Friday, June 08, 2018

Looking Back Cardigan

I'm almost sorry to be done with this sweater -- it was such a lovely pattern to knit! The pattern is Looking Back, by Joji Locatelli. I took advantage of a killer sale to get my hands on some Sugar Baby Alpaca from Wool and the Gang. Throw in a $15 off coupon, and I got ten skeins in "Quetzal Green" for $45 (normally that would be $120!). I still have 2 1/2 skeins left, too! It's an absolutely delicious yarn to knit. And with a larger gauge for this pattern, it knit up quite quickly. Granted, I was also in rather a kntting binge mood in April and May.

I am so pleased with this sweater! I love the button-up-the-back detail (though having to knit button bands was *almost* not worth it...), which enables it to serve as a cardigan in a pinch. I made a large-ish (for me) adjustment to the pattern by changing the shape of the back neckline. I noticed in the finished project photos that the neckline "cuts off" rather suddenly -- it's very high on the back of the neck. This makes it less practical as a forward facing cardigan (not that it's meant to be worn that way, but I wanted that feature). Through a little trial and error, I figured out how to scoop the neckline a bit more.

I absolutely love the lace pattern, which repeats in a narrower version on the sleeves: 

This is the sweater worn "backwards!"

The buttons were also a win -- friends of ours gifted a huge stash of vintage buttons, buckles, and lace years ago, and I had a vintage button card with 12 buttons (perfect for a cardigan called "Looking Back!").

Of course, I'd forgotten to account for the neckband button, but I still had a button shaped like a spoon handle in my stash.

This has been one of my most successful projects so far --

  • Much as I dislike picking-up-and-knitting, the process was much more manageable than it has been in the past. Which was good, considering that there was quite a bit of that technique! 
  • I found a tutorial on how to crochet a tiny knit-looking edge on the back neckband (it's hidden under the other side of the sweater) so it wouldn't look wonky if worn as an open cardigan -- a possibility if I ever need to use this for maternity wear in the future. It turned out great, and you can't tell it's an "add-on."
  • After a failed button band attempt, I took the time to block the unfinished sweater and figure out my perfect pick-up ratio. It turned out to be 1:1, instead of the 3:4 that I'd been attempting. 
  • I'm learning to be a bit more patient, as evidenced by how many times I re-worked my bottom edge cast-off...

 But, as always, there was room for improvement --

  • My buttonholes are a bit too far over on the button band
  • My pickup around the neck was a bit tighter than the pattern photos, though I like the end result and, happily, it didn't negate the scooped adjustment I made to the back neckline.
  • I made a mistake in the edge of the lace pattern RIGHT at the neckline -- of course, I didn't notice this until the rest of the sweater was done! Fortunately, it's not obvious.
  • I could have used an extra increase or two in the waist, as the sweater accentuates my 4-babies-later tummy (fortunately, it doesn't look stretched, it's just not very "forgiving"). 

I need to stop knitting sweaters in the winter/spring -- inevitably, they end up stashed away for months before I can wear them! Anyways, I'm hoping this number will be getting a lot of wear this winter (and many winters to come).

Raveled here.


  1. Shannon,

    Your sweater is beautiful! The lace pattern in gorgeous. You did a great job reworking the back neckline. The buttons are lovely too. I like the special button at the top. Your knitting always inspires me!


    1. Thank you for your kind words, Sarah! I am quite in awe of all your knitting (for your family and your Etsy shop), so it means a lot. You've really brightened my evening! :-)


  2. Oh so pretty! I love this colour!! as ever Shannon I am in awe that you find the time to create such beautiful knitwear. Just a little bit envious of your skills! I stick to my sewing!!

    1. Anna,

      You're so sweet! :-) I seem to go in spurts -- when I'm knitting, I'm not sewing, and vice versa. It can be nice to have a change once in a while. I never thought I'd be a knitter!

      Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!



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