I always look forward to the end of gift knitting season because it means I get to return to knitting for my favorite recipient: myself. Knitting for my own wardrobe is my absolute favorite thing to do!
We decided to take inspiration from ready to wear and create a beautiful designer sweater of our very own! Of course we’re taking you along for the ride. Afterall, what’s better than a selfish knit?
While browsing new Spring ready to wear knits, we came across this beautiful degrade cardigan by the brand Re/done. We wanted to try our hand at recreating this special sweater for ourselves!
I love that knitting for myself gives me the opportunity to use a great yarn in natural materials. For example: the original sweater uses a yarn that is 37% acrylic. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to materials. I love wool, cotton, and alpaca. Pretty much anything natural is what I prefer!
I chose to use Knomad Meringue for this project for several reasons. First, it gives the nice fuzzy look you immediately notice when you look at the original sweater. Second, it is super soft to the touch, kind of how I imagine fluffy clouds would feel if I could touch them. Third, it’s made from mostly Alpaca, which I prefer greatly over acrylic. Natural fibers just feel better, and they are better for the planet as well
Figuring out how to dye this yarn is probably the hardest part of this project! With so many beautiful colors available straight out of the container, I set out to determine which dye colors would most closely match the original sweater.
I settled on 4 colors to closely approximate the original design. All of these colors are acid dyes for silk and wool from Dharma trading company.
To begin, I grabbed four, 16 oz paper cups and mixed each of the combinations below into one of the cups:
I added ½ teaspoon of citric acid to each cup and filled each cup with hot water.
I figured I would need 5 skeins total to knit the sweater, so I decided to dye the 5 skeins of yarn in 3 batches: 2 batches with 2 skeins and 1 batch with 1 skein.
I’m going to dye the yarn in a hotel pan to get a hand painted effect.
For the first batch of skeins, I used ¾ of the peach and lilac dyes and placed them like this (see diagram below)
Once I poured the dye, I used the back of a spoon to gently work the dye into the yarn. Cover the pan and heat until the dye is set. Let the yarn cool, then rinse the yarn.
For the next batch, I used ¾ of the aqua and sour apple dye and placed the dye like this:
For the final skein, I used the remaining dye in all four colors and placed it like this:
I knit this yarn in stockinette stitch using size 9 US needles and it’s knitting up at about 4 stitches to the inch.
Cardigan No. 8 by My Favourite Things – I have personally knit this pattern 3 times so obviously I love it! With its deep V neck, pockets, and double knit button band, this pattern is very close to the inspiration cardi. The only change you might consider is cropping the length of the cardigan slightly.
Good Grandpa Cardigan by Caidree – This super cute pattern matches the inspiration quite well! The size range for this pattern is XS-5XL.
Instant Gratification Cardigan by Minimi Knit Design – If you prefer a raglan sweater, this cardigan is an excellent choice! The beautiful shoulder shaping adds an element of intrigue to this otherwise simple and streamlined design.