It took me nine months to knit this cardigan. Nine months! Wow, elephants gestate quicker than I knit. Actually, elephants gestate for 645 days. I know this because I Googled it. You know Google – it’s a reference book for the Internet generation.
But, look! Isn’t it pretty? Whilst knitting this, if I was ever wearing pink nail varnish, I’d notice how nicely the colours sat together, which meant I had to wear this cardigan with my Village Haberdashery skirt. The pretty mother of pearl buttons come from my trip to Kempton Antiques last summer.
What shall I tell you about this pattern? Well, I went seriously off-piste. When I started knitting I noticed that the make was coming up very small. I was all set to rip back and start again with larger needles, but both Roobeedoo and Mooncalf Makes left constructive suggestions. They agreed that the structure of my knitting looked really nice. Rather than rip back and start again, why didn’t I just stick with the needles I had and knit a larger size?
I would never have dared do this without their suggestions. I’m not sure it would even have occurred to me. But I decided to be brave and plunged ahead, knitting up the size XXL aimed at a 43 inch bust, when I have a 36 inch bust.
Thank you, ladies! I now have a cardigan with a really nice, solid structure. I was extremely nervous that I’d actually end up with a cardigan that just didn’t fit, but I was careful to check each piece against the pattern guide for measurements and things seemed to be on the right track. This is what I hate about knitting – it can take nine months of hard labour to discover you’ve made a dud! Fortunately, that wasn’t the case this time.
New knitters take note – refer to these diagrams!
My tension issues may in part be down to the fact that I didn’t use the recommended wool for this pattern. Instead, I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. It’s the same wool I used on this sweater and that Do You Mind If I Knit used on her Debbie Bliss Dress. Oh yes, we’re all about the Debbie Bliss! This is an awesome wool – fact.
A lot of the knitting here is a simple knit one row, purl one row, but unusually the ‘wrong’ side of the make is used as the ‘right’ side. There are also some pretty eyelet details on the back, arms and front bodice pieces. Just in case you get, you know, bored. (Personally, I love mindless knitting.) The sleeve construction is so clever, knitted wide and then gathered at the cuff. And may I just mention that oh so pretty peplum hem with the triangle details? To die for.
I added an extra 10 cm to the length of this make and am incredibly glad I did. I also sewed down the button band to avoid gaping. Other than knitting the largest make in the book, I kept true to all other instructions!
This is the third project I’ve made from the Kim Hargreaves Heartfelt book and I can still see others I want to try. It’s been a decent investment. But after two makes with DK wool, I am now desperate to do something different – and quick to complete! So my next project will use ultra bulky wool. You can’t get any bigger than that.
Bye for now!