Back To My Roots - QueerJoe Reknitting Arctic Cardigan 10-16-20 01

Back To My Roots

Every once in a while, it’s fun to look back. And sometimes even more fun to go back to my roots in knitting.

Back To Which of My Roots?

I was reorganizing and came up on this little gem.

Womens Day Magazine Sweater and Craft Ideas Speacial Isuee February 1988

This was the first knitting magazine I ever purchased. I wanted to make the “Comfortable Cardigan.”

Comfortable Cardigan Magazine Picture

But not in “Paddy Green” acrylic yarn. I did end up knitting this sweater. It was the first sweater I ever knit.

Arctic Cardigan Full

I called it the “Arctic Cardigan” because is was so dense and heavy, it could keep me warm in the Arctic.

I made a number of mistakes on my first sweater. The pattern called for four buttons, so I used four buttons. It could definitely use five or six.  Those buttons are the rubber buttons from a discarded rugby shirt I had back in the 80’s.

Sewing up, grafting shoulders, pocket band ribbing and grafting in a new ball of yarn were all unknown to me at the time.

Choosing a yarn for this garment was done by an awful yarn store owner in Princeton, NJ (Payton’s Yarn Store???) She chose a very dense/heavy cotton/wool blend (Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Cotton/Wool Yarn, if I remember correctly). Plus, I had taught myself to wrap my purls incorrectly, so I was twisting my purl stitches.

You can imagine the density of this fabric based on all these factors.

So I’ve decided to try re-making this sweater again.

Current Knitting

The initial idea was to use tools I had back in the 80’s to lend some authenticity to this. I cast on with straight needles and after two inches of ribbing, I realized what a stupid idea that was. It’s now on  circular cable needles.

Shaker Rib Cardigan Arctic 10-16-20 01

I’ve finished about 10 inches of the back. I using an organic Merino wool yarn I got from Beaverslide Dry Goods in Montana.

Shaker Rib Cardigan Arctic 10-16-20 02

It’s pretty dense, but not as dense as wool/cotton yarn. And it’s in a nice taupe-y gray color that I really like.

I’ve put down the Primordial Sworl Shawl for a bit to focus on my roots.

7 comments on “Back To My Roots

  1. I love this – especially the switch to cable needles. Why be masochistic? LOL.
    Now I feel insecure about my purls… how did you wrap them incorrectly?
    As for the yarn, hey it was the 80’s. Cotton was king.
    I have yet to commit to something that size as a project – way to go, jumping in right off the bat. I just inherited a ton of wool and needles – to merge with my own stash… beginning to look at sweaters.

    1. The typical way of wrapping purls and knits is in a counter-clockwise direction (unless you do Combination Knitting). I was wrapping knit stitches correctly, but my purl stitches, I wrapped clockwise.

  2. Nancy McFeely Rogers would approve of your efforts! She famously knit Fred Rogers button-down sweaters in a variety of colors. After she passed away, they switched to zippered sweaters to make it easier for television.
    Focusing on your roots makes sense this time of year.
    I can’t wait to see a picture of you wrapped in the comfort of your first sweater 2.0

  3. Another great blog. I went back to my roots recently to relearn to knit the wrong way. Stockinette with every other row having twisted stitches.
    Best wishes for your weekend.

  4. I still have that magazine. Used to buy all of them and the Family Circle Ones. I found a lot of great sweaters to knit in them! Sort of miss them . Do not buy the ones they publish now. Do like the sweater your redoing from the magazine. Stay safe !!

  5. How fun that you’re revisiting an early project with love / understanding and not distain! I don’t knit but I sometimes look at my early jewelry-making pieces and want to just throw them out. You’ve taught me an important lesson! Thanks much.

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