My albatross

This cardigan has plagued my knitting basket for such a long time (since October 2007) that I know not what to say about its completion. Good riddance, perhaps!

Finally finished

I cast on while studying microbiology, and it immediately became clear that this pattern would never be a good study companion. The 12-row pattern repeat is simple – dull, even; however, it is just complicated enough to command attention. Since I almost exclusively knit while doing other things, the Katharine Hepburn Cardigan languished 18 months before I finally finished it. 

Not a bad product, but a miserable project

In fact, I would say that I only finished it out of spite. The color is beautiful, but it really is not for me. I am not even so sure the style is right. This might have to stew in the cedar chest until I forget my complaints with it.


Katharine Hepburn Cardigan

Pattern: Katharine Hepburn Cardigan by Kathy Zimmerman from Lace Style

Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in “Chuckberry”

Needles: US 3 and US 5

The only modifications I made were to lengthen the body a little,  knit the sleeves to full length, and reshape the sleeve cap a little bit.

Refitted set-in sleeves

Although the knitting proved miserable, the pattern itself was very clear, well written, and accurate. The faults are entirely my own, not the designer’s. I should have known better than to jump into this one. Lesson learned the hard way. 

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25 comments so far

  1. Toni on

    It’s still a very pretty sweater, obviously well-knit, and I think the color is lovely.

  2. Kristin on

    I’m sorry to hear it was such a slog. I’ve admired this pattern for quite some time and will probably do it myself someday. At the very least, I’m glad to hear that it’s well written.

    It does look lovely, and I hope that in time you fall in love with it!

  3. Laura on

    You can’t hurry love, apparently, but I wouldn’t be surprised if after its purgatory, this sweater becomes one you reach for every time you want something a little dressy and not too warm. As for color — and it is indeed gorgeous — you could consider overdying it. But first see where the relationship takes you.
    Did I mention its gorgeousness?

  4. Julie on

    It’s so sad you don’t love it – I think it’s beautiful! Could part of the reason be because you had such ill feelings towards it during the knitting process? Give it some time and hopefully you’ll see what we all see!

  5. Christie on

    I think it’s beautiful, but I know how hard it is to resolve one’s feeling about an unruly knit.

  6. Eliza on

    I love it. I have thought about making that sweater (though it would mean getting the book), and your version confirms to me that it is a beautiful sweater.

  7. paperdiva on

    it’s a beautiful sweater! put it in a time out for a little while and you will be happy with it again. I had the same problem recently with a pair of socks.

  8. Jocelyn on

    I’ve always loved that pattern, but when I swatched, I found it very hard to get into the rhythm. Not sure what my problem was. I love the way it fits on you, though, so congrats on getting (way) past where I am :-).

  9. Nicole on

    If it’s any consolation, I too think it’s lovely. The colour is splendid and the knitting looks impeccable. Beautiful stitch definition.

  10. Erica on

    That’s a beautiful albatross! (Though I can completely relate to the beautiful-to-wear-painful-to-knit thing) Hope you warm up to it eventually.

  11. Chris on

    But damn, is it ever a gorgeous sweater! Glad you didn’t just rip it out – it looks simply fabulous on you, dahlink.

  12. tiennie on

    I think it is so lovely and looks so good on you! I hope you do wear it.

  13. Pat on

    I’m having a difficult time believing you don’t love this sweater! It is soooo pretty and looks beautiful on you!

  14. Vickie on

    What a beautiful sweater!! I hope you wear it someday. A sweater as lovely as that shouldn’t be hidden away. I

  15. Danielle on

    It’s so pretty! This is in my queue too, but I’m a little daunted by it — if for no other reason than because I wonder if I have the endurance needed to finish it!

  16. Stephy on

    I have many old, old unfinished pieces and a love/hate relationship with various shades of magenta and pink, so I understand where you’re coming from but it really is beautiful. Perhaps someday you will forgive it. ;)

  17. mai on

    hooray, it’s done!! it looks really great. :) good riddance, indeed.

  18. caro on

    Some knits really benefit from a spell in time out. But yay! It’s finished! It looks gorgeous despite how you feel about it. None of the knitting anguish is apparent in the stitches. Stick it in the cedar chest and maybe it’ll be ready to come out next year.

  19. Carla on

    Well, it’s a good-looking albatross, I must say!

  20. Rachel on

    *Ahem* I like the color. I think it should come to my house to live, hee hee!

  21. Luciana on

    It was well worth it. It’s beautiful.

  22. Joan on

    This is a beautiful sweater on you. Maybe in the fall and next winter it will speak to you. I don’t think this is the time of year to try on sweaters we are tired of wearing them. If you wear it in the fall I am sure you will get many compliments! It’s so pretty!

  23. Ann on

    It’s good that you finish it as I think it looks good on you. I love the lace pattern. Maybe you will change your mind one day.

  24. Rene' Sharp on

    I could dream of knitting such a gorgeous item. Really not too sure why you don’t like it because it fits you beautifully and looks fantastic on you. Hope you come to like it, cause you really should!

  25. Courtney on

    If it’s any consolation, I love it too. It’s a great color and beautifully knit.

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