Finished object – Cable Front Cardigan

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A finished object… and I took advantage of an invitation for a couple of hours at our local park to rope my daughter into taking some modelled shots for me in between games of balloon football with my grandson.

I am exceptionally happy with how this project turned out. The fit is just great and adding the button makes this garment better suited to my requirements because I don’t really do things that hang open at the front – maybe it’s my narrow shoulders that make things seem precarious if they are not tether shut at some point? I adore the marled effect from the gold and cream yarns held together and I am pleased to say this combination washes really and dries really well which means the garment will be pretty low-maintenance. It’s definitely a fabric that isn’t scared of being bunged in the washing machine. The fact that I knitted this, start to finish, in just a month is testament to how simple and pleasurable a project it was to knit.

You can see more technical information on my project page here.

Just another couple of shots for you:

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This gorgeous button was bought at Liberty of London in 2010 – colours go so well with this cardigan

Those smaller barley-sugar twist cables really please me and I’m really keen to do more cabling, although perhaps I’ll start with the sleeveless top with cabled midriff rather than jumping into the all-over cabled jacket without a life belt!

A finished item put away in the wardrobe makes my heart sing.

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On the home stretch

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I am getting so close to finishing my Cable Front Cardigan that I don’t want to put it down, but perhaps it is fortunate that the weather is forcing me to work in short bursts. I’m writing this mid-afternoon on Tuesday and we are currently at 26℃ (78.8ºF) which is hot enough to make wool stick to fingers after a while.

I am thoroughly enjoying working on the cabled scarf part of this pattern; in fact, the whole pattern is a joy which probably explains why I am on my third version. The main cardigan is quick and simple to execute in stocking stitch, then the two different cable patterns on the scarf front, together with the ever-decreasing width, has me happily knitting ‘just another 8 rows’ for hours on end.

I have made some modifications to the scarf front. The pattern has the decreasing take place between the large cable pattern at the outside edge and the section with the smaller cables, but I am doing the decreasing at the inner edge where it will be joined to the body. I have added a single buttonhole which I am placing immediately below the bust as I know from experience that I like being able to button the cardigan closed. Perhaps the biggest change is that I am working the larger cable over 16 rows rather than the pattern’s 14 rows. As the smaller cables are a 4-row repeat, and the decreasing is every 8 rows, this change means there is hardly any thinking required.

When this is off the needles I am going to rein in my knitting for August. I will hopefully make time to finish my Mama Weer All Crazee Cowl and perhaps knit a pair of socks, then I hope I will be ready to embark on another garment come the beginning of September. I am already dreaming about what that might be. That pink v-neck sweater I’ve been banging on about is one contender, although I need to order suitable wool, but then again I have always hankered after knitting this:

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The pattern is by Bergere de France from their Irish Knit Magazine No. 159. I bought the pattern book from Norfolk Yarn back before their shop moved from the outskirts of Norwich into the city centre, so it’s probably high time I actually knit something from it. Every time I get it out and look through it, I think how great it would be if I could find a blouse just like that, too. I really like the combination of the bold, colourful print with the light, chiffon type of fabric.

The other pattern I really love from that same book is:

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I think I would classify this as a labour of love.

I am continuing to saunter down memory lane and have some very sketchy recollections to write about on Friday of an old, old project from a magazine that I can recall only the barest details of.

What are your plans for summer and into autumn? Do you have any projects you keep thinking of doing but somehow never get around to? I love to hear from you, so drop me a line in the comments section to let me know what you’re thinking of doing.

Seams okay

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Now that is what I call progress!

My Cable Front Cardigan by Norah Gaughan for Vogue Knitting is coming along apace. I made it my goal to finish the back over the weekend and, despite having a totally lethargic day on Saturday (which I am putting down to the humidity), I comfortably finished it by the early part of Sunday morning. That was the point at which I decided that I could seam together the main body of the cardigan and then when the cabled scarf front is finished all I’ll have to do is add that to the body and I’ll have a finished object.

Of course, as soon as it was in the above state, I had to try it on and I have to say that if the fronts were not so narrow, I’d be tempted to just put a button band on it and call it done. I love how it fits at the moment. It is nowhere near as boxy as the initial, multi-coloured version was, although the addition of the scarf piece will change the fit and the look of the garment dramatically.

Just to clarify, I have not made a mistake with my grammar in the title of this post, it is a play on words. I thought it would be nice to show you how I seam my hand-knits. First of all, I tether the pieces I am about to seam together with loops cut from left-over sock yarn – the contrasting colours help to make things clear. The loops are usually about 3-4cm apart.

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Then I run a row of crochet along to form the seam, removing each yarn loop as I come to it.

