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Aimee's Throwback cardigan by Andrea Mowry

 Photograph is of a women wearing a bright orange cardigan with ombre colors on the top in a diamond pattern. Women is looking off to the right with a slight smile, her hand on her hip in front of a white stucco wall with a green leafy plant just behind her.

Pattern: The Throwback Cardigan by Andrea Mowry
Yarn: (8) Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Embers, Spincycle Dream State Colorways:  (1) Deep Bump, (1) Lapis (1) The Family Jewels
Other Materials: Tangerine Diamonds vintage orange ribbon
Size Made: 2
Modifications: German short rows (my preferred short row) and knit in the round with steek.

I’ve long wanted to knit one of Andrea Mowry’s many beautiful patterns. When I was given the opportunity to complete a dream project with Fancy Tiger Crafts, I knew almost immediately that the Throwback would be my project. I’ve knit colorwork before in socks and children’s clothing, but never on an adult scale. I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to knock colorwork for grown ups off my crafting bucket list. I’ve worked with Shelter before (one of my all time favorite things to wear is another Shelter cardigan) and I thought it would be the perfect pairing with some bright colors from Spincycle Dream State.

Lay flat image of a sweater being knitted in the round. Above it 4 balls of yarn, left to right: embers red, sea green, light blue and dark blue. To the right of that black scissors and a wooden knitting tool
Photo Credit: Aimee Sher

As always Shelter was a dream to knit and touch, and it bloomed beautifully to fill in the gaps between stitches during blocking to create a very cohesive, flat, and beautifully hardy fabric. It’s knit at 18 stitches over 4 inches, which is my preferred Shelter gauge sweet spot. It creates a beautifully drapey fabric that isn’t too stiff or firm for Southern California winters and it’s the perfect fabric for winter outerwear in my climate.

Photograph of a women wearing a knitting embers orange sweater with ombre diamond pattern on the top in greens and blues. Women is standing to the side in front of a porch. The building is white with greenery on both sides of her.Photo Credit: Aimee Sher 

Knitting with Dream State is basically what its name implies. You’re going along, following a chart, doing your thing, and some hours later, the yarn has turned a different color, shifting dreamily and sometimes unexpectedly to new hues. I did some strategic cutting to get what I thought were the colors I was planning, but still ended up with some surprises. This isn’t a bad thing—in fact, I really think this is in essence all of knitting. It’s a leap of faith in diving into a yarn or pattern not knowing quite how it’s going to go.

Lay flat image of a sweater being knitted in the round. The colors are in an ombre of red embers, blue, sea green and green.

Photo Credit: Aimee Sher 

This project gave me plenty more surprises, as it happens. When I knit the colorwork back and forth, I struggled with maintaining tension on the purl side (wrong side) of fabric. I finished the yoke and blocked it on waste yarn to find out if the wonky gauge would block out, but it didn’t. Rather than do it again in the flat, I really felt that knitting colorwork back and forth is not for me, and that I should knit in the round. That would result in my very first steek, but I’m always game for a challenge and steeks were also on my knitting bucket list, so I went for it. For the steek, I cast on 5 additional stitches in the center of the work (at the beginning of round, and on colorwork rounds I knit it with a checkerboard pattern with all the colors involved to make sure it all sticks. By the time I finished the yoke again and blocked it to check gauge, I knew it was the right choice for me to knit it in the round.

Lay flat photograph of sweater being blocked. Sweater is an embers orange with the top having an ombre in a diamond pattern of blues, green and yellow.Photo Credit: Aimee Sher 

I finished knitting the body all the way through the ribbing (maintaining stockinette stitch through the steek panel), the sleeves, and the collar (picking up the 5 additional stitches and working them as stockinette again instead of rib). After a block session, I used my sewing machine and a zig zag stitch to gently tack down the steek area on both sides of the cut line, and off we went. Then, I knit the button band on as instructed, blocked again (that’s three blocking sessions, for anyone keeping count), and sewed on a ribbon to cover the cut edge.

Detail lay flat image of a knitted sweater. The right side front flap is open showing a orange vintage ribbon on the inside.Photo Credit: Aimee Sher 

Once the garment was knit and steeked, it turned out much better than I could’ve ever imagined, and I’m so happy with my choice to reknit from the beginning, in the round and steeked. The tension was much easier to maintain in the round, and I’ve now got steeking as a new technique in my back pocket to use for future projects. I feel as if I can do anything, now that I’ve steeked. I’m looking forward to exploring this technique and trying to improve on what I did this time in future garments to get the steek edge even neater and cleaner. And most of all, I can’t wait to wear this over the winter.

You can find more of what Aimee is making on her Instagram and website!
Instagram @aimeeshermakes
Website Aimee Sher Makes

Women standing in front of a white stucco wall with greenery to the right. Women is standing to the side facing to the right, looking slightly right with a slight smile. Women is wearing a knitted sweater, embers orange sweater with the top having multi colors in an ombre of blues and greens in a diamond pattern.Photo Credit: Aimee Sher 

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