deconstructing a sweater re-do

I modified Kate Davies’ witty Owl Sweater pattern to go from a pullover to a long, oversized (sort of) cardigan. This pattern had been sitting in my queue for a very long time—I blame it on inertia & lack of just the right yarn. Then I discovered the lusciousness of Rowan’s Cocoon (an uber-soft combo of merino and kid mohair in a chunky yarn) a few months ago and I was determined to knit this up.

BUT, something still didn’t quite jive for me. I love sweaters, but usually in the form of longer tunics/cardigans with a looser fit—modern with clean, graphic lines that highlight the form of the garment (not the wearer!). I spied a mod of the Owl sweater by a raveler named Chiko & combined that with a boxier, more forgiving silhouette of a Vince sweater to create the ultimate comfy/cozy cardigan!

Mixing sweater options

Owl Sweater as knit by raveler Chiko | Vince Oversized Sweater Coat

My first attempt didn’t quite live up to my dreams (see before pics below). It was passable but after wearing it a few times, my unhappiness with it finally got me to sit down one day to undo the snaps, frog the button placket and neck/collar down to the owl portion and redo everything that bothered me:

  1. decreased the neck 1 more time than the pattern calls for (rather than the 3 additional decrease rounds I did the first go around) for a wider neck
  2. added increases at the end of the collar to start widening it out as it got longer to create the open shawl & an asymmetrical neck closure
  3. I didn’t knit the collar quite as long as before & used short rows to create the nice curve along the back when the collar is open
  4. knit a wider button placket
Before & After: Deconstruction of a Knitted Sweater

Now this has become my staple sweater coat—perfect for a grey, colder California winter day. It has grown in length and if I were to redo it entirely over, I’d knit it on a smaller needle for a tighter gauge and hope that I could work out the math to go up 2-3 sizes from what’s available on the pattern itself (for even a slightly boxier fit).

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