A (Day After) Christmas Cardigan

After weeks of struggling to find time to work on this project, I finally got the Newcastle cardigan done last night! Tom loves it, and I think I did a pretty good job. Photo dump commencing in 3…2…1…


Happy husband!


Collar and back contrast yoke


Contrast cuff


Not too bad! (Well, except for being on the hanger crooked…)


Close-up of the contrast fabric and detail at the shoulder yoke


Bound buttonholes!


Enormous buttons!

I’m really pleased with the fabrics I chose for this project. They were easy to work with and, although they did have some stretch, were stable enough that I didn’t need to do anything special to try to control them. For my first time working with knits, that was hugely important! (If you’d like to see them up close, you can find links to both fabrics in this post.)

For the most part, the pattern was pretty straightforward. I would absolutely make this again if Tom wanted another one. I looked online to see what reviews were out there and what issues anybody else may have had before I got started. I didn’t find anything, so when I ran into difficulties, I just gonzo’d my way through them. The first problem I encountered was with the facings, specifically the neck facing. For some reason, the piece I cut (the correct size) did not fit the neckline of the sweater–it wasn’t even close. No amount of stretching or fiddling was going to make it cover the gap left between the placket facings. Even now, I have no clue what I could have done wrong to make it not fit! I almost re-drafted that piece, but was feeling lazy and decided not to do that. I just sewed the placket facings and collar in place per the instructions; I think I will get a pack of seam binding and hand-sew it to the seam allowance of the collar and the top part of the facings, that way things don’t look so unfinished.

The other issue I had was with the cuffs. I must have read the instructions at least a dozen times, and still could not figure out what to do. I also couldn’t decide which way the cuff pieces should be folded. I’ve chalked that up to my lack of experience, but nevertheless, it was frustrating. At that point in the process, you’re damn-near finished, and all I wanted was to get this thing done and onto my husband’s torso before Christmas was over! I ended up cutting new cuff pieces with different dimensions (long and not very tall, which creates a much shorter cuff than the original pieces) and sewing them on in a completely different way. In fact, somewhere in the 10 minutes that passed between me finishing the first cuff and pinning the second one in place, I forgot what I had just done. After trying to remember for the better part of 20 minutes, I just went ahead and did something else. The finished result was the same, so I’m not too bummed about it. The cuffs I drafted made the sleeves a perfect length for Tom, which was a huge relief!

I didn’t sew in the sleeves as instructed either, opting instead to set them. For some reason, that was just easier for me to figure out. I’m very happy with the result, but if I make this again I will try to do the sleeves as instructed, just to see if I can do it!

Overall, I’m really happy with my work on this cardigan. Tom has already said he might like another sweater in a different color scheme, so I may be making another one of these sooner than I expected!

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