This sweater was part of the stack of projects I finished up before the year ended. It’s a first attempt to deal with the lack of knitted pullovers in my closet, but I’m frankly not sure how I feel about the style on me. Aidan expressed some serious doubt about this sweater when I finished it–he was deeply skeptical of the concept of the short-sleeved sweater and said something along the lines of “Is this an actual thing in fashion?” Seeing the photos, I’m skeptical now too and think it looks better on other people who have made this than it does on me.


The upside is that Madigan is a pretty straight-forward knit. After working with some truly massive, page-intensive patterns like the Grandpa Cardigan and Little Wave, it was refreshing to work on a piece where the actual instructions for the sweater, from cast on to bind off, fit on a single page. It is knitted from the top down in one piece, and the majority of the body is knitted in stockinette, which makes this a really easy pattern to adjust for fit.


I started with the 42.5” as my base size, following that set of instructions through the cowl and yoke shaping. I needed to add about 3” worth of stitches for my full bust, so I cast on for a few extra stitches under each arm and worked a set of vertical bust darts after I finished the welt pattern in the yoke. I also added 3” of length to the front through horizontal bust darts and substituted my own shaping for the waist and high hip.


By the way, I’ve been doing the standard wrap-and-turn short rows for my horizontal bust darts. But with this project, I tried using German Short Rows following this tutorial from La Maison Rililie. It’s a great tutorial and I’m really happy with the result—the German Short Rows blend in so much better than what I was doing before.


Ramona carefully supervised the blocking process.

The yarn is Valley Yarns Northampton in Medium Grey. This project is a testament to the healing powers of blocking. When I first finished it and tried it on, it felt like a sausage casing and the cowl was completely stiff. After a nice, long bath, the yarn relaxed, the fit was much more comfortable, and the cowl has enough drape that it lies nicely now.


Still, even the wonders of blocking aren’t enough to save this one for me. I’d much prefer a lighter weight pullover–worsted weight just feels too bulky to me for a garment like this. Plus, the style just isn’t my favorite. At this point, I’m about 90% certain that this one is going to be ripped out and turned into something new. Such is the beauty of knitting. I’m thinking a second version of the Grandpa Cardigan in this gray would be especially useful. We’ll see.


8 thoughts on “Madigan

    • Thanks, Helen. I like the neckline too, which is what is keeping me from calling this a total loss. I’m brainstorming some sweater surgery/changes that might make me like the overall product a bit better.

  1. If you added 3/4-length sleeves, do you think you’d wear it? I myself am very interested in you knitting a 2nd Grandpa cardigan since it could motivate me to pick mine up again and ask you a million questions along the way. So do that!

    • Yeah, I think sleeves might be the best fix. After spending way too much time analyzing these pictures and other people’s projects on Ravelry, I’m thinking pretty seriously about adding 3/4 sleeves and swapping the bottom welts out for 2×2 ribbing.

      However, I am definitely making a second Grandpa cardigan. I have a darker gray yarn that I’d earmarked for a different pattern that I’m feeling less and less interested in, so I’m going to use it for Grandpa instead. So you should definitely pick yours back up!

  2. Pingback: Madigan, Revised | Sweet Alchemy

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