The finish line is worth it

It’s done! Gwendolyn is done! Guys, I can’t remember the last time I took seven months to finish knitting something. I mean, I did knit other things in that same seven months, so I can cut myself some slack there, but still. That much time between start and finish can mess with your head a little. And I had some gauge indecision in there, and changed sizes, and modified the sleeves a little bit, so by the time I got to the sewing up I think my brain was genuinely curious to see what was going to happen next. It also occurred to me that since I know Fiona, there was every likelihood that if I messed it up, I would personally have to tell her about it. (Kim even wrote me a note about it in case I ended up needing a permission slip, which I thought was really very considerate.)

As it turns out, I don’t think I messed it up at all.


Cables, cables, CABLES. Gimme gimme.

What can I say but this is a lovely pattern – which shouldn’t be all that surprising, given that over 100 other folks on Ravelry have knitted it. I wanted it as a comfortable, wear-anywhere-you-want sort of sweater, and I am well pleased with the result. The yarn is Cascade 220 Heathers, in a nice turquoise colour. The trim (a detail included in the pattern) is also a Cascade 220 Heather in a brownish/purplish/reddish colour, leftover from a past sweater.


In choosing the size, as it turns out, all I needed to do was choose the actual pattern size that I wanted as listed, and then just knit that size. (One needle size down, though.) It blocked out to the intended size after washing, but then over a period of drying actually sucked back up a bit of width, then somehow worked out just fine. I am very glad that I made the decision back in January to stop knitting the original size I had chosen and go back up one size. It lost me some knitting time in the bargain, but turned out to be the right move.


I did, as per usual, do some modification.

I’d heard feedback from a couple of friends/Ravellers that their sleeves had turned out a titch larger than they wanted, so I modified the sleeves to be a bit slimmer by a few stitches, but also added in some ribbing at the inside of the sleeve. I accomplished this by simply continuing the ribbing from the cuff just at the edges where it wouldn’t interrupt the main cable panel, and gradually incorporated more ribbing as I increased.


I also added about 3 inches in length, which is a pretty typical modification for me since I am 5’9″ tall. Especially for cardigans, I like making sure it hits me just nicely over the hip. Modifying for length is one of the easiest modifications you can do for yourself, and I am a big fan – just take the tape measure out one day when you’re with a fellow like-minded knitter, and measure from your shoulders down to where you want things to stop. Or, measure a sweater that fits you really pleasantly, and measure how long it is. (also possibly how wide, etc).

Finally, I worked the button-band to be the same as the trim around the cuffs and hem, with just the outer 2 rows and bind-off done in the contrast colour, rather than working the entire button-band in the contrast colour.


In conclusion, HURRAY I HAVE A NEW SWEATER! I’ve worn it the past 2 days and may well wear it again today to Niagara Falls, for Elspeth’s last day Canada-side. If wearing the same outfit 3 days in a row is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

Happy knitting this fine Sunday!



  1. Beautiful work! There is nothing that feels as good as finishing a sweater and wanting to wear nothing else. I feel that way about the Austin Hoodie I made earlier this winter. I don’t think I have even taken time to photograph it yet because I am always wearing it! The turquoise is perfect on you and I love the accent colour.

  2. That looks fantastic! Sounds like your modifications worked out just right and I like the way you did the contrast, too.

  3. You did a beautiful job! Gorgeous color!

  4. It looks spectacular! Congrats on such a great FO. And when we’re talking about a new sweater, the same outfit in 3 days is definitely OK!

  5. I love it! I’m currently hooked on cables and that sweater has just the right amount to add great depth and texture without making you look like you’re twice as thick when you wear it (unless you are actually 97 pounds, in which case, I have to say it adds a few). Beautiful.

  6. Beautiful!! Now I want to make one, too.

  7. This cardigan is so, so beautiful! The turquoise you’ve chosen is great and the trimming in a darker brown color is such a clever idea. And all these cables – spectacular work!

