FO: The infamous sixth item aka Tamarack Cardigan

by knittinginatree

Well, I did it! This is my first sweater made from absolute scratch. Okay, I didn’t sheer the sheep or process the yarn, but I did design the pattern and gave it the name of one of my favorite trees.

Larix Laricina’s common name is Tamarack or Tamarack Larch. It is such an unassuming tree, at least in the summer months it gently blends in with all the other conifers. But, come fall it’s once coniferous tendencies turn deciduous with orange needles that slowly shake off. And, better yet, in winter it appears to be deceivingly dead until spring comes and it buds green.

Paying homage to my inspiration.  The lace work between the cables was actually inspired by the needles of the tamarack. Most noticeable on the sleeves in the picture below.

There is so much I want to share about my sweater this is partly due to my excitement of it being my first design and partly because it fits me!  I will try to be a good editor tonight and attempt to give only the most important details.

First, a word about the yarn.  The yarn is old and was purchased from an elderly couple in Juneau, Alaska. Who, at the time, were thrilled that I was interested in purchasing it from them. It is called Darling by Unger and was produced in Belgium but as far as I know it’s no longer being made. Here is the big kicker, it’s a DK/Sport: 60% Acrylic, 20%Wool, and 20% Mohair.  Yes, I did just mention the A word. I hope you’re still reading and haven’t given up on me.  I generally despise acrylic like every good knitter. But, I really must say, I’m sort of amazed by this yarn. It holds it’s shape so well and it certainly does not feel, wear or work like acrylic. You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.

Secondly, a mention about buttons. With the Tamarack idea in mind and my dated yarn to boot, I found myself fantasizing about vintage patterns.  I realized I wanted a design that would match the age of my yarn. I think it is fair to say that my Tamarack Cardigan is somewhat of a vintage inspired design. All of the vintage patterns I spied on had knitted buttons to go with. So, it was only fitting that mine have matching buttons as well.  More photos of the buttons can be seen at this post.

Thirdly, a brief synopsis on the construction.  This is a pain free construction. The button bands were integrated right into my bottom up construction of the body and I knit the arms from the top down attaching them to the top of the sweater as I worked my way down.  A fairly simple pattern with little to no finishing work!

Finally, I’m so happy with my new sweater and that it also gets to be one of my six for this month. Someday soon I hope to put this design into pattern form…  In the meantime, I also need to thank S for being my photographer this weekend. I’ll leave you with a few more of his photos.