I was so excited to see Kristi from Shalimar Yarns pop up in my inbox a few months ago—she dyes some of the most beautiful colors on such an amazing collection of bases, and she's right up the road here in Maryland, too!
She asked if I would be interested in designing a sweater for their annual Shalimarch anniversary celebration, and of course I said YES! I sent her some sketches and she picked out a casual, open front cardigan that was inspired by the old letterman’s sweaters—very 1950s, wearing the quarterback’s jacket, Sandra Dee.
So the Going Steady cardigan was born: a cozy, oversized sweater with a modern shape and details. The sleeves are worked in reverse stockinette, which makes the color transitions for the bold stripes really stand out. Pops of contrast color are also used on the pockets and cuffs. A V-neck, modest shawl collar and moderate waist shaping take this basic top-down raglan up a notch—it’s casual, but never frumpy.
The yarn is Enzo Aran, an amazing merino/cashmere/nylon blend just slightly heavier than worsted. It blooms nicely after blocking, and at 4.5 stitches to the inch, this is a fast project—I knit the whole sweater in less than 3 weeks, which included lots of time stopping to make design choices and changes!
And how about these amazing colors? Kristi certainly has an eye for them—this combo never would’ve occurred to me, but it absolutely works! You’ve got a lot of options for playing with color in this pattern—use more colors, fewer colors, more or fewer stripes, add contrast color at the front bands and collar and bottom hem, it’s all up to you (of course, your yarn requirements may change, so plan accordingly!).
My original intention was to take photographs in a school-setting: maybe a football field, a track, or something in keeping with the varsity-inspired look. When it came time for photos though, I had a different opportunity.
My parents moved from Baltimore to Frederick a couple years ago and my dad has been working to fix up and sell our old home since. He finally found a buyer and will be closing on the house March 1. My sister and I wanted the chance to see the house one last time, so we all piled into the car and drove up to Baltimore last Saturday to say goodbye.
We moved into this house in 1990; before that it belonged to my great-grandmother. It’s an old house, a hideous shade of green, built in 1932 and lacking any major renovations since. But moving in here from our teeny rowhome, it seemed gigantic when I was a kid. As I walked around the empty rooms, though, it seemed small and worn.
A walnut tree used to rain heavy black walnuts down on the roof, and a pecan tree dropped “wormie” seed pods all over the front yard every spring (we rarely got any actual pecans—the squirrels beat us to them). A fair number of our pets found their final resting places in the back yard—and whenever we did any digging in the yard, we found mason jars full of tiny bones, my great-grandmother’s canaries. A giant pine tree is tottering on its last legs in the back yard as well, but it gave us lots of shade for a picnic table covered in steamed crabs every summer. It was sweltering in July and August—it was a glorious day when we finally got a window air conditioner for our bedrooms--and the power seemed to cut out at the first sign of a thunderstorm. But it was a good home.
So, that’s where I photographed Going Steady; it makes me happy to have my house live on through my work.
And don't miss the special Shalimar Yarns Corral update featuring Enzo Aran--lots of gorgeous colorways to make your own sweater, custom-dyed just for you. Plus, get the pattern for just $3 with your yarn purchase!