Hello everyone, meet my Exeter Cardigan! According to Ravelry it’s been almost a year since I finished and I’m only just introducing you to each other, how rude of me! Especially considering how much fun this sweater was to knit and how easy it is to wear — I’m almost embarrassed I didn’t share this sooner.
First a bit about the Exeter. It’s a double breasted, shawl collar cardigan with a ribbed collar & cabled lace pattern for the sleeves and body. Oh yeah, and it has pockets. The pattern called for Brooklyn Tweed Shelter but I went rogue and selected Quince and Co Owl in Bog. Not only is the yarn great for cables, but the color was perfect for me (living that green life) and I think the drape is really nice. The Owl is still really lightweight and although it’s an alpaca / wool blend with some longer fibers in it, I don’t find it itchy against my skin which is nice.
You can get a pretty good feel for the texture of the yarn in this photo. Definitely a few longer hairs and a good tonal marl type thing going on which I think looks really good with the depth of the cables.
There are a few beautiful Exeters on Ravelry that omitted the yarn overs that create the lace pattern inside the cables and at first I thought I wanted to do the same because typically I’m not much of a lace person. I swatched but honestly it didn’t look great in this yarn and once I knit up a swatch with the yarn overs as written I thought, how dumb of me to question Michele, the Master of the Cable! She was right all along, which I’m sure any sane person would have realized straight away.
I don’t have any great photos of this, but I followed Elizabeth McMurtry’s instructions for making the lace pattern come out of the cables. You can see how much that mattered in these photos (none because you can’t see it AT ALL in the finished cardigan) but it was still fun and satisfying to do for the perfectionist mind. If I had a photo of the back hem you could probably tell but somehow I missed that bit photographing.
I made a small modification to the collar which was to make the back slightly less pointy. Honestly a year on I don’t remember how I did it, but I did. Now about the construction of this sweater. I loved it but while I was knitting people everywhere I went were having their minds blown. See the point where the rib knit and cabled knit meets? That’s seamed. Oh yeah!
Here’s a photo of my finished fronts. The reasoning behind this is super solid — the rib and lace have different gauges so of course you have to seam! I think it also made me feel like the whole project was going a lot faster than it was in reality. If you asked me how long it took to knit this sweater I’d say it was a relatively quick knit, though consulting my Rav project it actually took around 4 months from start to finish. So it was a pretty hefty project, though nowhere close to the saga that was Jon’s fisherman’s rib sweater.
The last thing I modified on this cardigan is to omit the lower buttons and buttonholes. I don’t know if I’ve ever closed the last button on anything I’ve ever owned so I decided to just do away with that whole lower situation. I stopped in at Soutache one night before knitting to pick up some buttons and am so happy with my selections. In the interest of transparency, every time I go into Soutache I think I know what I want but the owner pulls ones I would have never have found on my own and without fail they are the perfect button for the job. You can see the outer buttons in the photos above, but this photos shows the back of the buttons. When attaching buttons to a cardigan I always go through a smaller button on the wrong side of the garment. This smaller button functions as an anchor and ensures you aren’t just sewing your front button onto one strand of yarn. It’s much more secure and will last much longer without any damage to your cardigan.
That’s it for info on my Exeter, I’m so glad you have formally been introduced. There’s a reason a few people have knit this pattern twice and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Michele is a cable genius, this cardigan is classic as hell, fits really well, and is so so cozy. I can wear it as a jacket in the fall / spring, under a jacket in the winter, and in extreme AC conditions during the summer, which is really all you can ask of a cardigan.