Posts Tagged 'Cardigan'

FO: Making Waves Cardigan

Some months ago I finished this cardigan – in the height of summer. Now that the weather is cooler, it’s time to start wearing it. And therefore, I really should blog it…

So, without (any) further ado, may I introduce to you my Making Waves cardigan. This is a great transitional cardigan – knit in 4 ply it would be ideal for spring and autumn, and hopefully winter too in my new classroom which has a heater that is far more effective than my former classroom’s one!   I used gorgeous Madelinetosh yarn – this is the Tosh Merino Light, in the stunning Amber Trinket colourway.  I have had my eye on this colour since the lovely Lina at Photo.Knit.Dog knit a cardigan in it way back in Feb 2011. I was lucky enough to score three skeins on special mid-way through last year at Hidden Purls, waiting for me to decide on what to knit.  Late last year they had another sale and I had to stop myself buying more yarn when I hadn’t knit what I had already bought. It was just the push I needed to choose a pattern and cast on.

I chose the Making Waves Cardigan as it had caught my eye on several occasions. I like the simplicity of this top-down seamless raglan. the fit across the back and shoulders is just the lovely fitting silhouette that suits the 4 ply cardigan, and the understated ruffles suited the tones of the yarn which is neither a true semi-solid nor variegated, but a complex mixture of amber tones.

As with all the MadTosh yarn I’ve used so far, there were definite differences in the skeins. I alternated though the second and third skeins which seemed to contain a mixture of the tones from the first skein.

The knitting could not have been simpler. I had not a single issue with the pattern and knit it completely as written. What a pleasure to find such an accessible, well written pattern from an independent designer.  Of course, that does make me want to try another of her patterns. I’ve got my eye on the Elphaba Pullover, another gorgeous 4 ply knit. 4 ply is ideal for the mild winters we have in the North West, so I just cannot stop myself from looking at (and buying, and making) knits/yarn in this weight.

 This is just as lovely to wear as you would imagine. The yarn is a single ply yarn, so very very soft. I had worn it a number of times before the photos were taken,  and as you can see it is still in very good condition. There is a small amount of pilling, not anywhere as much as you might expect. Instead it is just delicious cosy.

I am so pleased with this, I’m sure that it will get lots of use in the coming months, and hopefully the coming years.

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This week

I’ve been doing some small knitting projects, including some test knits.

First up was this Little Butterflies cardigan.

I have wanted to use up this yarn ever since I was given it in a swap late last year. But I hadn’t found the right project for it. Having checked the pattern quantities, I realised I would have *just* enough yarn. Little did I know that would mean I had approximately 20cm left after sewing in the ends and sewing on the buttons. Yardage chicken win for a change!

The yarn is Patons Merino DK, and it was hand dyed as part of a yarn swap last year.  It is a lovely squooshy yarn, and was lovely to knit up. I’m sure Miss nearly 3 will enjoy wearing it over the winter.  I tend to like short sleeves for preschool in case they dip their cuffs in paint etc, and she seems to be warm enough in it. That said, it is still officially autumn here, and the weather is still fairly mild for this time of year.

Next up: the world’s fastest project. Actually, thanks to two nights out in a row it took me three days – but less than 30 minutes knitting.  Nearly developed withdrawal symptoms! Although, when we went out to dinner the other night, I did notice Laura knitting at the table. Clever, organised girl!

This one is a test knit, so I’ll let you know when it is released 🙂

And the final finished project for the week was another quicky.  After my knitting drought of mid-week, I was rewarded with an unexpected day off work looking after a not-very-sick child.  This is a test for Tikki 🙂

As with the headband, I’ll let you know when the pattern is released 🙂

And, before I leave you for today, I just had to post this cute photo which I found on my camera when I downloaded the knitting shots. 

Good kitchen help can be hard to find… but this wee kitchen hand is happy with just a beater to lick as her reward 🙂

FO: Tea Leaves Cardigan

I have a new favourite cardigan.

This is my Tea Leaves Cardigan, knit in Madelinetosh DK. Oh my, what a lovely combination!

