Thursday, December 18, 2008


A couple of months spent knitting small, simple projects has whet my appetite for something juicy to sink my teeth into. On impulse I started to work the Cabled Yoke Cardigan from Fall's Vogue Knitting.

I had no expectation of ever knitting this piece until I saw a small picture in the front of the magazine that showed it knit in a solid color. I was very intrigued and the neckline looked much more like something I'd wear.

So I swatched, got gauge right from the get go and launched into it. I'm using Jamieson's Shetland Heather, in Ivory. Two balls of yarn worked up into 8 inches of back. That's a pretty rapid rate of consumption. I decided it was time to crunch some numbers.

The pattern calls for 3072 meters of yarn. I have 20 balls of yarn at 92 meters each which equals 1840 meters, a short fall of 1232. That means I'd need 34 balls of yarn total to finish this sweater. Something seems off, doesn't it? That's a heck of a lot of yarn!

The sweater is 31 inches in length and the first half of my 8 inches had less stitches than the latter half, so I'll bet two balls will get me way less than 8 inches as I go on. Still, I calculate that at the same rate of yarn usage, it would take me 15 balls of yarn to complete the front and back of the cardigan, no sleeves. That's pretty close actually. I wonder if I could finish the sweater with my 20 balls. Do you think Vogue padded out the yarn requirements?

Here are my options:
  • Rip it. Why run the risk of knitting an unfinishable project?
  • Buy more yarn. I'd have to buy almost an entire sweater's worth though. Or I could wait till I'm almost at the end and then buy.
  • Use a contrast yarn for the yoke. It might look funky, or it might look stupid. Knitty-Kat gave me some lovely tweed yarn (cause she's nice) that I think might just do the trick.
I'm leaning towards the last option. I really like working with the Shetland yarn, the knitting process has been fun so far, so I'm really reluctant to rip it, and I'm thinking that using the brown would be a creative and funky spin on the pattern. Am I nuts?

Oh, and there's one other option! Shorten the damned thing! Who needs a 31 inch sweater? I could go to 29 inches and still be plenty long.

I'm going to sleep on it. There's always a sock to knit.

Your input and comments are always appreciated.


  1. =Tamar12:06 am

    I say shorten it.

  2. Very attractive sweater! I would shorten it. What is a good length for you? Who knows, it may be 26 inches.

    Intensive cabling can really eat up the yardage (meterage? - is that a word?).

  3. I'd make it shorter because I don't think a tunic length sweater would be attractive on me. (Maybe it works for your body, though?) I also think there's a good chance the yardage is wrong. I just cast on Sylvi (Twist Collective), a 44" bust, knee-length coat, and it only calls for ~2000 yds, so maybe you already have plenty of yarn. But it seems you've got nothing to lose, since you can always get more or sub in the tweed. Plenty of good possibilities there. I'd keep a'knitting! :-)

  4. Keep knitting, shorten, get more of the same yarn if possible. The cables do take a lot of yarn!

    It's funny how Vogue often shows pictures that I pass right by in the magazine, but when I see someone else's picture, it turns out it is a great sweater. Either I have to look more thoughtfully, or they have to take clearer pictures!

  5. The yarn suggested as Aran weight by the pattern, Schaefer Miss Priss is 256m/113g.

    I'd call that Sport weight and would expect to use a lot more of it in a sweater.

    On the other hand, they say 16 stitches/4" on a 4.5 - 5 mm needle. I'd call the former Aran and the later Worsted!

    No doubt I'm missing something, but I wonder if the yardage got fluffed in the translation from design yarn to sample yarn.

  6. I'd go for it, and keep knitting. That yardage sounds off...

    On the other hand, if you bought the extra yarn, at worst you'd just have another sweater's worth of yarn, eh?

    I have that issue and had looked past that sweater, too. Why on earth did they use a picture that obscures the sweater? (And not the first time Vogue has done that!)

  7. Mary Jane9:21 am

    I'd nix the brown for the yoke. While the two colours look nice together, the dark yoke will cause the yoke to recede when you look at it and the body to come forward and be highlighted. If you did the body in dark and the yoke in light you would have the opposite effect. Which do you want to emphasize, the yoke or the body?

    Cables take a lot of yarn. I would not assume the pattern requirements are wrong.

  8. Boy! What choices! I agree with MJ re the dark yoke. I think I would knit the sleeves first. Then, knit the yoke, but start it with a provisional cast on. Knit the body for as long as the yarn holds out and then graft it to the yoke. Save some yarn for button bands, of course. Keep us posted.

  9. I'd go for shortening it but I like the brown yarn possibility too. It will be interesting to see how you solve this issue.

    3072 meters seems like a LOT of yarn. I took a class from Lucy Neatby last year; she told us that when yarn manufacturers commission designers to come up with a pattern, number 1 requirement is usually to use as much yarn as possible.

  10. With my bum I'd shorten it to just below the second button from the bottom, which would mean changing the proportions of the welt and body cable sections. Hmmm.

    I'm with MJ on the brown, though it's an interesting idea. And those cables do chew up yarn. Other things causing yarn inflation: they needed only 2 meters from the last ball to finish; they started each section with a fresh ball...

    Please keep us posted -- you do the most interesting knitting!

  11. I too read your posting and immediately thought, 'Shorten it!' After all, it's less knitting, it's probably not needed that length ANYWAY, so why give yourself the stress and the extra knitting time?

    (You've probably sorted it at this stage, but thought I'd chuck in my tuppenceworth while wishing you the best of Solstice and Midwinter greetings!)