Hi there! I'm Becky, MFY's Content Manager, and after asking the MFY Family to weigh in on my next sweater project, I was inspired to invite you along on the journey!
So, welcome to the home of my personal knit along! I'll share all kinds of links, resources, tips and tricks as I knit my way through my sweater. While I plan to "officially" kick things off on September 1st, there is no timetable for this knit along. I have an active toddler, a rescue pup, a busy husband and work I love. Life happens! However, I am someone who works well on a deadline, so I will say that I hope to have this sweater finished by the end of January 2024. I'd love to say the end of this year (so much neater), but I'm realistic and who knows how much holiday crafting I'll commit to!
It would be my honor to have you knit along side me if the pattern calls to you! If the pattern isn't your taste or the time/financial commitment isn't doable right now - I still hope you'll follow along and maybe pick up a new trick or be inspired to challenge yourself to a new skill.
Thanks for stopping in - I can't wait to share this adventure with you!
After a vote on MFY's social media pages, the winning sweater was Joji Locatelli's Long Summer Cardigan. The fingering weight cardigan is long and flowing with alternating stripes of color, texture and width. The MFY family made a wise choice as it is gorgeous, and for me, much more practical than the other pullover style options. Designed in a wool/silk blend, the lightweight cardigan is perfect for my home in North Carolina.
Accessible for adventurous beginners with a desire to learn and develop their skills, I think this is a fantastic project for all skill sets with it's addicting stripes and varying stitch patterns.
Joji designed the Long Summer Cardigan in a hand-dyed 80% Merino Wool, 20% Silk blend. While it's a beautiful yarn, I was looking for something a bit more practical for my budget and more consistent in color. I chose Cascade Heritage Silk - an 85% Superwash Merino Wool, 15% Silk blend - in the colors White and Gray. (I wish I was confident enough to let the MFY Family pick the colors, but I'd had my heart set on white and gray since I saw this pattern!)
If you poke around, you'll find that all kinds of different fingering weight yarns have been used successfully for this pattern! Joji even includes comments in the pattern regarding stretch if you use other fibers! I happen to think that while I lean very neutral, this pattern calls out for a bold contrast color OR a variety of scraps/mini skeins for each thin stripe - maybe even a gradient or fade...So many options to create your perfect cardi!
A Story About Gauge
The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn and Size 3 (3.25mm) needles. The stated gauge in stockinette stitch is 25 stitches and 34 rows per 4 inches. Joji recommends 6"-10" of positive ease for sizing which means you would want to knit the size closest to your bust size PLUS 6"-10".
I am a very tight knitter which means my stitches are usually smaller than most designers'. For my gauge swatch, I chose to use a Size 4 (3.5mm) needle. When I measured it - after washing and blocking! - my gauge was 29 stitches and 40 rows for 4 inches. It's "close" and I liked the fabric so I decided to use the Size 4 needles. So...how did I know which size from the pattern I should knit?
I was planning to knit the Medium size or 46" bust option. To see how my gauge would affect the size, I did the following calculation:
46 / 4 = 11.5 11.5 x 29 = 333.5
This told me that I would need to knit 333.5 stitches at my gauge to reach 46". I then found the widest point of the pattern and looked at the stitch counts:
Size M: 279 sts
Size L: 305 sts
Size XL: 327 sts
Size 2X: 353 sts
The size that was closest to my stitch count was XL or 50" bust. As a way to double check if this would truly knit up closer to my desired size, I did the following calculation:
327 / 29 = 11.28 11.28 x 4 = 45.12
This told me that I would get a bust circumference of approximately 45". For my body, that would be about 9" of positive ease. I tend to like a little more fitted sweater, especially on my sleeves, so I decided to test the Size L stitch count:
305 / 29 = 10.52 10.52 x 4 = 42.08
For my body, this would be about 6" of positive ease, which sounded closer to what I would enjoy wearing. So...all of that to explain that I selected the Size L stitch count with the goal of achieving a bust of approximately 42".
Check In Videos
Becky will be doing check in videos every couple of weeks as she works through the pattern. You can find each video link below, and there is also a playlist started on MFY+ for the whole collection. If you are a subscriber to our YouTube channel, you'll get a notification and be one of the first to know when each video goes live!
First Check In - Getting Started (shown below)
These are some tutorials that I believe would be helpful if you decide to make this sweater with me! You'll find all of these on MFY+ - our YouTube Channel - along with crochet tutorials, trunk show walk throughs, shop shenanigans and more!
- Long Tail Cast On
- Wrap & Turn Short Rows (COMING SOON!)
- Placing Stitches on Hold & How to Pick Them Back Up (COMING SOON!)
- Stockinette Stitch
- Knitting & Purling Stitches Through the Back Loop (ktbl & ptbl)
- M1L and M1R Increases (photo instructions)
- Placing & Slipping Stitch Markers
- SSK & K2tog Decreases (COMING SOON!)
- Picking Up Stitches (COMING SOON!)
- Stretchy Bind Off (COMING SOON!)
About Joji Locatelli
From Joji's website:
I am an Argentine knitwear designer living in and loving Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I am Latina and I love bringing my personality to everything I create. I knit and write with my entire heart. I am also a promoter of kindness and generosity, I believe firmly in 'craftivism'.
To me, being a communicator in my community, in real life and online is very important. I stand strong against racism and discrimination of any kind and I encourage you to join me in this fight.
I am a Mom of two boys, and a wife to a loving non-knitting husband. My days go by dreaming of new knitting projects and, when I can, a little bit of traveling too.
I hope to inspire you with my knitting patterns, a true reflection of what I love to wear: draped fabrics, beautiful details, simple lines.
About Becky VanSandt
Becky is the face behind most of MFY's blog and social media posts. Before finding herself a stay-at-home mom, Becky worked in event management and customer service so she loves the chance to interact with everyone, even if it's virtual! Born and raised in Wisconsin, Becky taught herself to knit in high school, but took a refresher course when she moved to North Carolina that reignited her passion for the fiber arts. Knitting and crochet combine her love of organization and need for creativity into a stress relieving and practical hobby. A few fast facts. Becky always has to have a pair of socks on the needles. She loves twisted rib, seed stitch and neutral colors. Her favorite projects are those that have a story and teach her something new. She considers herself a life-long learner who loves to share her knowledge and experience!
This page will be updated throughout the knit along, but you can also follow along on Michigan Fine Yarn's Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as Becky's Instagram page! Becky has promised to do her best with updating her Ravelry project page too, if you are active there.