Mary Rebecca

The first finished thing you’re getting to see from me in 2015 is the last thing I finished knitting in 2014!

Mary Rebecca

(And I apologize that we’ve entered the season where you’re mostly going to see me stand next to this stack of hat boxes in the guest bedroom trying to get decent lighting somewhere, since it’s usually way too cold or snowy/sloppy for outside photos. Not that I don’t already stand here half the time anyway, so I’m obviously trying to make myself feel better about winter. Ha!)

This cardigan is Mary Rebecca by Ellen Mason, and you got a glimpse of it last week. I actually started this project last February, and then as often happens with my knitting, I got distracted by some shiny new project and put it away for awhile. When it cooled down in October I picked it back up.

I originally fell in love with the kind of unusual cable and lace pattern that runs along the fronts. I say unusual because on the side furthest from the button bands, you work a cable without a purl background, so it kind of melts into the stockinette. I really like it! I managed to find perfectly matching plain yellow vintage buttons to top it off. I really try to use vintage buttons as much as I can, in part to give my knitting (or sewing) that extra vintage touch, and in part because they’re usually cheap and easy to find! So it’s a case where I don’t usually go modern unless I’m looking for a specialty item (like I may be for my future coat project). I love pouring through bins of buttons at antique malls or flea markets.

Mary Rebecca close up

Here’s the beautiful original cardigan from the pattern:

Mary Rebecca Β© Ellen Mason Source: Mary Rebecca pattern, copyright Ellen Mason

You can see that I was obviously influenced by the color! I used Misti Alpaca Tonos Worsted in the colorway Michelle’s Dress, a very bright semi-solid yellow with some greenish undertones that aren’t really picked up in these photos.

I made a couple of changes to the pattern. The obvious one is that one is that I knit long sleeves. But the less obvious one from a quick glance is that I changed the sweater from a round yoke construction to have set-in sleeves.

Mary Rebecca

I did math to change the upper body construction, basically forging my own way from the armholes on up to the top. Instead of knitting the body in the round to the armholes, then knitting the sleeves, and joining it all in the round for a yoke, I knit in the round to the armholes, split front and back, knit up to the shoulders and did a three-needle bind off to join front and back, then knit the sleeves seamlessly from the top down with shaped sleeve caps. I like the look of round yokes, but in cardigans, I find that they tend to splay open from the neckline on me in a way that I don’t care for as much as set-in sleeves.

But honestly, this was all done as personal preference. The pattern is extremely detailed and well-written, with lots of measurements and help along the way if you’re a less experienced knitter. Very thorough!

Mary Rebecca

I’ve also been experimenting with higher necklines on cardigans. I find that on most modern cardigan patterns, necklines are a bit deeper than I like. This is the one issue with my Hetty that I otherwise love. But I really like the height of the neckline on my Ten of Hearts cardigan, so I mimicked the higher neckline on Mary Rebecca. You can see below it comes all the way to my collarbone.

Mary Rebecca

To do this, I knit the fronts until I was about 2.5 inches away from where I started the shoulder shaping, before I started the neckline shaping. And I like the way it looks!

If you want to try a similar high crew neck like this, make sure you use a really stretchy bind off, otherwise you’ll never be able to close it at the top (same goes for crew necks on pullovers, too). I love Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off for just this purpose. You can see below, no problems closing that top button. This is a bind off I started using a lot more when I knit my Dragonflies Jumper and couldn’t get my head in until I unpicked it and bound off again. Lesson learned!

Mary Rebecca

With boots, plus base layers under my skirt and top, and a few light petticoats, this toasty warm alpaca cardigan was a nice topper for a cold winter day’s outfit.

vintage skirt and clog boots

The unusual shade of bright yellow yarn matches the yellow in this vintage skirt perfectly! You know I love yellow, but there’s something I particularly like about yellows that lean slightly green. I wish you could tell that this one does just a bit.

skirt-cardigan

earrings from The Alamo Basement

I love this cardigan and since you know I think of yellow as my neutral, I’ve already been wearing it a ton in the weeks since I finished it. I’m trying to make a concerted effort to fill in my sweater wardrobe with relatively basic cardigans and boleros in colors I need and a style and length that will go with lots of different types of outfits, and this one definitely fits the bill, so I’m pleased.

