Draped in Longwool

At long last, my Draper Cardigan is done!

This was an exercise in bringing all my attention and intention to bear to make a sweater that was practical and suits my body shape, while using my stash.

I’ve already written about the yarn and Underhill Farm, whence it came. I feel completely validated in my decision to change the collar to 1×1 twisted rib. It’s dense and tight and adds a weight and cleanness to the collar, despite all the tedium (which improved with practice and a very sharp needle). That collar is the only visual focal point, and it’s the part I interact with most while wearing it, so it was super important.

I was so glad to see the back of this collar. Literally and metaphorically.

I had started out to make the vest version of the Draper pattern from Amy Herzog’s Fit to Flatter. According to her formulae, I fit into the “top heavy” category, and benefit from its long centre lines. Not that you have to put yourself in a style box, mind!

I had plenty of yarn left after the back and fronts and collar, so I added sleeves – but I chucked the pattern sleeves and tried something else I’d been dying to have a go at: top down short-row set-in sleeves. I’d read a few articles about it and it made such sense. It was perfectly logical to plan the sleeve cap out myself. Here’s the tutorial I used, though I felt like I understood the mechanics well enough to make my own adjustments as made sense to me.

I worked the first sleeve till I had used half my remaining yarn (the kitchen scale comes through again!) then did the other. This worked out to just-past-elbow length sleeves. I used to hate shirts and sweaters of this sleeve length because my wrists and hands got cold. That was back when my main job was sitting and reading or typing or knitting. These days, I spend so much time cooking, cleaning, and doing dishes that I require a shorter sleeve (and find fingerless mitts useless). I layer up to keep warm, and if my hands get cold, I just do more dishes.

I’ve only been wearing it for a day, but it seems at first use to be very suitable. The yarn is on the thin side, but has a lot of heft and a bit of drape. That’s because of the worsted-spun longwool making it dense. At the same time, the hairy mohair means it’s a great insulator. I’m glad it’s a cardigan.

It’s not the softest stuff, but it doesn’t bother my neck so far. The yarn is slightly over twisted, so it does bias a bit. On the plus side, I anticipate it’ll wear like armour.

A short photo shoot because it’s still pretty cold outside at -22 C. You can’t see my breath, but I can!

It feels really good to make such a practical garment from stash. Thanks again to Underhill Farm for making this unique and lovely yarn from their sheep and goats!

10 thoughts on “Draped in Longwool

  1. Both the collar and the set in sleeves you did look so neat and professional! I hope you will tell us in the future how it is wearing and if you are finding it to be a garment that is useful and often reached for.


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