My daughter gave me yarn (a gift certificate) a while ago and I purchased six skeins of Soft Donegal yarn in dark blue (worsted weight). I’ve been keeping an eye out for the perfect cardigan to knit using this pretty yarn.
While I added to my list of possible cardigans, and found lots of new patterns I might knit one day, nothing seemed right for this yarn. I nearly chose the Truss pattern (link goes to Ravelry), but ended up wanting a lighter color for that pattern. I did buy the pattern and plan to make it one day.
A Re-knit With Changes
My first Cobblestone is a sweater I wear a lot. In fact I was wearing it the morning I began writing this post. Mainly, I love it because it’s a cardigan, which I prefer. Unfortunately, I’m not a great cardigan knitter because I hate picking up stitches and cardigans generally need a button band. It is picked up after the sweater is knit.
This pattern knits the button band right along with the sweater knit. There is no need to pick up stitches. I totally screwed up my Carbeth cardigan because of the button band, and that has scared me away from knitting them. Just like knitting the Oxbow pattern has scared me away from textured sweaters. One day I will be brave enough to not let those things stop me, but this time I want an easy cardigan.
Big change number one is that I will not be doing the garter stitch section at the top of Cobblestone. I really don’t like it, so my sweater will be more plain.
I had some trouble and had to add a lifeline and rip back a few rows. The buttonhole in the pattern is a very simple one, and I am doing something a little more substantial, like the one shown in Suzanne Bryan’s video here. Then, I messed it up and couldn’t fix it, so I had to take out entire rows!
The sleeves are being knit before the body is finished. I am afraid of being short on yarn and would rather have long enough sleeves! In fact, it’s a good idea to do this when knitting a sweater IMO. (I ended up having plenty of yarn.)
The cuffs were done a bit differently because I wanted something tighter.
Sleeve Bind Off – New!
I followed a video by the Chili Dog when binding off. The Invisible Rib Bind Off. It is done with a tapestry needle. It didn’t seem to make that much difference with this type of yarn, but it’s a nice bind off.
The original cuff from the pattern is just a garter stitch rib. I decreased to do a regular ribbed cuff. It ended up being a little tighter than I would like, but it’s okay. I decreased to 36 stitches and 40 may have been better.
Soft Donegal Yarn
Soft Donegal is a yarn I have used before. My first experience was when I knit Kate’s Poncho for my daughter. For some reason the pattern is no longer available. This tweed yarn has a similar feel as Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter, but I’m hoping it will hold up better. The Shelter is looking very worn. It is dry and light and mine came directly from the shop in Ireland. It is available at shops in the US also to save on shipping.
At the yoke, just before the sleeves, there is a weird bump that I don’t like. I think the pattern is accommodating for this being made for a man, who would have bulkier upper arms and chest area – the pattern is unisex. I wish I had not done the last increase maybe? I’m not sure if that would have helped, but I think so. This would make stitch counts off, so that would have to be figured.
In this picture I show both of my Cobblestones. They both have the bump that seems to make the upper arm bulge a bit.
Along the sides of the sweater the pattern calls for garter sections. I decided to do seed stitch instead. The bottom is still done in garter rib, but I tried a new bind-off this time.
Finishing Up With The Icelandic Bind Off
Because I had plenty of yarn, I kept knitting until the body was around 18 inches. The pattern said 10.5 for my size 2, so I made it quite a bit longer. I did the garter rib and then did the Icelandic bind-off following the Brooklyn Tweed video. It’s a fairly simple bind-off and ended up looking great on this sweater because it’s meant for finishing off garter stitch.
The Icelandic bind-off is done with the knitting needles, and not a tapestry needle. It is fairly easy to do, but this yarn made it a bit tougher. I do like the outcome and would definitely use this bind off again.
A New Sweater
In the end, I’m quite happy with my new blue sweater. I got some quick photos of me wearing it, but it was a very hot and muggy May morning. I knit this one in size 2 and it is still plenty big. Keep this in mind if you knit this pattern – it runs quite large.
When knitting my second Cobblestone, I learned a new buttonhole technique, and two new bind-offs. Fun! On to finding a new pattern to begin. If you have knit this pattern, I would love to hear what you thought.