As for my current knitting? I have just the turtleneck left on my vintage ski pullover. I knit almost the entire body in the time we were in D.C. over the holidays, but it seemed to take forever to knit the sleeves, and I can only go in spurts on the 1×1 ribbed turtleneck before I want to gouge my eyeballs out. But I’ll finish it soon, and then I think it’s one or two knit boleros next! πŸ˜‰

Mary Rebecca

outfit details

Mary Rebecca cardigan: knit by me (Ravelry link to pattern)
vintage skirt: Retro 101 in St. Louis
clog boots: courtesy of Sven Clogs
white top: Pinup Girl Clothing
glitter lucite earrings: The Alamo Basement

Filed: Knitting, Vintage Wardrobe

Tagged: , , ,

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Golly, 62 Comments!

  • Your color combos are always so fun!

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  • What a cute pattern and an amazing, vibrant colour.

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  • I LOVE these color combinations! This post was better than a cup of coffee this morning. Great job on the sweater! All your adjustments are quite lovely and make for very flattering fit on you.

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  • I’m completely obsessed with how gorgeous this yarn is! It’s like a perfect yellow delicious apple AND heathered. Just what one needs for artificial Vitamin D in the long mid-western winter. I just love the shot with just the top buttoned where you still see the nice v-neck of your white top. I love that modest ruched v-neckline on you, and encourage you to look at some knit patterns to make yourself a tee with that neckline (seems harder than it is, the ruching is super similar to what Moneta does horizontally) because it really flatters your long neck and bustline. If you find a tee pattern you like you could add it to the Lady Skater or Moneta skirts for yet another comfy knit dress…

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    • Thanks, Laura! And I appreciate the nice comments on the neckline of my shirt. In fact when I wore it, I was actually thinking I’d like to try and find a tee pattern with that sort or ruching! Although from the inside it looks like it’s mainly sewn in place with a piece of (presumably stretched) elastic. I have completely failed at trying to gather a waistband with elastic like Moneta though, so I’m not sure how adept I’d be at it for a shirt. Though the MUCH shorter distance gives me hope, plus I’d use white elastic instead of clear so I’m sure it would be a bit less slippery, too. How cute would that be on a stripey tee??

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      • So cute! I just love how that neckline shows off your tattoo there also. For that tiny bit of ruching, it’s really much much easier. Truth be told I first use my pleating foot on Moneta and then just attach the elastic as a waist stay. I need more control over that much gathering.

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  • I adore yellow, you wear it so well. I love these kinds op patterns but the thought of figuring out where to put the bust shaping usually puts me off.

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  • Gosh! You make me want to knit! (No, I don’t already know how!)

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  • I love yellow and wish I could wear it. When you wear yellow, you glow! When I wear yellow, people ask me if I need smelling salts or a seat by a window.

    Thanks for the great notes. I love how you take a published cardigan pattern and make it your own. Your tutorial on setting in sleeves with short rows is now bookmarked on my browser so I can try this method. Just as soon as I get tired of my current knitting obsession and am ready to try something new.

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    • Aw thanks, Gia! Everything I read about colors says I should NOT wear yellow as I actually have a yellow undertone to my skin. It’s not really obvious I don’t think, unless I’m standing next to someone with a more red complexion. Anyway–theory aside, I love yellow so I wear it! πŸ˜‰

      Hope the tutorial is useful for you in the future!

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  • I love this outfit. It’s both very winter appropriate and very bright and cheerful, which is kind of necessary when warm weather seems so far off. Your knitting, as usual, looks superb to my totally untrained eye, and I love the pattern on this skirt.

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    • I know what you mean about it feeling like the warm days are far off! I think that’s one of the reasons I like yellow so much. Plus we don’t get a ton of natural light in our house so it really helps. πŸ™‚

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  • I love this it’s adoreable, not technically a colour I’d choose but it suits you so well. I also love all the little alterations you’ve made to suit your own needs I like doing that to my knitwear. x

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  • It’s adorable, Tasha. I love the set-in long sleeves and the higher neckline. Vintage perfection!

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  • Such a beautiful cardigan! It looks fantastic in yellow and matches your skirt perfectly. I really love the lace/cable pattern, you’re right, that’s a really neat look!

    p.s. at least your winter photo taking corner is adorable and filled with fun things! …and lamps. That is one beautiful lamp πŸ˜‰

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  • Lovely outfit!!
    In France we said: “vous avez des doigts de fΓ©e!” (:”you have fairy fingers”), it means that you make marvelous things.

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  • It’s fabulous!!! Just the hit of wardrobe vitamin C in vivid yellow, too, that we all need during these dark, icy cold, endlessly long winter days.

    β™₯ Jessica

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  • Wow! This cardigan is a bright spot among the grey! I love the pattern, but I think the color is what makes this one great!

