Tolt cardigan

Tolt cardigan 1

This was the perfect match of yarn to pattern – I wish you could feel this cardigan and see it in person, it is so gorgeous!  I can’t say enough about this yarn – I only wish it was available online, because it’s a long trek for me to Tolt Yarn & Wool in tiny Carnation, Washington.  I had the opportunity to visit there while traveling this summer, and it was as wonderful as I’d heard.  This yarn – YOTH Big Sister (80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon) – is Tolt’s own line, and I love the natural colors and the weight and feel of it.  I used 9 skeins of an OOAK color in a soft and buttery tonal neutral.

Tolt cardigan 2

The pattern is Icebreaker, and it’s that kind of wonderfully oversize (but not too oversize), cozy open front cardigan that I grab for again and again during the chilly months.  I knit size M2 (38″ bust) – that should have fit me exactly, with no ease, but I suspected that it would come out larger in the end, and I’m glad I didn’t go any bigger in the sizing, because there’s already quite a bit of ease built into the pattern.  Although the pattern calls for worsted yarn and Big Sister is DK, I got gauge with the pattern’s recommended needles (US 7s) and the yarn knit up beautifully on that size.

Tolt cardigan 3

The stitch that gives the cardigan it’s look and feel is English rib stitch – not at all difficult, but wow, is it time-consuming, at least for me!  This sweater took me longer to knit than just about any other; I think I’m just really slow at rib stitches, especially a K1 P1 variation.

Tolt cardigan 6

The only modification I made was to stop the body length at 16″ – I had a feeling that the sweater would grow when blocked, and boy, was I right!  Fair warning – between the stretchy nature of alpaca and the stretchy nature of the English rib stitch, you want to be REALLY careful when you block that you don’t let the sweater over-stretch.  In fact, after it was almost completely dry, I tossed it in the dryer (for just five nerve-wracking minutes!) and it tightened everything up just a smidge – the perfect amount needed for a good fit.

Tolt cardigan 4

I wanted the pockets to be a color pop, so I used Plucky Sweater in color Cryin Icicles.  Instead of the English rib stitch, I knit the pockets in stockinette, which keeps them from stretching out too much.  It was hard to decide on which pop of color – I liked a bright green, a deep fuchsia, and the blue of Cryin Icicles – but I figure that since the pockets are knit and stitched on entirely separately, I could always change out the color at any time 🙂

Tolt cardigan 5

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