Larch Cardigan and the Great Sleeve Redo

I’ve been knitting for quite some time now (going on seven years! Phew!) and I’ve only successfully knit two sweaters, both of which were separated by years of socks, mittens and other smaller projects. It was always so hard to take the plunge and invest in enough yarn for a full, cozy sweater. This past summer I found the Larch Cardigan by Amy Christoffers and fell head over heels for it. The color and high collar really caught my eye! I fussed over which yellow and which yarn I would knit my new dream cardigan in and eventually settled on Stroll Sport in Mustard to give it a nice, soft drape and so that I’d be able to machine wash it. I set to work and finished all the pieces within two weeks! But… then came the sleeves.

I’m the worst at setting in sleeves! It’s always seemed inordinately challenging which is why I’ve avoided sweaters for so long. I took a stab at sewing them in late one night and the next morning I could tell how wonky they were. The pattern was great! Something just kept getting lost in translation from my brain to the darning needle in my fingers. Sleeves are too important to a finished garment to just wing them and hope that you only wear the finished piece in a dark, perferably candlelit room where the shadows tend to be extremely forgiving. I definitely wanted to be able to wear it in broad daylight. So, I ripped out the sleeves and tried again. And again. Finally, the third time seemed to work! They weren’t too tight, too bulky or too slapdash.

I made the sleeve caps a little poofed (something that wasn’t in the pattern). Getting the right amount of gather at the top was tricky and part of the reason it took me so many tries to get it right. Kerin’s Mattress Stitch tutorial showed me how to do a propper invisible seam which worked really well for the vertical sections of the arm hole.

The longer I knit, the more I realize that sometimes it takes patience and knowing when to stop and try again… and again, and again to wind up with a project that you’re really happy with! I would love to hear your stories about project that went awry and how you salvaged your project! Especially if that story happens to be about sleeves…