hunter.
One at a time, these are all valuable lessons to learn. But all three together make an incredible difference in the finishing of this cardigan.
I still have pockets to pick up on the fronts, after the second band is done. So I am going to go and see if there is a tutorial on how to make sure those pockets are straight. I will keep you posted.
How wonderful to have these resources waiting to teach these old dogs new tricks.
Now off to pick up the stitches for that second band - quickly, before I forget.