The Bellows Cardigan
May I present to you my new favorite cardigan, the Bellows Cardigan. This was my last finished knit of 2014 (which apparently was the year of the sweater for me) and I've only just gotten around to getting my winter photo situation worked out and photographing it.
The pattern is Bellows designed by Michele Wang for the infamous BT Fall '14 collection. There seriously isn't a miss in that collection as far as I'm concerned, everything is just spot on. I had planned on knitting Ondawa but after finishing my Stonecutter my hands needed a bit of a break before launching into another intricately cabled design so Bellows it was.
I had a hard time deciding on a size for this one. The second smallest size had 5" ease but since I wanted to wear it more as a jacket / blanket I wanted a bit more ease than that. The third size up had 10.5" of ease which is a ton, but in the end I went with the third size.
As you can see its a lot of cardigan! when I blocked this sweater I blocked the length about 2" longer than suggested so that took a bit of the width out. I can comfortably wear a tank, Hemlock, and Archer all at once underneath this cardigan, or I can layer it over my Benton, not that I would ever do anything so crazy (I have and it's so warm and wonderful). When you're essentially cold blooded like me you go to extreme lengths to stay warm.
I had a bit of trouble working the buttonholes, but it turns out there was a small error in the pattern regarding which side should be facing while working them. A quick email to Brooklyn Tweed and a consult with Ysolda's One Row Buttonhole tutorial cleared me up in no time though.
The buttons I purchased from Soutache here in Chicago. Just a quick sidenote, if you're in or around Chicago and are looking for buttons for a special project this is the place for you. Every button of their large selection is gorgeous and of such high quality. I went with a large leather woven button on the front and attached them through smaller buttons at the back of the button band. This prevents the button from stressing the particular stitch you sewed it to if you were just attaching the button straight to the button band.
I used the recommended yarn, Shelter, in the recommended color. I debated long and hard about choosing a color, but I was just so in love with this dusty blue I had to go with it. I don't have many other garments this color so it it goes nicely with my wardrobe palette but I'm also not head to toe one color, which is becoming a problem for me.
I am so in love with this sweater, it checks all the boxes in something I love in a cardigan - maritime inspired cables, warm collar that can be flipped up, can be layered over 3-4 other garments... essentially a walking blanket, and in my book that is the only kind of cardigan worth wearing, unless you are laying a thin cardigan underneath a large cardigan, I'll rally for that too. For more details on this project you can check out my Ravelry page here.