Ondawa Sweater!

Hi, guys! Hope your weeks are all off to a great start! And I hope you had wonderful Easter and/or Passover celebrations, if you celebrate!

Michele Wang Ondawa | Ginger Makes

Today I’m ushering in spring with, well, a sweater! OK, OK, so this isn’t really spring apparel, but I should still be able to wear this for a few weeks before the summer heat sets in. 🙂

Ondawa | Ginger Makes

The pattern I used is Ondawa by Michele Wang. I’m a huge fan of her designs– they’re complex, unique, and absolutely beautiful. Obviously, Ondawa is no exception! I love cables, all cables, but these are extraordinarily pretty!

Ondawa | Ginger Makes

The construction of this sweater is a bit unusual. The front and back are knitted as flat panels and are identical. Once you’ve knit the first panel, the second goes by in a flash because you’ve already got the stitch patterns memorized! The sleeves are also knitted flat and set in after the sides are seamed up. The front and back are seamed at the shoulders so you can decide how wide you want the boatneck to be, which is nice. Now that I’ve worn this a bit, I think I may bring in the neckline a touch more… it’s cool that I can easily do that!

Ondawa | Ginger Makes

The pattern is fun to knit and kept me interested without being too complicated. I got confused a few times with the direction of the smaller cables and had to rip them back, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I also made a silly math mistake and knit an extra 12 rows on the first panel, so I repeated that on the second. As a result, the sweater is a few inches longer than the pattern intended, but I actually prefer it to be a bit longer (I just didn’t intentionally lengthen it because I was worried about running out of yarn). So I’m really happy with the finished length! I knit the second smallest size, which should have given me about 13″ of ease, in case that’s helpful to anyone.

Ondawa | Ginger Makes

I tried a new yarn for this, O-Wool Balance in graphite. It’s a 50/50 blend of organic cotton and merino, which makes for a really soft and wearable yarn. I love 100% wool yarns, but I’m hoping that the cotton content will make the sweater a bit cooler for spring and fall so I can wear it to death! I really like this yarn and will definitely use it again. I’m so happy to use a brand that carefully sources its fibers so you can be sure that it’s cruelty-free. The price point is higher than what I usually pay for yarn, but it’s worth it (to me) for an organic, animal-friendly yarn that’s produced here on the east coast.

Ondawa | Ginger Makes

Now, the sweater is really boxy, so it may not be the most attractive garment I’ve ever worn, but I really like it and feel quite cozy in it. I’m not in love with the back view (the fabric sort of flaps out a bit, like a built-in cape!) but I don’t have to see myself from the back, so that’s fine! Overall I’m seriously into this sweater and am so pleased that I was able to finish it up in time to get some wear out of it! Now tell me, are you knitting anything right now? Are you into fitted sweaters, or are you a “wearable blanket” gal like me???

120 responses

  1. I am a big fan of wearable blankets! Love the boxyness and think it looks really cool from the back. I find too fitted jumpers a bit suffocating sometime. Not into knitting yet – but maybe the bug will have bit me as well by next winter 🙂

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    • I hope the knitting bug does bite you! It’s kind of nice to work on slow projects every once in a while… it definitely scratches a different itch than sewing does! 🙂

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  2. I love the way the cables split at the hem! It looks so cosy to wear. I”m on the fence about ease – I like it, but I’m not sure it’s the most flattering on my figure. (Aka. I love wearing baggy things on days when I don’t give no f***s!) I just started making a Hemlock yesterday, and i’m curious to see how I feel about the finished shirt! I made one before and it was hideous, but I’m hopeful my fabric selection was better this time. I think keeping the arms slim like on your sweater helps the balance overall. Enjoy your cosy sweater!!!

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    • I made a really hideous Hemlock, too! I picked an awful fabric that my sewing machine hated and tried to eat and it looked absolutely atrocious! A big, baggy, ugly mess, ugh! I saw your IG pic- it looked good!

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  3. DUDE!!! You did it!!! This turned out SO GOOD! That yarn is perfect, and I love that it’s got cotton in it to make it a touch cooler for maximum wearing time, because this sweater is just too too awesome to only pull out once or twice a year! I personally love boxy, oversized shapes, but for some reason I keep gravitating to leaner silhouettes with my knitting at the moment. I actually just started on Seacoast from Wool People 6 (I think?) yesterday. It’s going really fast, actually! A little summer knitting so I have something fresh for next fall. But next fall’s knitting is going to be all about the cables! I’m determined! And you’ve just given me fresh inspiration! HIGH FIVES!!

