Thursday, April 09, 2015

fo: The Cardboard Cafe Cardigan, Done at Last!

Cardboard Cafe Cardigan
And I absolutely love it.  It's actually been done for a while, pretty much right after I finished seaming the thing, but I've been dragging my heels to get it photographed.  Sorry the photos aren't great - I sucked it up and took them outside despite the crazy winds we've had this week.  Hence why there's so many photos with my hand on my head - I'm usually holding down my bangs.  And I kept slipping on the wet dead grass, so I clung to that tree a lot.  I'm a stellar model, I know.

Cardboard Cafe Cardigan
ANYWAYS, here's the details:

Pattern: Cafe au Lait by Klever Knits
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Mountaintop Vail in Adobe colourway (aka cardboard coloured).  This yarn is fingering weight, but knit on 4.5 mm needles, so it went much quicker than your average fingering weight sweater.
Size: 48" bust
And here's my Ravelry Project Page, for other little detail.

Cardboard Cafe Cardigan
I'm not actually leaning in any of these pictures - my backyard slopes to the right, and I totally didn't account for that with the tripod.  It looked straight relative to the fence, and I totally didn't realize how slanty it was until I saw how tilted I was.  Oops.
I did a couple of mods.  First off, I'd planned to make this sweater end at the high hip area instead of the butt length the pattern is designed for.  My swatch told me that the length wouldn't change after blocking, so I knit to 15" or 16" total length from the armpit, which should've been the right length.  I also reduced the original batwing-like underarm by increasing the amount of stitches on the underarm from one pattern repeat each step to two pattern repeats (does that make sense?).

Cardboard Cafe Cardigan

Cardboard Cafe Cardigan
The sleeve length was perfect for me - I wanted them full length since 3/4  just doesn't work for me, too chilly!  These were knit to pattern for size 48, and I only added a 1" ribbed cuff.
While the sleeve mods worked wonderfully, as you can see the length...didn't.  If this had been knit out of wool, I think it might've.  But this yarn is 70% alpaca and 30% bamboo, and if you know anything about these fibres, you'll know that both of these fibres grow like a mo-fo.  I should've known better.  Le sigh.

It also didn't help that the originally fairly snug (but still comfortable!) sleeves also grew, which helped drop the body below them down by a couple of inches.  But wow are these sleeves even more comfy now!  I'll have no problems layering t-shirts underneath these suckers.

Cardboard Cafe Cardigan
Despite the epic growth, I'm not at all upset.  I'm not usually a fan of tops at this length, but I'll make an exception, because this butt-length sweater is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE GARMENT I'VE EVER MADE.  I don't care that it covers my ass, it looks awesome and it suits my style to a tee!  And goes with all of my casual tees.  I can honestly say that this is not only my most successful knitted garment, but also my most successful garment, period.  And that's saying something, considering that I've nearly worn my grey and purple Linden sweatershirts to pieces already.

wip: Cardboard Cafe
Look at how the fabric changed with blocking!  Pre-blocked dense and squished fabric on the left, airy and light-weight fabric on the right.  What a difference!
Despite the lacy-ness of the fabric, this sweater is remarkably warm, but not overly so.  I think it'll be the perfect layering piece for Yukon summers, which can still be chilly in the evenings (which regularly get down to single digits Celsius), but still work for a daytime layer as well.

Cardboard Cafe Cardigan
The buttons are probably one of my favourite parts.  They're made locally from caribou antlers!  No, the animals weren't harmed in their making - caribou shed their antlers, and they're not difficult to get a hold of.  I bought the buttons at our local yarn shop (LYS) last summer in a fit of pure love, with absolutely no idea what I'd do with them.  As soon as I started this sweater, I knew I'd found their mate!  Sadly, I only bought 5 of them, and discovered after the buttonband was finished that I actually needed 6.  Oops.  Luckily the LYS still stocked them, although the price had nearly doubled!  EEK!

Cardboard Cafe Cardigan
I probably won't wear this sweater buttoned up very often, since I love it open - but I'm glad that it can button closed without any straining on the buttonband.

I'm pretty proud of myself, not only because it's an awesome make, but also because I managed to start and finish a sweater in almost exactly 2 months!  This is unheard of for me, and I'm pretty stoked.  It's been such a fun knit, especially since there have been a few of us knitting this one together during the Holla Knits KAL.  Have you seen Michelle's Cafe au Lait?  So pretty in purple!

And despite being quite sick of this stitch pattern, there's a tiny part of me that wants to knit this again, but in a dark neutral (navy? black? charcoal grey?) that actually ends at my hip this time.  AAHH THAT'S CRAZY TALK THERE HEATHER!


I know there's been a lot of knitting on here of late, and very little rock/sewing/anything else (besides one little embroidery post).  Don't worry, you'll be getting an eye-full of sewing projects and plans for sewing projects soon!  I'm behind on my Make a Garment a Month, but they are coming, and I have a deadline I'd like to hit for one of my makes, so keep an eye out for those!


  1. Oh wow! It's so beautiful, Heather! Ugh you're making me want a neutral cafe bad! Your un-batwing mods worked well. It's not wing-ish but still lets you layer. Did you do a size larger on your fronts so it would button easily? Because it looks really good buttoned. I also like it open and flowy best, though. To say you love it more than your Lindens is truly saying something, because they are the ultimate tops. Bravo!

    1. Thanks Michelle! This sweater is going to be a staple in my wardrobe, I just know it. :) My Lindens will be happy for the break... lol

      I didn't make a size larger for the fronts. I knew based on the measurements that it'd fit fine as is, since the width around the hips would be 48" and my hips are about 46". I also didn't want to add more ease since this sweater has 9" or 10" of ease around my shoulders and upper bust. Plus I didn't even see the comments about knitting a larger size for the front until after I started them anyways. :D