FO: Custom Design Caldwell Cape

One of my knitting goals this year was to have more confidence in my abilities as a knitter. I know I am always learning and growing in my skills but I have to trust in what I do know and I needย to push myself more. A couple of years ago I was at a dog park with Cher (which she hates we learned that day) and I saw a woman in a gorgeous Kelly green cape. Of course being a knitter, I asked her about it and she told me her grandmother knit it for her over 40 years ago and it was her favorite piece because of its sentimental value and because it was just a great cape. It really was lovely and it made me think I could really go beyond my hats and scarves and mittens. So when I was on the phone with my BFF Jess 2 weeks ago talking about wanting a cape/poncho but couldn’t find a pattern I liked she said, ‘just make one up!’ I decided she was right and I thought about that gorgeous cape and wanting to make something just as special for myself. Meet my Caldwell Cape.
Custom cape
First let’s get into the details:

You will probably remember from this post what my criteria was for a cape. In case you forgot, I wanted a collar for the chill against my neck, I wanted it to not be too long since I’m short, it needed to have buttons so I wouldn’t have to pull it over my head like a poncho and I wanted slits so I could easily pull out my arms.
Custom cape
Much to my surprise and delight, I hit every single point on my list. I am beyond thrilled that I was able to pull this off. I sketched it out, did a gauge swatch and just started knitting. Here’s what it looks like when I pull my arms out of the slits. I finished off the armholes by picking up stitches, knitting one row and then binding off – just so the edges were clean and didn’t get frayed from me pulling my arms out.
Custom cape
Here’s what I look like when I pull the arms inside of the cape. Although honestly, they’ll probably always be outside of the cape because I kind of look like I have on a straight jacket like this. LOL
Custom cape
I created this piece by essentially modifying circular yoke cardigan construction, I thought the drape of a circular yoke would work best for a cape. I didn’t want you to really see the increase like you would with a raglan, I wanted this to have a smooth, gradual shape to it. I considered doing some short rows and making the back slightly longer but wasn’t sure if I’d have enough yarn (all of this yarn came out of my stash) and decided I just wanted it to run evenly across the bottom. I created the slits by simply putting stitches on hold for the back and second front piece once I got to a point that I thought I wanted slits on the poncho. I worked 45 rows, put those stitches on hold and then did 45 rows for the next section and then the last and then just rejoined them all together. That was the hardest part, figuring out where I wanted the slits to fall and hoping the placement was right after it was blocked and the collar was added. Since I didn’t have a button band or collar it was a little tricky to figure out how it would really sit on my shoulders but I got it! Each slit starts 50 stitches from the edge, which is just shy of where you would separate the sleeves from the body in a cardigan. Luckily, my placement was perfect.
Custom cape
The yarn for the yoke of this cape is so special and unique. I absolutely love it. I bought it a while ago and was saving it for something special and I’m glad I used it for this project. I wanted to make a neutral cape to wear with everything but I still needed it to have some interest and this color is just magical. I still have a skein and a half left so perhaps there will be fingerless mitts or a hat to go with it for fall? The colors in the Lemonade Shop are absolutely stunning and I just want to try every colorway she has in her shop. I also love the buttons I picked out. I knew I wanted black buttons but the sparkly fuchsia flecks pull out the bright pink in the yarn and I just love how it all comes together.
Custom cape
And of course whenever I’m taking any photos, this one isn’t too far away from me and always wanting a little attention. I am super happy about how this turned out and this just encourages me to try more things in the future when I can’t find what I want. I can’t say I’ll never do pattern design for the masses (Um…that’s a lot of math and trying to figure things out for multiple sizes seems like a daunting task) but I’ve learned to never say never. I can definitely say I see doing this for myself more in the future though. And I finished it just in time for chilly spring mornings this week. I’m going to wear this as much as I can before summer really hits!

In My Stash: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage

Before I get into today’s yarny goodness, I just wanted to let you guys know despite the sudden summer like weather I’m still chugging along on my cape. I’ve got a couple more inches of the body left and then I’m going to block it before I pick up my neckband and button bands. I’ll try to take some pictures and share on Friday. It’s coming along just perfectly and I can’t wait to share it when I’m finished. Okay…now back to yarn.
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As I’ve been working on baby things for friends, I realize despite the warmer temps I love the feel of good wool yarn. I bought this Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage from Webs last year and I love it. The color is Kilim and it’s simply stunning in person. Seriously these photos don’t do it justice.
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But here’s the problem, it’s so pretty I don’t want to knit with it. Am I insane? I find that what stays in my stash are the expensive yarns because I feel like I want to find the perfect pattern because the yarn is so perfect…but I never find the right pattern! So help me out and give me some suggestions on what you’d knit with this lovely yarn? I have 1400 yards and it’s worsted weight, so I can knit a sweater but which one?! And I want to make something with it and soon because Maryland Sheep & Wool festival is next month (are you going?) and I am going to buy yarn so I need to destash to make room!

All suggestions are welcome.

In My Stash: Cascade Casablanca

I haven’t done a What’s In My Stash post in a while and I just got something new and wanted to share!
Cascade Casablanca Rainbow yarn
It’s a good day when I find a lovely skein of yarn swirled into a perfect rainbow. I think green yarn and rainbow palettes or rainbow yarn fill me will joy. So when Little Knits had Cascade Casablanca on crazy sale, I bought enough to make a sweater because that’s what I do.
Cascade Casablanca Rainbow yarn
A mix of mohair, silk and wool, the texture is interesting. I’ve never bought a mix like this and it is described as being similar to a NORO yarn. The color is insanely gorgeous. I can’t wait to knit this up!
Cascade Casablanca Rainbow yarn
So you all know my love for color, what’s your favorite color of yarn to buy? I’m always curious what others buy opposed to my crazy brights.
Hoppy Easter ๐Ÿ‡
And just because I have declared myself a crazy dog lady and this picture makes me smile, I had to share my Easter bunny from over the weekend. Cher has to be the most patient pup that ever lived to deal with me and my crazy photos. Happy Monday!