As I have not been able to spend as much time as I would like in the Sewing Room, I have instead been stitching of a different type.
I learnt to knit way back in the late 50’s when I wanted to make a bonnet for my new baby sister. I remember that the yarn was yellow and scratchy, the knitting needles plastic. Whatever happened to that bonnet I don’t know but it certainly never made it to adorn my sister’s head!
Inspired by Sian of Kittenish Behaviour, I wanted a short cropped-style cardigan to wear over my full-skirted dresses. Having made several Aran sweaters and cardigans over the years I enjoy any form of cable knitting.
This pattern combines the two requirements of length and interesting texture using my favourite Double Knitting yarn. The yarn that I used is Hayfield Bonus DK which is 100% acrylic, machine washable and can also be tumble dried. The washing instructions were important for me as using a Light Cream yarn I knew that the cardigan would show every little mark and I am rather a ‘dirty’ knitter!
I made the largest size which calls for 13 x 50 grm balls of yarn. I purchased 7 balls of 100 grms as the last thing I wanted was to run out of yarn. As it turned out there was no fear of that as I have 1½ balls of yarn leftover which I can use for another project.
The pattern is simple, based on a 4 row repeat for the back and sleeves, and an 8 row repeat for the two fronts (to include a simple cable). I knitted the back and fronts to the length dictated by the pattern and in hindsight the cardigan is a little longer than I would like. Next time I will shorten by 2 inches. The sleeve shaping was also simple being a raglan design – a favourite of mine as it makes the garment very easy to wear. I did notice that once again my arms are shorter than the standard measurement which meant that I did not knit all the additional rows on the sleeves once I had finished the increasing and just before Istarted decreasing for the raglan armhole.
All went well until I got to the part where you have to pick up and knit the rib that encircles the front edges and the hem of the bodice. Having first knitted the neckline ribbing, over 200 stitches for the hem band are picked up onto a circular needle from one of the fronts around to the centre back. The left side is just plain k1 x p1 rib and the right side has to incorporate the buttonholes. I have never knitted on a circular needle before and this was at times a frustrating experience. However, now it is done and I am fairly pleased with the result.
I am knitting the pattern again. This time I will make the back in a smaller size as the current version is too big across my back.
To avoid all that circular knitting I have opted for the straight hem version. I have already purchased some Lavender-coloured yarn and have started knitting the fronts.
Once this version is complete I plan to go onto a much more challenging project which is knitted in 4-ply yarn and will involve a lot more concentration to get the pattern right!