Me Made May: A Cardigan for Spring Weather

17 May 2023

Sponsored in part by:

Ad description: Cover of the book Sheep, Shepherd & Land, and the words, "THE book about Canadian Wool, by Anna Hunter. Photos by Christel Lanthier. Buy now."

Ad description: The words, "The socks you knit won't last forever, but you can make them last for years and years. Shop now." Also featuring the cover image of the Sock Mending Guide.

For Me Made May, we asked Digits & Threads readers and contributors to tell us about clothes they have made and how they wear them. See all our Me Made May posts here.

Get involved by posting on Instagram, using the hastag #memademay2023, and tag us @digitsandthreads.

In the past, I’ve only been an admiring spectator of the Me Made May hashtag. Primarily a knitter in recent years, my makes have tended to suit the depths of snowy months or fall on the decorative side for summer accessories. But in my part of the world May has been mercurial in recent years: too warm for woolly socks and cozy sweaters, yet with damp and chilly days that discourage silk thread shawls or a sheer top layer.

My go-to for the season is Indigodragonfly’s Pulley cardigan. Kim’s design—customized using the CustomFit software and made with her fingering weight Cariboubaa yarn—landed in that sweet spot for me, both as a rare sweater project, and as a betwixt-and-between wardrobe piece for the fickle days of early May. Purchased as a kit at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Fair, it came off the needles right on time for May in 2019. The fabric surface is simple stockinette, perfect for a process knitter needing to focus on the garment construction. The quirky and asymmetrical collar brings visual interest to the design without busyness, and flatters nearly any shape and base layer. Straight Outta’ Swampton Green and the purple-based ombre Gobsmacked trim are right up my alley for grey days.

The extra time it took to work up fingering-weight yarn on smaller diameter needles paid off, producing a flexible, drapey garment that perfectly bridges the unknowns of an Ontario spring climate. Easily slipped on and off during the day, wrapped and pinned tighter for warmth, or hanging off shoulders for just a little cover on a sunny-but-still-warming afternoon, it’s become my piece to grab and run with for nearly any spring outfit.

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Photos courtesy Johanna Botari.

Copyright © Johanna Botari except as indicated.
image description: a portrait of a white woman with wavy reddish-brown hair, her face partially covered with a handknit scarf

About Johanna Botari

Johanna does not remember learning how to knit. She must have learned as a child, from an aunt or cousin, but it feels like the basics at least were always known. She seriously resumed the craft in 2006, after purchasing a nicely designed but poorly assembled cardigan and deciding it could be recreated whenever it came apart. Inexplicably, the next several years were spent knitting primarily socks of varying architectures. Adventures in many fibre arts pursuits have followed, including quilting, sewing and spinning. Johanna currently lives in Waterloo, Ontario, in a small and yarn-filled home with one spouse, one child, two cats, a job, and very little time. She manages to get a few stitches into the day most of the time.

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