geodesic cardigan

Prior to heading off to Puglia, I set myself the goal of finally finishing my Geodesic cardigan, so that I could go to the retreat with the decks cleared, all ready to start new projects.  Things didn’t quite work out like that, but I got the last sleeve finished while I was there.  A fellow knitter, Tracey, kindly provided proof (please excuse my slouch):

Pattern: Geodesic Cardigan by Connie Chang Chinchio.  Published in Knitscene magazine.  I knit the size 38 but at a tighter gauge to get 35ish.

Yarn: Madelinetosh Prairie, Tart colourway.  1.1 skeins (130 grams)

Finished: April 30, 2010

Modifications (Intentional):

I worked the pattern on smaller needles and at a tighter gauge, as I was concerned the fabric would be too open (it still is a bit loose!).  I didn’t like the garter stitch rows on the top of the tucks, so I omitted those.  I also knit only seven tucks on each side, but it finished a bit lower than expected, so eight tucks may have been better.  Decided to add front closures.  I made the sleeves a bit shorter, not really as a design feature, but rather because I couldn’t face knitting any more.  I made the sleeves much wider due to my crazy gauge.

Modifications (Unintentional):

There is an awful lot of different shaping going on at the same time in this pattern.  Because it’s mostly stocking stitch, I found myself knitting away happily, only to realise that I was an inch or two past the point where shaping was to begin.  I couldn’t face ripping back, so the cardi ended up a bit longer than planned.


Fellow Ravellers who have knit this all seem to have had overwhelmingly positive experiences knitting this, so I don’t know what my problem was!  I wasn’t quite sure about the yarn choice in the first place, and I don’t think it was ideal.  In theory, the Prairie should be a good substitute for Malabrigo Lace: they’re both single spun laceweight merino yarns.  However the Prairie is much more tightly spun, so it hasn’t ‘fluffed up’ (technical term) as much as I’d hoped, and even though I knit the yarn at a considerably tighter gauge, the fabric is still very open and airy.

The original sample garment is shown in the pattern with the fronts resting gently open.  I knew that there was no way that a cardigan would stay so neatly placed, so I figured that I wear it with the fronts falling naturally to the sides.  It wasn’t until I had finished knitting that it dawned on me that this wouldn’t work: there is quite alot of shaping in the cardigan, which results in bunching at the sides when open.  Unfortunately it’s a bit of a snug fit to get the cardi closed, but I think it’s still the best option.  I can’t help but think of all the work that Connie must have put in to designing all the shaping for this pattern.

I’ve now sewn in a couple of vintage ‘Newey’s World-Famed’ hooks and eyes, which do the job perfectly (as opposed to sewing the fronts together as per the first first photo).

All in all I’m of the view that knitting a cardigan in single spun laceweight is a bit ridiculous, and I think a slightly thicker yarn would be much more doable (or the Prairie held double would make a gorgeous fabric).  I’ll happily wear it though, if only out of a sense of sheer achievement!  I think it will actually be very wearable over summer.

I haven’t yet worn this out in general public  so I’ll be interested in what non-knitters think of it.