the perfect everyday cardigan

It would be nice to be with a man who wants to know what’s underneath my cardigan. FYI, it’s another cardigan. ~Amy Farrah Fowler

No, my ideal cardigan is not of pink lace, though this yarn is heavenly…baby soft, both in tone and texture, like knitting wisps of pearly cloud at sunset.

I’m in a period of self examination.  As a mother, do you find yourself over-looking yourself?  I know I do.  I’ll put the greatest of care and thought into decisions and purchases for the children and others, but for myself I just take whatever comes my way.  Whatever is easiest.  Whatever requires the least amount of thought and effort.  I’m trying to be better about caring for myself.  If nothing else, I really want to be a better role model for my girls.

A big part of this process seems to be about paying closer attention to the things that I truly love.  It’s a little startling to realize that I often don’t really know my own likes and dislikes!

For the last, gosh, 20 years or so, I’ve always had a go-to cardigan.  There are others in my collection.  I do love me a good cardigan- that much I know!  But there is always one that I grab consistently, most of the days of the year.  Sad to say, so far I’ve never made a sweater that has been elevated to this status.  My current everyday cardi is on it’s deathbed; pilling, threadbare and well past being presentable in public.  Which has left me considering the elements of my perfect everyday cardigan…  Grey- my last two were grey, that seems to be a theme.  It has to be fairly washable.  At least half wool, just cotton doesn’t cut it.  Not too fitted, but also not too bulky.  Pockets, there must be pockets.  At least thigh length, I think.  Some sort of closure.  Soft.

This pattern was love at first sight.  I think I literally gasped when I saw it.  I really don’t know why, but it just felt entirely right.  The only item off my list that it lacks is some sort of closure, which I think can be remedied with a pretty clasp.  Inconveniently for me, the pattern isn’t available on it’s own, but only as part of a $22 book, which adds a considerable amount to the final sweater cost.  I’ve tried to convince myself of the merits of other patterns, but this one seems to be the one.

Yarn wise I’m thinking Swish Worsted in Dove Heather.  I really should do Marble Heather or Cobblestone Heather.  They would be more practical.  Sometimes I resent practicality.  I’ve really been drawn to lighter colors lately, but with five kids, a garden to tend and most of my day being spent in the kitchen….  Still, I really would prefer the Dove.  Do I risk it?  I think it might just be worth it…  It will be a while before I’m able to put aside the money for it, so I have some time to decide.

Are you as cardigan crazy as I am?  What would be your ideal?


16 thoughts on “the perfect everyday cardigan

  1. Zena

    I think you should do the Dove Heather. “White” is still a classic colour and will go with everything particularly if you’re wearing it with jeans and a top. Thinking of yourself last is a curse of motherhood, especially if you are a stay at home mom. I just turned 40 and I want to streamline my clothing and put more effort in but still keep it simple.

  2. Melody Post author

    My concern is less about it going with things and more about how quickly it’s likely to get stained! It’s a light grey. I’ve worked with it before, so I know I like it, but definitely more likely to show dirt and such than one of the darker greys. But I still think it’s my first choice!

    That’s exactly where I am at too. I want my wardrobe to be simple and easy, but composed of items I truly love, not just whatever happens to come my way.

  3. Jeanette

    Love this and the Big Bang quote was awesome. I’m in the midst of making my very first cardigan. I’m doing Maude by Quince and Co with knit picks Wool of Andes in Onyx Heather. I can get away with a non machine washable cardi now since my 4 tots are no longer tots but almost completely grown adults. (still cant wrap my head around how that happened) I understand your concerns! I totally do. and its a real dilemma. Part of your brain says you should do it in dove because you need to do nice things for yourself and dont wait until kids are grown or things are better…do it now! then reality sits there on your shoulder and taunts you with mud, baby stuff, juice stains, food splatters and all sorts of animal by products and its winning the fight. *sigh* I feel ya mama. I wish there was an easy answer….but if your heart is calling for dove I say follow it. :) Cant wait to see what you cast on!

  4. Melody Post author

    Exactly. And the other concern is that I will be so worried about ruining it that I won’t wear it. That has happened in the past.

  5. Carol Urban

    I am definitely a pink yarn person. I’ve stayed away from all yarn with nylon or acrylic in it but see how beautiful this Reverie yarn is in that combination. Lovely halo! What is the pattern you’re working with that pink yarn in the photo? Very pretty!

  6. Melody Post author

    I usually stick with 100% natural fibers myself, but while working on some gifts last year where softness was paramount, I decided to give this a try and it’s really lovely and soft. Gotta love baby alpaca! The pink lace is part of a bonnet pattern I’m writing.

  7. Christina

    Oh my gosh! Have you touched upon a huge topic. Yes, I understand completely. I try to get by with what is fast, easy, and cheap for myself. However, with my son, I want to make sure that it is perfect for him, affordable, but something he will both love and cherish. Why is it, that as mothers, we feel guilty when we treat ourselves as we treat our children, or husband? With daughters, especially with daughters, I think that you are right in showing them that you have got to take care of “mom” (yourself) as well, otherwise, you will teach them a lesson that is very hard to unlearn.
    And I say go for the color you want! If it is Dove Heather…..get it! So what if you have to wash it more often than another color. When are we not doing a load of laundry anyway??
    Splurge away sister! Treat yourself, and teach your daughters that it is ok for mom’s everywhere to take care of their needs once in awhile.

  8. susan

    I really like that sweater pattern. It’s soo much knitting! I can’t even seem to finish simple baby sweaters, so I’m impressed. I’d suggest going with a dark color for everyday, and then knit one in a favorite color for “nice” wear. Then you have the best of both worlds.

  9. Megan

    I love that cardigan! I am going to add it to my list, looks so practical. I myself, would go for a darker colour but if you love the Dove go for it. Unless you are doing a really dark colour the others would get dirty too. And your kids are slowly getting older.

  10. kim

    My library has it! 2 copies and both are out, but I’m up next. I can copy it and send it to you if you can hold off a few weeks…..just a thought :-)

  11. a little crafty nest

    Hi Melody…So nice to visit here again…you write like we are sitting together sharing tea…so so good! I also had a beloved cardi that died a slow painful death many years ago. And nothing has come close to replacing it since. So, I’m in the mode for shopping for a new pattern. I have a few listed on my ravelry site, and my pinterest site, but this one is good, too! I do like closures on the front, though. Buttons would be good. Not that I’d do them all up, but one or two would be nice. Happy knitting!
    xo Jules

  12. Annelise

    I do this. I’m so careful with my daughter’s clothing, have been planning her spring and summer wardrobe based on what she’s telling me she likes (yellow and green, all dresses- I love 3.) Meanwhile, I went through my belongings and realized half my wardrobe was sp worn out it wasn’t even good enough for the thrift store.

    That cardigan is lovely,as is the yarn. At least no matter the color, it’ll still be beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>