Bud – the boyfriend cardigan

Kim Hargreaves - Bud

Kim Hargreaves – Bud

The summer holidays are over and so, by the looks of things is summer.

Whilst sewing and knitting trundle along when the girls are at home, sitting down at my computer is more challenging. If it’s not someone wanting to know what  you’re doing, and ‘can they join in?’, it’s someone needing a box opening, a snack fetching, a doll dressing or an arbitrator in some random dispute.

It always takes me a good few weeks to settle back into being at home and the school run routine.

So what do I have to share? Well both my sewing machines are off at the repairers so I’ve been printing, taping and tracing patterns in preparation and getting down to some serious needle time with my knitting. I have a fair few UFO’s (unfinished objects) lingering and I feel in the right place to sort them out.

First up is Bud (from Misty by Kim Hargreaves). If you’re not familiar with Kim’s patterns or her pattern books, then get down to your LYS (local yarn store) or onto Ravelry and take a peak. The pattern books  – even if you end up not knitting a sausage from them – are beautiful to behold.

Bud has a real eighties thing going on. It has a checkerboard edging to the bottom and the cuffs and the front is a long swathe of double moss stitch. Other than that, it’s stocking stitch all the way!

I knitted this in the smallest size using Rowan Silky Tweed (discontinued), and made the shorter version (making it a tad shorter as height is not on my side 😉 ).  I finished the seams using mattress stitch. I’m sure many of you find this really time consuming (and dare I say it ‘tedious’) but I have to say I think it makes garments look soooo much better. If you’ve put all your effort into knitting, then surely, spending those extra few hours on the finishing is worth it?

I cannot fault these patterns. They are beautifully written and turn out fabulous results time after time.

The only change I would make, would be do to a single row button hole. I don’t know why I didn’t do it this time – but I really wish I had, they don’t stretch into holes and are just much sturdier.

Now, if I can just sort out my Edie sweater, we’ll be away!

Look - stripey feet!!

Look – stripey feet!!

A friend and a cardigan – showcasing Miette

Miette in the gardanMiette up closeMiette - the back

Whilst ‘Dolly’ (my dressmaker’s dummy) does a great job (despite a broken leg 😦 ) I don’t think you can beat seeing this cardigan on its intended recipient.

Thank you to Sharon for agreeing to a few photos. I hope you’ll all see why I thought ‘Miette’ would be perfect for her.

Missed the details? Check them out on my earlier post.

A ‘Miette’ of knitting

Miette cardigan

I am really taken with this cardigan – I only wish it were mine!

But “how come?”, you ask. Well here’s the tale…

Over winter, I knitted myself a long-sleeved version of Sirdar 2286 in some nondescript yarn from Hobbycraft (not my LYS (Local Yarn Store) of choice, but I was there, I loved the colour and I had a discount voucher… you get the picture, right?). I knitted the 12-13 age size and just added a little bit of extra length to the body and the sleeves. It has been a fantastic knit, came together really quickly and the wool (if only I could remember what it was sigh…) is incredibly warm and toasty, a fantastic colour, can be washed at 40°C and it can be tumble dried!!

Anyway, I was round a friend’s house, in my cardigan and she asked me if I’d make her one. Knowing it wouldn’t take long I agreed. We then got chatting about colours and yarns and she said she’d really like one in cream for Spring/Summer and another in a red colour for autumn/winter.

I hesitated and took some time out.

Now it’s a great cardigan but in wool it’s not a Spring/Summer item. I had a look around for the bulky weight cotton but didn’t turn up anything inspiring and then….

I was browsing Twitter and spotted Amanda from Bimble and Pimble’s tweet about Miettes and pink yarn. I looked it up on Ravelry (as you do!) and did a bit of checking out of the previous makes (including Lauren’s from LLadybird) and I was sold. I knew it would look just perfect on my friend (although I’m not sure she’s convinced about the length just yet – but she will be). I sent her the links to the pattern and some ideas for yarn. Budget was a bit tight so we settled on DROPS Paris in Off White. I confess I was rather worried when the yarn arrived. It looked just like dishcloth yarn!!

But that said, I think it knits up really nicely with great stitch definition that you’d expect from cotton. It does have a slight tendency to split but apart from that it works well as a budget yarn.

Miette caridgan

Andi’s pattern is really easy to follow. Although I had a real ‘durr’ moment when it came to row 25 and you have to break the yarn. I looked up the pattern notes and understood the reasoning perfectly but it still took me about 20 minutes of turning my knitting backwards and forwards to work out just what I had to do – my tip – just follow the instructions, they work!

I went wrong a few times (quite a few actually!) completely due to my own lack of concentration and forgetting my raglan increases. Please, check  your stitches at the end of each row. It may seem a faff but, honestly how much time is it going to save you when 7 rows later  you realise you’re a stitch short?

I had to redo my first cuff. I downsized to the needle suggested in the pattern but it came out so much bigger than the rib on the bottom of the cardigan. I guess my knitting in the round just isn’t the same tension. I ripped back (using this method) and knit it on smaller needles.

As always, I cast off using a larger needle, otherwise I find that those cast off edges just don’t have enough stretch.

Look no twisting - block your knits!

Look no twisting – block your knits!

It also needed some serious blocking. Not sure if it was the yarn, my knitting, the weight of the cardigan or a combination of them all, but the back was really twisted and off to one side. I had a few horrifying moments counting stitches, measuring to check if I’d done something wrong – fortunately I hadn’t. Blocking however was a real ‘fingers-crossed’ moment. Logic told me it should work, but I just wasn’t certain. I used the method described in Knitty.com for cotton and it worked really well and blocked out to the exact measurements that I needed. Phew!!!

So what do you think? The big ‘handover’ is on Friday. Here’s hoping my friend likes it – if not I love it!

Miette cardigan

Wish it were mine…