Monte Rosa cardigan

Monte Rosa cardigan 1

This project took a while, but I would say that it was more than worth it – I love my new Monte Rosa cardigan!  I also highly recommend knitting it in the yarn used in the original pattern – de rerum natura Gilliatt.  It’s a soft merino yarn produced in France “in an ecological way” (according to the website), and it took about eight weeks to arrive (!) but I love how it feels – soft but wooly at the same time – and it really is perfect for making the beautiful stitch patterns in this sweater pop.

Monte Rosa cardigan 2

The directions are clear and helpful, but fairly complex – at least, at the beginning (it kind of reminded me of a Brooklyn Tweed pattern), so I wouldn’t recommend this one for a beginning sweater knitter.  However, after I got through the shoulders and yoke, the body is just a lot of repetition (although the stitch pattern and cabling slowed me down much more than just round and round stockinette stitching).  I like that it’s knit top down and in one seamless piece, which I have to say I enjoy a lot more than knitting a sweater in pieces.

Monte Rosa cardigan 3

Once you get to the sleeves and the button bands, it’s very simple stockinette and ribbing stitching, and by then I was really eager to finish, so I put in a lot of concentrated time and completed these sections much more quickly than the slower pace I’d set for the body of the sweater.  I couldn’t decide what color to use for the contrast trim, and ultimately went with unit d’ete (the body of the sweater is knit in poivre et sel), but I also have a skein of potimarron (the color used in the original pattern).  If anyone is interested in knitting this project with the Gilliatt yarn, I have both of these colored skeins for sale in my Ravelry stash – and it won’t take me eight weeks to ship them to you 🙂

Monte Rosa cardigan 4

I didn’t need to modify this sweater at all – I knit size medium (39.8″ finished bust circumference) and didn’t change the length of the body or the sleeves, and used the recommended US 7s (and US 6s for ribbing).  The buttons are handmade ceramic from sheppardhandmade on Etsy – they’re beautiful, but even though I bought them the recommended size (just a tad bit smaller than 1″) they seem too big to me – if I was to do it over, I’d go with more like a 3/4″ button.  I can’t decide whether I like how it looks unbuttoned – I think it looks better buttoned, but then I don’t like how it gaps along the button bands, particularly at my bust line.  Should I tack it down along the button line?  It would give it a smoother look, but then of course I couldn’t unbutton the sweater and wear it open.  What to do . . . I think I’m going to wear it a time or two and then see what I think.  This is the main reason that I don’t like cardigans – I always have this problem!  It’s not that the sweater is too small – it’s a perfect fit, probably 2-3″ of positive ease – it’s just that as I move around, I get what feels like a lot of puckering and gapping along the button band.  Hmmmm . . .

Monte Rosa cardigan 5

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