Friday, May 30, 2014

Knitting for me: A Casco Bay Cardi

Pattern: Casco Bay Cardi by Carrie Bostick Hoge (collection Sparrow Sans, Quince and Co.)
Yarn: Cascade Ultra Pima in Ecru colorway 3718 (3 skeins, 660 yards. I have a tiny bit left)
Needles: US 8
Notions: 7 wooden buttons
Size: 35

Important: As the pattern indicates, swatching is vital!

I'm planning to knit down my stash for the next couple months. Now, I don't have an enormous stash but it is sizeable enough and does take up a storage box of its own. Almost all of my stash was given to me by my mother around the time of my wedding several years ago. It's high time that I start to use it. All the yarns are absolutely lovely but I suppose the reason I have waited so long to knit them up is that I'm a person that will generally pick out a project, buy the yarn specifically for the project, and make it almost right away.  I need to reverse my usual process and pick projects based on the yarn and quantity, which I can tell you, has taken quite a bit of searching on Ravelry.

So, without further ado, my first stash knitdown project: A Casco Bay Cardi in Cascade Ultra Pima.

I love garter stitch and I realized that this cardi would be just the thing to go with my Make a Garment a Month May challenge dress, Simplicity 2215. You can see the dedicated blog post here. Looking through my stash, this yarn seemed like the best bet...because that's kind of what it felt like... I wasn't sure I would have enough yarn and I was going to be using a cotton dk instead of a fingering linen held double. But I swatched and blocked and I seemed to obtain a similar gauge using a US 8, although the cotton seemed to have a tendency to shrink up more than the linen.

Even though this project was a breeze to knit, it was outside of my comfort zone because of the loose gauge knitting, which is something I had never done before. I had to keep reminding myself of my gauge swatch to reassure myself that the garment would be fine. 

I loved the integrated buttonholes which streamlined the whole process. I added some extra rows and a buttonhole. I'm glad I added a bit extra to the body length because the cotton does seem to want to shrink up, although we'll see how it does after wearing and whether it starts to pull down. 

The sleeves were the only part that I didn't enjoy as much but that's also because sleeves are not my favorite part of a garment to knit. I knit them on two circulars as I don't have double pointeds. It gave for a neat result since the magic loop method was looking too messy with the loose gauge. I didn't add extra rows to the sleeves because I was not going to have enough yarn.

There are so many things I love about this cardi such as the simple construction and neckline, paired with the fluid beauty of garter stitch. The incorporated buttonholes were so satisfying because once I was done with the body, I was done! I'm very pleased with the cardi and the fit, which is loose and comfortable without being too big. I'd love to knit practically all of the patterns from the Sparrow Sans collection, but I don't think I have the right yarns in my stash, so the other patterns will have to wait till later. And finally, I'm so happy about how this goes with my Make a Garment a month dress and it's exactly what I had envisioned. I also love that the buttons somewhat bring back the idea of polka dots and the color of the dress. Success! (Even though I look very serious in this photo, inside I'm jumping for joy!)


  1. I love your cardigan. Plus the fact it's a perfect match with your dress.

    1. Thank you! The cardigan and ensemble look exactly as I was hoping they would. Pretty pleased! I think I'm going to try making more outfits like this.

  2. This dress is awesome and the cardigan just sets it off!

    1. Thanks, Dorothy! I've really enjoyed wearing the two so far this season.