Initially when I knew I was going to post a worsted weight sweater project in early April, I kind of thought I’d have to make a joke about how it was growing too warm to wear it. Hahahahaha. As if. Oh April, how I always forget your disgusting weather ways every year. You’d think I would remember this being an April baby, as I never get nice weather on my birthday (which is coming up next week!).
There’s some good news and bad news about the cardigan I’m showing you today. The good news is that I love it, and it fills a need in my closet that I’ve had for ages: a basic green cardigan. The yarn is Cascade 220 in Christmas Green.
The bad news is twofold: first, I knit it twice.
Second, I knit it many months ago and only sewed on the ribbon button band facings before the holidays, so I don’t really remember a lot of details for you. I’m sure you’d agree that the first is a much more annoying piece of “bad news”!
Initially, this cardigan was going to be a batwing sleeve vintage cardigan, knit from a pattern from the 1950s, pattern No. 479 available here, from a Bernat booklet. Very cute, right?
I was rolling right along with it, and halfway through seaming, I clipped the rest of it together and tried it on… and I was severely underwhelmed. The combination of worsted weight and batwing sleeve just looked so bulky and awkward on me. I know it works for some people, I mean, I’ve seen the sweaters. And there’s many photos of mid-century knitting patterns with this combination to prove it (obviously the original pattern photo being one of them).
But on me, to me, it was a nope. I’m not even going to share a photo because I remember sharing one on Instagram and several people trying to convince me it looked good literally after I’d just said I had frogged it.
“But it looks great!”
“Um thanks? It’s now 4 balls of yarn again.”
However, knitting it was actually a good learning lesson for me. I’d been wanting to knit this style of cardigan or bolero for a long time, and once I finally did, I realized I didn’t love it. I much prefer that type of sleeve in fabric, or possibly a drapier yarn, or a much finer yarn (I have a been-on-hold-for-eons black batwing bolero in fingering weight, so we’ll someday see about that last theory).
But, I still loved the yarn, and I loved the stitch pattern. So I crunched some numbers to make it work on a fitted cropped cardigan, and got to knitting. Again. I finished knitting it… goodness, probably sometime last summer! When it was hot and I had zero incentive to actually fully finish it by sewing on the ribbon facings to the inside of the button bands. Which I finally did in December!
I don’t always face the button bands but I’ve been enjoying it as a way to have a little pop of vintage ribbon on the inside, since they’re so pretty. I also used vintage buttons and I think it’s the perfect combo.
Isn’t the shell stitch pattern pretty across the back? I recall it was actually a bit of a pain in the ass to get into a rhythm with. I think because it looked deceptively easy but was a bit more complicated than expected, so placing markers was crucial.
I’ll definitely pull the charming button bands from the original pattern for a future project someday, and I may even use this lovely stitch pattern again!
But right now, I’m really happy to finally have a strong green cardigan in my closet. As predicted, I’ve already worn it a lot. And I love it.
Even if I did have to knit it twice!