Dresses without a matching cardigan are usually in want of a matching cardigan, yes? Yes. Especially when the matching cardigan is leafy, graceful and “rich in texture, line, and openwork” (Barbara Walker’s A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, p. 235). While flipping through Walker’s book one evening to find a leaf pattern for something else, I stumbled onto the Twin Leaf Panel. Gorgeous lines and texture for sure. I was hooked. But how to make it into a sweater I could wear around and not look too 1920’s retro? but a little 1920’s retro … a little.
Enter the dress (Banana Republic, circa 2008).
Yup. That’s the one. How to knit a cardigan to go with that I ask? Well, you find the most boring Louet Gems Sport Weight 100% merino (colour #43 Pewter) that is actually the same colour as the third tone in the dress. Then you knit a simple bottom-up twin lace panel cropped cardigan. You can’t knit a top-down raglan style because you end up halfway through realize the lace panel is upside down. Then you choose the most hated but effective rib pattern (twisted rib – it hurts my wrist) and add that to finish off the texture and grace of the item.
That’s what you do. So, while it’s blocking, here’s a sneak peek:
With cap sleeves that I did a provisional cast-on for, I finished the yoke (so as to not run out of yarn) and went back and knit little cap sleeves. Three decreases through the yoke for a round-neck. And definitely cropped – the cardigan is meant to hit my lower waist when it’s on. To be honest, this is a proto-type for a pattern I am in the process of designing but I wanted to give you a chance to see what I have been working on!
While my precious sweater is drying and blocking on the back deck in the scorching sun, I am working on sizing and further design elements (like eliminating the provisional cast-on!). What are you doing while it’s hot and sunny out?