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  • Wow, the detailing on that sweater is SO beautiful. Thanks for introducing me to this pattern, I’m going to check it out!

    I can’t remember if I’ve told you this, but I always admire how adventurous you are when making changes to knitting patterns. The thought of deviating from a pattern terrifies me!

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    • Thanks, Erin! That’s so nice of you to say, I appreciate it. You’ll get to the point someday where you’re tinkering away at a knitting pattern and not even realize it. πŸ˜‰

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  • Wow – you’re so clever. I’m currently trying to follow a pattern to knit a tea cosy. Not being a very accomplished knitter I keep having to stop and look up what the pattern means, then find a youtube video that shows me how to do it… I think I’ll be old and grey before it’s done!

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    • Thanks, Polly! I’ve been there too. But keep at it, because that’s how you’ll learn and get better. Good luck with the tea cosy! πŸ™‚

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  • That color is so lovely!!! I love how you coordinated it!

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  • Very pretty pattern. I love the changes that you made, that goes really well with your vintage style wardrobe. And the color really suits you! I always love to see you with yellow πŸ™‚

    I cannot wait to see your next projects!

    Beta xx

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  • This is my favourite hand made garment of the year so far and outfit too. It’s the perfect cardi. I can’t get enough of yellow.

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  • I try and absorb all you say in your knitting posts. I’ve spent evenings pouring over what you’ve wrote and have gone back several times to re-read your red sweater tutorial.
    You always pick such fun colours and patterns for all your knitting and sewing projects and this one is no exception. Beautiful!

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  • This is happiness in a sweater!!! So good! Also, I’ve been meaning to thank you for your colorwork posts- they were so helpful to me this month while I struggled through my first Fair Isle sweater (just got the ribbing to go now, yay!). Thank you so much for putting those together- I really don’t think I could’ve done it without your knowledge!

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  • Thanks so much for the seamless knitted-in sleeves tutorial. They look perfect. I am definitely trying that on my next sweater!

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  • You blow my mind with your knitting skills, so jealous! Love the vintage restyle you did of this pattern, love the colour and the name ha!

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  • Oh how I love your knitting posts!! I must thank you. A year and a half ago, I had no idea there were such things as blogs, much less knitting blogs, or vintage blogs for that matter. It was discovering you through Ravelry that opened my eyes to this wonderful world. It truly changed my life, thank you. I really admire your ability to take a pattern and change the construction completely while still keeping the essence of the garment. You are such an inspiration. I think there must be something about yellow right now. I have just finished my Marion Cardigan in a wonderful canary yellow. I’m not usually a yellow person, but I fell in love with the yarn and now the cardigan. Yours looks amazing on you.

    She Knits in Pearls

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    • Thanks, so nice of you to say! And yes, I really love yellow too. I used to love it when I was a kid and in recent years have really taken a shine to it (ha ha).

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  • Your knitting is beautiful I so love how neat your sleeve seams always are, I cannot wait to do my next sleeve using your tutorial

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  • What you did with this sweater, making it your own style is absolutely stunning. Would you ever consider sharing some of your thought processes in changing a yoke sweater to a set in sleeve style.
    I prefer the set in sleeve style and so shy away from other styles not knowing how to begin the thought process to convert them. Do you have any resources that you would recommend. Thank you for sharing your work, it is very inspiring.
    Marie

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  • Oh, lovely! This yellow yarn is radiant and bright-coloured πŸ™‚
    Pattern is nice too, but “Ten heart cardigan” is my beloved!

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  • I’ve had my eye on this cardigan for a while, looks fantastic on you! Must get knitting!

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  • Such a cute cardigan! It has beautiful details through out it! And no worries about the indoor pics. I love your cute stack of hat boxes and your lighting is great! <3

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  • I too like yours (and most sweaters) better with the set-in sleeves. Good hints.

    As for the neckline, I’m the opposite. I always have to lower a front neck. It think it’s just a matter of everyone’s body being different. If I wear a crew neck that’s normal in many patterns, I look like I’m being choked.

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  • Lovely cardi in a glorious colour. I like the unusual cable, such a pretty bit of detail.

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  • Cool outfit combination.

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  • Gosh, I love this. You are such a prolific knitter!

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  • […] gauge (which actually makes for quite a lovely knit fabric!). But with two soft sweaters in a row (my last being alpaca), after my bolero project, I’m going for a really hardy yarn […]

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  • Aw, Tasha! I wish I could knit! That colour is such a good match with that skirt too.
    Px

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  • It looks very fresh and youthful, great work πŸ™‚

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