  8. Gorgeous work! I love cables.

  9. Really lovely. 🙂

  10. Fantastic Results! Well worth the 8 month investment in your knitting time! It is Beautiful!

  11. Bravo – a gorgeous cardigan. I love the contrast band.

  12. That’s gorgeous! Looks like everything came out fantastically. I can’t wait to get started on my first sweater … just so much to knit first. 😀

  13. thefatsquirrel · ·

    Lovely! I think your well-thought-out sleeve mods really add to the overall design.

  14. It looks GREAT ! Good work 🙂 You can be proud of yourself ❤

  15. What a lovely FO! I’ve just purchased the Gwendolyn pattern and it’s next in my queue…2012 is the year of the sweater for me…first aidez, now I’m working on Pasadena and next will be Gwendolyn.

    Again, congrats on the beautiful sweater.

  16. Gorgeous! Seven months of absolutely worth it 😀

  17. Really nicely done. I’ve loved that pattern since it was first released but still haven’t made one. Must remind myself in August that I want one for next fall!

  18. It’s lovely! Of course it is. You always do lovely work. Or at least, you only show us the lovely stuff. LOL

  19. I love this one! I’d wear it as much as possible too. Go girl! Great job!

  20. Seven months to make a knitted sweater. I think that’s amazing. It would take me seven years. LOVE your work. xo

  21. QuilterCaroline · ·

    It looks amazing – well done.

  22. It looks beautiful.

  23. Wow, stunning! It looks like the cables in the sweater had repeats over a different number of rows, like your “Marching On” socks. A lot of work keeping track but amazing results! Bravo!

  24. Awesome sweater Glenna. It looks lovely on you.

  25. Gorgeous! I like the mods you made on the sleeves– they fit just perfectly. Definitely destined to be a go-to-sweater! Congratulations!

  26. Oh, beautiful! And very flattering. I love a good, successful knit. It’s so hard to wait until it’s all together to find out if it’s the sweater of your dreams!

  27. Absolutely Beautiful!!!! You did a great job and it looks fab on you!

  28. Happy to lend my talents 😉

    Nicely done, my friend.

  29. The sweater turned out beautifully! I love the color. Stuff gets in the way sometimes, but the important thing is that you did finish. 🙂

  30. Susan713 · ·

    Beautiful! Congratulations!

  31. That’s a very beautiful sweater! I am almost done with a sweater that I have been knitting for 18months! I have two preschoolers so time is limited but I am determined to finish it this winter.

  32. I love it! It looks fantastic on you. And I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again now: 7 months would be record speed for me for an adult garment. I had one sweater take me 5 years!

  33. I am so happy that it fits! Nothing is worse than spending 7 months on something that doesn’t fit.

  34. Well done. We can’t stop our fretting because it matters so much, but we also have to let go a little. Where did you find such a marvelous model?

  35. That is gorgeous

  36. Meredith MC · ·

    Lovely and inspiring!

  37. Give yourself a big pat on the back! Great work in one of my favorite yarns. Looks fabulous!

  38. Glenna, it looks absolutely glorious. And the colour! Definitely worth all the work.

  39. It fits you like a dream! Wonderful job on this, your time was well spent! Thanks so much for sharing! You look fab!!

  40. looks great! such a good color for you too!

  41. Absolutely gorgeous!!! It suits you incredibly beautifully.

  42. Such a pretty sweater, nice job.

  43. The Modern Home Economist · ·

    Looks just beautiful and trully well finished!

  44. So beautiful! I love everything about it!

  45. Stunning! Gorgeous colour and those cables…..yum!!! xxx

  46. Fiona Ellis · ·

    It looks Fabulous on you Glenna…so glad that you didn’t need that note from Kim in the end (tho I did really enjoy that Twitter exchange). I love the mods that you made to the sleeves- good thinking and great job. Can’t wait to see you wearing it in person- that is you 1st sweater 2nd of course.

  47. That is gorgeous. The colour is delightful and the cables are great. I love cables. 🙂

  48. […] first fav from the week is the Gwendolyn Cardigan that Knitting to Stay Sane just finished. It’s gorgeous! I love the cables, and I think the contrasting color on the […]

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