This project turned out exactly as I had hoped it would! Although the Rosemont Cardigan by Knitbot pattern was designed for a very different kind of worsted weight yarn, I wanted something that was rustic and oversized – that I could pull over a denim button-down shirt, pair with jeans and boots, and wear outside on a cold morning. Or, that I could pull on in the evenings to keep warm when it gets chilly in the house.
To achieve the look I wanted, I used Cestari Traditional 2-ply yarn. I first saw this yarn at Tolt Yarn & Wool and fell in love – I love how it feels, how it responds to being knitted, how it feels when I’m knitting with it – but it’s definitely minimally processed, and it takes a little while to get used to. There’s still a fair amount of lanolin in the wool, which I really like – as a result, it’s pretty “sticky” (not actually sticky, if you know what I mean, but it has adhesion and doesn’t slide like a slicker yarn might). This means that when you’re knitting with it, you have to be fairly conscious of the tension in your stitches and I found I had to pay closer attention to keeping my gauge from frequently changing. I’m not explaining this well – you have to actually knit with this yarn to get a feel for it, and it’s not a problem at all, just something I noticed and actually enjoyed as a contrast to knitting with more processed yarns.
The colors is Natural Light Grey and I used 7 skeins – in fact, I used every single yarn of 7 skeins, so I would buy one extra, just to be safe. I didn’t modify the body at all and used the recommended US 8s, but I did knit size 41.5″ to get the next size up (45.25″) because my gauge was quite a bit bigger than the pattern gauge. This definitely came out oversize, but not in a way that means it doesn’t fit me well – just in a way that allows me to comfortably wear it over a long-sleeve shirt. Because the yarn has got a lot of structure, I didn’t switch to US 7s for the ribbing, thinking that it would make the ribbing stiffer than I wanted.
I did modify the sleeves to make sure that they could comfortably fit a variety of long-sleeve shirts underneath. I picked up 2 extra stitches at the armhole, then knit for two inches without decreasing. At that point, I decreased every 10 rounds to 11″. Then, I decreased every 6 rounds to 48 sts, at which point I knit the ribbed cuff.
I also, knit four less rows of buttonband ribbing – I was running out of yarn, and felt like I didn’t want a wider buttonband, anyway. I think that an additional four rounds would have made the band so wide as to be unwieldy (remember that it came out wider anyway because of my larger gauge).
Finally, a week later, I went back and added pockets – I had to buy an extra skein to do it, but every time I wore the thing, I kept reaching down to put my hands in pockets that weren’t there, so I figured it was worth it. Now it’s perfect!