Machine Knit Cotton Cardigan

#1 Daughter-in-law celebrated a birthday recently. As usual, I didn't do any real pre-planning for a gift idea, so...I turned to my trusty knitting machine (Knitking Compuknit III - Brother KH930) and a large cone of 100% cotton yarn that's been lingering in stash far too long. Here's the result:

The yarn was some of that thick/thin, slubby cotton that my standard machine refused to knit without complaint. Using the GC-95 garter carriage worked a treat with this yarn, however, and being able to add a nice knit/purl pattern stitch to the mix resulted in a heavily textured fabric that I quite like. The pattern stitch is a chevron (Stitchworld #502) at T9 (tension 9). The 1x1 ribbing is also produced on the GC (Stitchworld #532) worked at T6. Knit cotton fabric has a tendency to stretch and grow with wearing, so you really need a firm ribbing so that it doesn't look sloppy an hour after you put on your sweater.

The cardigan design is my own - and the pattern was created with the help of the Knitware program. The program did a splendid job of sizing on just about everything except the button bands. On those, the pattern called for far too many stitches to be picked up on the front edges and would have resulted in a badly flaring band. I reduced the number of stitches by about 25% and the bands turned out just as I like them.

The pockets were an afterthought - and a bad one at that. I chose to make great oversized pockets that extend across the entire front sections from button band to side seam. While I like the look, it was a poor choice because the pockets gap badly if the cardigan is unbuttoned. I did a quick and dirty fix by running a sewn vertical seam in the middle of each pocket, effectively splitting the two pockets into four. The seam is virtually invisible, so I got the giant pocket look without the gap. It worked out, but I won't be adding giant pockets to anything like this in the future.

There are more photos of this project on my Ravelry project page: HERE

I'm calling this project a success primarily because it opened my eyes to the possibility of using the garter carriage when I'm confronted with a yarn that my standard machine carriage refuses to knit. I'm seeing new possibilities for that mohair, boucle, and some of those other thick/thin yarns I had pretty much relegated to the "handknit only" stash.