The Tea Leaves Cardigan is one of those patterns that I saw around on Ravelry and loved, intending to knit it at some stage. When I was making my big WEBS order, I  decided to splash out on a garment lot of Madelinetosh yarn, figuring that a good pattern deserves a good yarn. Initially I wasn’t sure if I loved the yarn when it arrived – all skeined up the colour looked quite flat, and I was really hoping for a semi solid effect. When I finally got around to winding the yarn it became clear that there was more variation in the tone on tone colour than I first thought. In fact I could see that in the six skeins I had two that were close to solid, two that were quite varied with light patches, and two that were a good combination.  I decided that to avoid patchiness or variations in the finished garment I would use two balls at time and knit two rows from each and then switch over. I used the lightest and darkest balls alternately for the body of the cardigan and saved the two combination balls for the sleeves.  The end result is a uniform distribution of the colours across the cardigan, just as I had hoped. The alternation of balls is much easier on the cardigan than a sweater knit in the round!

In terms of the fit, I had read about the experiences of others with this pattern, and was aware of issues with the neckline being too wide. To avoid this, I cast on for a size one less than I wanted to end up with. I knit this size right through all of the increases, and then when I slipped the stitches off for the sleeves, I cast on eight stitches under each of the arms. This accomplished two things – firstly it gave me a wider cardigan body around the bust, which is of course where I need the extra room, and secondly it gave me more sleeve stitches to pick up, and therefore a slightly more generous sleeve. I had also noted that people found the sleeves tight, and I wanted to wear this over long sleeved shirts so I wanted a little bit of positive ease in the sleeves.

Other than these changes I knit the pattern as written (oh, and added a third buttonhole). I trusted than the length of the body as written was correct even though it was short. I had, again, checked up on feedback of other knitters which showed that the yarn I was using tended to stretch lengthwise. And sure enough it grew several inches on blocking to a very reasonable length.

This cardigan is a simple knit. It features alternating garter stitch bands with stocking stitch bands which are ruched due to increases and using larger needles for the stocking stitch sections.  The circular yoke is includes all of the increases in the main pattern without the use of short rows. There is very little counting of stitches, and the pattern is simply written but accurate. While I would recommend you are careful with the neckline and the fit at the top, I would definitely recommend this pattern.

The yarn is holding up well considering I have worn the cardigan practically every second day since I finished it.  In this photo you can see a slight halo starting to fuzz up.

There is a small round of balling up too, but with an occasional shave I think that this will be a very well performing yarn.  I would definitely recommend it thus far, it was a tad pricey but I am hoping that it will prove to be value for money over time.

Summary:

Pattern: Tea Leaves Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre

Yarn: Madelinetosh DK, I used just over 5 skeins, plenty left for a hat or cowl.

Needles: 4mm needles for garter stitch, 4.5mm needles for stocking stitch. I tried out my new 4.5mm Knitpro short tips on the sleeves and was very pleased with them.

Time to knit: The body was finished in a couple of weeks, sleeves took 2-3 days each, and the bands knit up very quickly in a few hours. Overall it took me over a month though, going away on holiday without the new tips meant I couldn’t knit up with sleeves when I wanted to.

Difficulty Level: Easy, you just need patience to knit miles of stocking stitch.

FO: Calvados

Another test knit from me – I seem to be testing left and right at the moment. But I was delighted to be invited to test knit this lovely cardigan for Babycocktails.  Called “Calvados“, this is  a great wee pattern – an asymmetrical cardigan, with lovely chunky cables and a ribbed collar.   I knit mine with the Jo Sharp Silk Road Tweed yarn that I bought at the Knitworld sale in January. I had scored 14 balls at half price. I used 12.5 balls for the cardigan, and I whipped up a beret to match out of the leftovers – I need to make room in my stash for all these other goodies that will be arriving soon 🙂

I ended up sewing the fronts of the cardigan together, as it was a little floppy after blocking, but otherwise this is knit just as per the pattern. It is so lovely and snuggly, and I can see that it will get a lot of wear over the winter months – perfect for work I think.

There is a cute wee belt detail on the back – it is knit separately and added at the end.

The garment itself is knit in pieces and then seamed together – not my favourite construction method, but given it is such a big garment, and the weather is not super cool here, it suited the circumstances. There is some cute A-line shaping as well as waist shaping, and the pattern gives an option for bust shaping as well – heaps of options. 

Keep your eyes out for the pattern release – I will hopefully remember to let you know when it comes out.


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