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  4. Oh my gosh Sonja I am OBSESSED. This sweater is seriously perfection- the texture, the graphite yarn, the slouchy fit (I know you say it’s not attractive but I actually think it’s cuter that way), the slight crop, everything is seriously so perfect. Ahh sell these please.

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  5. Oh my gawd, this is so great! I’ve been scheming about making the Ondawa sweater for months now but seeing yours just makes me want to toss my numerous unfinished projects aside and cast this on immediately. I’m intrigued that you used a cotton blend yarn too – usually I shirk away violently from cotton yarns because they can feel so rough in the hand, so it’s exciting to hear that there’s a soft and wearable option out there!

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    • I mean, I don’t wanna tempt you buuuuuuuuuuut you should totally chuck your other projects and knit this one! No, no, don’t do that. 🙂 And the yarn feels much nicer than the cotton/linen blend I used a long time ago! That was, ugh, blech!

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  6. It looks like we’ve got another sweater knitter on our hands!!! 😀 Great choice in pattern and yarn. I love that you’ve jumped in head first and started with some more interesting designs and shapes. And, I think this boxy style garment is really flattering on you. It’s easy and effortless.

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  7. It looks fantastic on you Sonja! You did a great job on the knitting. At first, I wasn’t 100% sold on this shape either, but since it’s so comfy, it really grew on me and Ondawa is one of my favorite sweaters now.

    I’m glad you enjoyed knitting up the Balance. It’s such a great yarn!

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  8. This is a such a cool sweater, I love the cables! I’m interested to check out the yarn too, do you find it to be itchy?

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    • I find it much more comfortable to wear than 100% wool (it’s way softer than, say, Cascade 220). I don’t usually like to wear sweater wool next to the skin, but this isn’t very itchy at all!

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  9. Great job on those cables! You always do such fantastic work. And you just whip the stuff out too! We got a used truck camper and I’m working on a queen size denim quilt for the bed (b/c the dogs can be hard on stuff!) and also learning to crochet so I can do a granny square blanket. I was never into crochet (I preferred knitting) but I love all of the vintage-y stuff!

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  10. This is exquisite! I think the overall pattern of the cables draws the eyes to the middle section, with a border on each side, which kind of works as an optical illusion to make it look more fitted. It is perfection, serious skills out of you!

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  11. Looks fantastic! I have a few handknit boxy sweaters with fitted sleeves and I really love them. I really like the cables and shape of Ondawa, but I know I would hate the boatneck neckline, so I haven’t seriously considered the pattern. I could probably convert it to a crewneck, though!

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    • It’s definitely a slow process! That why I really like making cut and sew sweaters… they’re so fast to sew up and definitely fill wardrobe holes fast, although they’re not as pretty or complex as hand knits!

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  12. Such a big fan of boxy shapes. This is the prettiest sweater pattern and as soon as I’ve cleared a couple of knitting projects I’m definitely starting this! Great job and it really looks fab on you!

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  13. Looks great! It looks really comfortable, it was quite weird looking at this as I’m knitting exactly the same pattern in the same shade of yarn, déjà vu!! Hope mine looks as good as yours when I’m done 😄

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  14. This is so awesome Sonja! It’s not often that I see something that inspires me to try out knitting but this is just so cool it really does! I love the design and the lovely wearable grey you’ve chosen. I wouldn’t even know where to start with a basic sweater so I’m in awe!

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  15. Oh wow this looks awesome! The cables totally offset the boxiness and it actually looks really flattering. I would love to knit a Michelle Wang design but they look a little complicated for my level, so I might do something a bit simpler. I like boxy and I can definitely see myself in the Ondawa but I think fitted is more my thing. Enjoy your sweater!

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    • The cable patterns like this are sorta complicated for the first few inches, but then they make sense and really aren’t too bad at all! I’m excited to see what you knit next!

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  16. Love the sweater! I’m just finishing up my current knitting project (cable knit hat) so I might try this one next. I like both boxy and fitted sweaters…I think it’s good to have both in your closet. I have one white turtle neck which is super fitted and one boxy stripe sweater, and I wear them both very often!

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  17. Such an attractive stitch pattern! I can’t believe you memorised it. Even on the Chuck I am doing now I have to look at the pattern for the direction of the easy cables! I love the wool and the colour you used. This style suits you really well. I think the key is to get a good fit at the arms and shoulders. If you get that wrong then fitted or slouchy the garment will be uncomfortable and unworn.