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Yes, it’s more bulky than a nice professional invisible seam, but what it lacks in grace it more than makes up for in sturdiness and ease of finishing. The only seam I really hate doing is the shoulder seam – no matter what I do I can’t get a shoulder seam to go together easily. Mind you, they look fine once the garment is finished, so who cares?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look at my current work in progress. I’ve been doing a little housekeeping on my archive of finished projects over the past week and I’ve come across some more references to old knits which I want to make new versions of. Come back on Friday for more about that.

In the meantime, I hope your week is progressing well.

 

What you’ve always had

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Cable front cardi #1 (2006)

Having touched on the idea of always getting what you’ve always had in my previous post, I thought today I would do a show-and-tell about the previous versions of the cable front cardigan I’m knitting.

Above is the first version in a Katia yarn which I believe was part wool and part acrylic. I always thought of this as my “international cardigan” because it was knitted in England using Spanish wool bought in France by an English lady who was born in Germany in an English hospital staffed by Canadians! I did the cabled scarf part in the asymmetric style of the original pattern. This was a really nice top that I wore a lot. The man-made element of the yarn meant the fabric was quite floppy/silky so it draped very nicely and although it is quite cropped and wide, it never felt too boxy.

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Cable front cardi #2 (2011)

I didn’t really take to this second version quite as much as the first, perhaps because it was a bit too boxy, I was a bit too fat, and the gauge was a bit too tight. Looking at it now, I also think that button is way too high up! It was really cosy, though, and I wore it a fair bit. This was knitted with J C Rennie coned 4-ply wool held double, which yielded a Worsted weight fabric. You will see that on this one I kept the scarf front the same the whole way around and I’m not sure that was a good move.

Having looked at the photos of both now, I think I will go with the asymmetric scarf on my newest version. I am also making the body a little longer on this new version which I hope will prove flattering. It is always hard to tell, part of the way through a project which is knit in pieces, quite how the whole will hang once it’s all finished and pieced together. That can be a persuasive argument for all-in-one knits, but I rather like the big reveal at the end of the project when I get to be very happily impressed, or slightly underwhelmed.

I’m going to leave you with a funny thought – if I follow the mathematic sequence set so far, I will be knitting my next version of this in 2030 and I will be 70 years old.

I hope your projects, knitting or otherwise, are trundling along well and that you managed to either get on with them during the week or are planning a weekend with them.

See you on Monday.

Knitting progress slowing

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Last week I had two sleeves completed of my Norah Gaughan cable-front cardi and, as you can see, I’ve added the two narrow front pieces to it, so I’m about 40% of the way there. Progress will now slow to a crawl as I am back at work for the next month and I can already see that I will only have time in the evenings to eat, tidy, have a bath and do one activity. Luckily the temporary job I’m in is way outside the area I said I’d be prepared to work so I am getting in two hours of brisk walking, meaning I can forget about any additional exercise on work days. However, I am determined not to let the work slip on my novel so the knitting’s got to be relegated to weekends. Such is life. Apparently paying the rent is more important than knitting – don’t ask me who makes up these rules.

I have made a start on the back of the cardigan which seems enormous after the sleeves and the tiny little fronts (they are very narrow because the wide scarf-style collar provides the rest of the coverage at the front of the cardigan). The scarf piece will take the most time because it is the part that has all the cable patterning on it.

Following the item I posted on Friday about the “I can do it” inspiration, I have currently got another of these quotes hammering around in my head: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always had”. I think the idea is that you’ve got to break out of the cycle of repetition if you want to make advances. However, at this minute I am looking at this cardigan which, as I said before, is the third version I have made of it, and I think, yeah, I always want a version of this in my life, so doing what I’ve always done makes great sense. I hope that bit of positivity will help to banish the slightly negative thoughts that have been creeping over me this morning.

Hope your week is going well and you are making progress in your endeavours.

The first one now will later be last…

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Cables, that’s all I’m prepared to say

 

* Title courtesy of Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changing

I was going great guns, honest I was! Today I was planning to share with you some positive vibes about working on the Christmas knitting project and enjoying it far more than I thought I would. I worked over the weekend on a long, thin strip with a braided cable pattern which was just delightful to knit. Then yesterday evening the good fairies departed and the naughty elves arrived and the whole project is in need of a Christmas miracle… which apparently only I can provide. So now, rather than progressing, I am cogitating – which is to say, I am screaming ‘Eek’ repeatedly in my head in the hope that it will stir some Balrog-type creature deep in the caverns of my mind. That won’t help in any practical way, but fighting it will give me a good excuse for not actually having a completed Christmas present. Well, it worked for Tolkein when he didn’t want to write any dialogue for Gandalf for half a book.

Instead of knitting progress, I will just show you another shot of our lovely city.

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It is vaguely reminiscent of those Dr Who episodes where they have to set the whole atmosphere alight to purge some dread gas.

I hope your knitting, or other creative projects, are going well and I hope that I can report a return to form very, very soon.