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.
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!
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!
Wish it were mine…