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    • After twelve repeats or something like that on the first panel, it got pretty easy to remember! And you’re so right about the arms and shoulders- the interesting thing about this pattern is that they tell you to select your size based on your bicep measurement so the sleeves fit snugly! I’ve never seen that before, but it worked!

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  18. It looks great. I don’t mind the boxier look at all. I’ve got 3 projects on the go, and I’m learning to do combination knitting with one to make it easier on my arms. It’s so much faster being a cardigan knitted flat too. It’s great to find yarns like that – I’m a pretty slow knitter, maybe 3 major projects a year so I really don’t care how much I pay for yarn – if its good quality and I love it it’s a worthwhile investment I think.

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    • I’ve never heard of combination knitting before, but I just looked it up and it sounds so clever! I totally hear you about using nicer yarn! Melissa from Neo Knits told me a similar thing a few months back and it made me decide to try something a little fancier than my usual Cascade 220! As much time as we spend knitting garments, it makes sense to make sure we love the finished results!

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  19. Sonja – this looks awesome on you! Excellent work – and I love a sweater that really suits the wearer. It may be over-sized but the proportions work well on you. The over-the-shoulder sleeves are the perfect dimensions.

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  20. Wow that is one super impressive sweater! Love those cables, especially the ones that veer off from each other at the hem. It looks great, and cozy, and super wearable. 🙂

    Plus, yay for happier yarn!!

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  21. Gorgeous! I’m jealous of your knitting skills. I’ve only been able to make one cardigan successfully. But I have high hopes that I might be able to make my second this winter. I’m thinking the hawser pattern from Brooklyn tweed. Hopefully it turns out as nice as your jumpers all look!

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  22. I just knitted a tiny jacket for a baby girl that’s about to show up any minute now. I’m trying to stash bust. I really want to make a proper sweater with a beautiful yarn for myself, but I decided to use up what I have first. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea…
    Your sweater looks great! I think a built in cape is rather appropriate in your case. 😉 cheers!

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    • I find it so hard to use stash yarn! But most of mine was purchased before I really understood my own style so I’m having to get creative to use it up. Luckily my yarn stash isn’t too big… let’s just not talk about my fabric stash! 😮

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  23. I really love this! Who doesn’t like a good box sweater! Wish I had the patience to knit something like this, but it’ s only scarves and hats for me at the moment!

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  24. That is a really clever way of customizing the boatneck! I haven’t actually touched any knitting in a couple of months, since I’ve been busy hand-stitching baby toys, but I think I’m going to spend a little time today on an unfinished scarf, since I’ll be at my parents’ for awhile and left a knitting project there/the sewing part of the massive project I was working on with my mom is done. I’m on the fence about boxy sweaters–if they’re long enough, I like them for wearing with skinny jeans, but generally I like a little more shaping. Just waiting to see if I get my waist back after the baby so I can still wear that style or not!

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    • It’s always so satisfying to work on a UFO, isn’t it? And I have to say that baby knits are really fun… I’ve used CotLin, I think it’s called, from Knit picks a few times for baby gifts and liked the results (I know you can’t do wool).

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  25. This proves something I’ve been telling my garter stitch scarf friends. If you can knit 4 rectangles and whip stitch, you can make a sweater. This is a little more complicated than that, with the cables and all, but same idea. Love the stitch pattern on this! Those chevrons are so cool the way they transition into the ribbing! This turned out really well!

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    • I hope you like it! The beauty of knitting is that if you don’t love it, you can redo it without damaging your yarn too much! But let’s hope you don’t have to do that! 🙂

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  26. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this sweater – it’s absolutely gorgeous!!!!! You did an amazing job on it – it’s simply perfection!! The colour is amazing, too! I love Michele Wang’s designs as well, but being rather *ahem* top heavy, I cannot wear boxy designs, and hers do tend that way ^__^ You are lucky, being so slim and petite you can totally rock them, and you are DEFINITELY doing so – I’m living vicariously through you!! 😀

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  27. Looks great dude! You can pull off those high ease sweaters, I have to give them a pass. Too bad because the cables are really great.

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  28. LOVE it … amazing combination of cables … love the way the two front pannels open up at the hem; that is not only clever but also gorgeous! I am having a serious attack of sweater envy !!!

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  29. Love it! I love a boxy jumper too:) I’m just starting my first pair of socks – mainly because I’m using alpaca yarn & couldn’t afford enough for a jumper, so socks it is!!

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    • Great idea! I’m working on my first sock right now, too, but I’ve often picked up a single skein of something fancy and used it for a hat! It really can be very expensive to buy yarn for a whole sweater!

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