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  • Can’t go to Stitches -heading to Bowling Green for the Black Swamp Spinners Guild market day. That sweater looks great, btw. I have discovered something about gauge I have never seen discussed: it can change once the garment is worn. The last pair of socks I knit are a case in point – too tight off the needles, still kinda tight after blocking, but they conformed to my feet when worn. Fit is a crap shoot.

  • “Swatches change their minds and keep their secrets.” Amen to that. If I could accept this once and for all, I’d be a happier knitter. I still can’t help being enraged every single time those faithless creatures lie to me. Which they do more often than not.
    This sweater looks absolutely fantastic!

    • When swatches do that, I feel betrayed. It’s so bad for morale when you do everything you’re supposed to do and still don’t get the promised result.
      The sweater is beautiful – and looks great on both of them!

  • The Ranger does look great! My one, nitpicky thing: If you knit it again, consider sewing some twill tape or grosgrain ribbon to the inside of the buttonhole band, to help prevent the buttons from pullng that band out of shape. The pattern’s author should have thought of that. . .;-)

    • Clever idea. On the inside of the cardigan, do you sew one long strip along the button side before the buttons are sewn on and short strips between the buttonholes you’ve worked?

      • Most instructions I’ve seen only deal with the button side (sew grosgrain ribbon to back of button band with tiny stitches. Attach buttons, possibly using smaller backing buttons for support on the inside). It does make a difference.

        I have a lovely Hey, Teach cardigan I made that has a gappy buttonhole side. I’m planning to do something with ribbon to fix it, either sewing a matching piece of ribbon to it and cutting buttonholes in it or splitting a piece of matching ribbon and seeing each piece to one side of the holes. I can’t decide.

        The Knitmore Girls have a tutorial video on the button side ribbon.

      • I find that if you need reinforcement at all, you most definitely need it on the buttonhole side. There are different ways to do this, but the way I like, is to make machine buttonholes on the ribbon that match up to the knitted buttonholes on the sweater. This takes some careful measuring and marking, but is well worth the beautiful finish it produces.

        Lovely post, perfect sweater and wonderful links of Gael’s work to explore, thank you Kay. And Gael’s skirt is fabulous! Is it vintage?

        • To back the buttonhole side I’ve used 2 lengths of narrow grosgrain ribbon sewn on either side of vertical buttonholes – unfortunately this method won’t work with horizontal ones. The edges of the two ribbons are stitched together between buttonholes and stitched to the edges of the buttonholes as they go around them.

        • That is a clever solution for vertical buttonholes, Janet, and one I will definitely try at some point. Thanks for posting it.

  • When my mom was still a sweater knitter, folks would ask her who the current sweater-on-the-needles was for. She’d reply “whomever it fits.”

  • The column spoke from my heart – betrayed by swatches and patterns, left alone by the knitting Gods, a project can take a turn for the slumpy, skinny, stretchy, and baggy while we stare in horror and the knitting brain can’t compute – but I have knit this style before! But I know the yarn, but….this is not supposed to happen! And WHY, knitting Gods, does it generally happen when you are knitting a special gift for a good friend?

    PS; gorgeous sweater!

  • I loved my time at the Stitches South Market yesterday. But I missed the elusive Ann and Kay. I did get my coloring book signed by the adorable Juliana though. I went home with some beautiful gradients and will enjoy them as is until they decide what they want to become.

    • Francie! We need to engineer a visit somewhere else! Hope you are well–I woke up with my head full of all the yarns I dreamed about from the show.

  • Bravo!!!

  • Beautiful! I have the problem, usually when knitting sweaters “in whole”, not in pieces, is that the weight of the garment weighs me down and changes my gauge. As much as I love the idea of an easy sweater in the round, I’ve learned the hard way to knit in pieces and seam.

    • I had never thought of this!

  • Step 7 is my favorite. Though my preferred method is just to not make sweaters for other people.

    I tried to make a sweater for my 8-year-old (at her request) and I was so concerned about it not being too small that it ended up a sweater for my 11-year-old. And then I had to make a second sweater to fit the smaller kid, because she guilted me. So. On the other hand they get worn a lot so it could be worse….

    • “they get worn a lot” That makes me smile. Your kids like your knitting. 🙂

  • What an adorable couple! Sweater looks great!

  • Beautiful sweater! So glad the knitting gods smiled on you and it fits.

  • On my way home from work last night, I was thinking about Ranger and was hoping to soon see a post about it. The sweater looks great! The recipient looks happy in it, smiling from his eyes. It looks good as a ” boyfriend sweater”, too. Kudos, Kay! You did it!
    I also enjoyed that in the face of success, you expressed your sheer surprise and relief that it was a success. I think all of us knitters can relate to those feelings.

    Knit on!

    LoveDiane

  • Terrific looking sweater! Now I need to favorite that pattern for Mr.!

  • The lovely sweater gives Stephen that silver fox professor look! Very nice. It’s a great style and color on him.

  • I recently completed two sweaters (for me) that both fit well, so I am going back and forth between thinking I am now the expert on knitting sweaters that fit and believing it’s a miracle that will never happen again. I guess I’ll figure out which when I finish the sweater that’s on the needles right now!

  • Congrats on your sweater! And, THANK YOU for the link to Gael’ s website – I am thoroughly enjoying her mini documentaries – so inspiring.

  • Umm. I just watched Gael Towey’s Maira Kalman piece. It’s really lovely. And the quick sightings of Kalman paintings made me stop it occasionally to gaze. Thanks for that link.

  • Beautiful sweater, good-looking couple showing it off, but the guy at the top of the post makes me swoon!

  • The short film about Maira Kalman was extraordinary. Thank you and thanks to Gael Towey and Maira Kalman as well.

  • Then there’s the sweater where the gauge is right, the measurements match, and the recipient tries it on,and says. Oh dear, I didn’t think it would be this tight! Can you re-knit the sleeves? Congratulations on knitting a great sweater that fits!

  • The sweater is gorgeous!

    I am going to Stitches Midwest in August, and with the exception of one ball of dark gray dishcloth cotton, I have gone cold-sheep so far this year so I can save all my pennies so I can buy ALL.THE.YARN. (and a Schacht Zoom Loom) when I get there. I am also taking a class from Franklin Habit, and planning a side-trips to IKEA and Portillo’s.

  • Could Stephen’s sweater be in any way more stylish, better-fitting, or more attractive? I.Think.Not! What a satisfying finish this must be for you, Kay 🙂

    Thanks so much for the link to Gael’s videos. I’d seen one of the Maira Kalman pieces before, and watched it several times. Now I’m enjoying this entire treasure trove, bit by bit. Brilliant.

  • Congrats Kay! I’m just starting a sweater and may have skipped a few steps! Ha, luckily, it is a bit oversized. I love Gael’s videos!

  • Congratulations! And thanks for that. I haven’t knit a sweater in years because of fit fear. I keep thinking I need to read more, learn more. Nope, I need to knit a sweater!

    Btw, if you’re fill with Spring joy, you are definitely not in New York!
    Enjoy!

  • Mini-skein gradient kits are the crack cocaine of the knitting world.

  • This is epic.

Travel Alert:

Join us for a festive dinner at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago featuring Clara Parkes and us! Friday, March 9. Details here.