Andra and her many Felice cardigans
In the olden days when working weekends at my LYS I met a knitter; let’s call her Mrs. Smith. I was counseled by the LYS owner to be efficient with Mrs Smith as she was the easiest customer of all. You see, Mrs. Smith knit only one pattern, the same pattern, all of the time. Worsted weight. Sure, I give her credit—she changed up the yarn and color each time but I couldn’t fathom how Mrs. Smith kept from being bored with her knitting.
Flash forward thirty years and I find that I have become Mrs Smith! Well, sometimes. When I find a pattern that suits me, I won’t hesitate to reknit it with another yarn.
This all started with Berroco’s Felice designed by Amy Christoffers for Berroco Dulce. I was looking for that perfect cardigan; the one you grab and go, the one that goes with everything. Amy delivered for me with Felice. This cardigan is a top-down seamless sweater with an all-over half-brioche rib.
Often, I’ll knit the design in the yarn called for first. So, light blue Dulce. I knit it as the pattern is written…no changes. Great fit.
Now I get the “zen” of this design and I’m open to making changes. Berroco Lucca was up next; I was looking for a greatly oversized version that was and remains an upscale luxury sweater trend. Since the sweater is top-down I kept increased on the raglan line until I had the desired width…this was trial and error a few times. Yup, I put this sweater on the ball winder a couple of times to undo and redo the raglan shaping and then the torso. Worth all of the effort. I love this sweater so much and wish I had a better picture of me wearing it. I miss my Lucca sweater; she’s been vacationing at LYS’s on the New England Coast in 2022. We will be reunited soon I hope.
There was a bag of Berroco Tiramisu screaming to become a Felice, too. Went a little darker with my color choice and split the difference with the finished fit (ease).
One thing to note: The “knit separately and then sewn on” button band can be a bear. I went rogue on all three Felices and applied a ribbed band. Here’s how:
Fasten safety pins at the points where you want the button holes. Starting at the bottom right of the cardi, using double-pointed needles, cast on the desired number of stitches. Plan to end the row with a purl. Work across and at the end of the row purl two together (the last stitch with the “bump” edge stitch). Turn and work back. Repeat this purling two together with the bump stiches along the edge. This “slightly stretches” the band and gives a very professional finish. When you hit the safety pins work a button hole on that row. At the back neck edge, you’ll work purl three together (one from the DP needle and two bumps from the sweater edge). Always inspect your work as you go, make sure it lays flat and looks good. It’s really easy to rip back and reknit at this point. Practice this and you’ll never sew on a button band again.
As I mentioned, I’ve become Mrs. Smith sometimes. There are plenty more mini collections in my wardrobe to share. Watch this space.
All good things.
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