I’ve already described how this cardigan came to be, so now lets focus on the actual finished object.
And the result, well, I think the pictures speak for themselves. The cardigan wasn’t a real surprise since my mum picked out colour and pattern herself, and I even had her try on pieces and asked her about fit as I went. But when she opened the present on Christmas Eve, she hadn’t seen the finished object. As you can probably see, the cardigan fits and looks great, and I think it was everything she hoped when she first asked me to knit her a cardigan. And despite my worries about the cotton yarn and dark colour not working with the cabled pattern, I think it turned out great.
As far as the pattern went, I made quite a few changes. The biggest change was choosing to lower the place where the pattern changes from cables to stockinette by a couple of inches. I thought making it fall under the bust instead of right across it would be much more flattering and I think it looks great, even if it probably could have been another half an inch or so lower. I knit the cardigan at a tighter gauge to try to avoid the cotton sagging and stretching out of shape. I also lengthened both the body and the sleeves to make it fit my mum’s tall frame (although I probably lengthened the arms a bit too much!)
Apart from that, I found Elinor’s notes on this pattern very helpful. Like her, I found the sleeves much too big, and modified them for a slimmer fit. I think they still ended up a little bit too baggy, but my mum likes the fit, and that’s the most important thing. As far as the neckband goes, I decided to keep knitting it with the body all the way, creating a vertical garter stitch buttonband. I really like the way this looks, and I’m especially proud of the way I connected the buttonband at the shoulders, by grafting the garter stitch sections of the front and the back after doing a three-needle bind-off for the shoulders. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photographs of this detail. I also decided not to bind off for the neckline, but just decrease, which meant I had to change the shaping slightly, creating a more subtle V-neck shape. I think this worked out great, and it ended up the perfect depth for my mum. The buttons are just basic black plastic, which I think works well for the simple lines of the cardigan.
All in all, I think this cardigan was a success. Would I knit another sweater for somebody else? Sure, but I might be more careful when it came to letting them choose their own pattern/yarn/colour combination.