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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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.

 

Knitting progress slowing

26-06-19 Progress

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 good, the bad, and the swatchy

22-05-19 Inigo progress

Hello there! I’ve been knitting steadily for a few days now; not overdoing it, but making steady progress. I’ve finished the back and one sleeve of the Inigo cardigan, I’m really pleased with it so far and am finding it a very therapeutic garment to knit. I don’t mind at all knitting miles of stocking stitch flat – I really enjoy the purl rows every bit as much as the knit rows. The yarn is pleasant to work with, it has quite a number of prickly inclusion which I usually stop and pick out, but I think these might soften up when the finished garment is washed.

My other knitting activity has taken the form of a number of swatches. A couple of my friends very kindly gave me the book “Knitting From The North” by Hilary Grant for Christmas and one of them, who also has this book, has made a start on the “Loki” jumper. This is a really fabulous jumper and I decided I would make a swatch because I’d like to knit it sometime this year. I want to convert it to knitting flat in separate pieces so I started a flat swatch to check my gauge. Here is how far I got:-

I really like the patterning, but I hit a problem checking my gauge which should be 26 stitches to 10cm; I was getting 29 stitches and I think you can see from the close-up that the non-colourwork portion is already quite flimsy. Now, I’m a veteran user of Shetland yarns and I know that when I wash the knitted fabric it blooms magically, the gaps in the stitches close up and you get a lovely fabric. However, the one thing I also know is that my gauge doesn’t change when the fabric is washed, and I feel going up one or two needle sizes to match the stitch gauge called for might very well give a decidedly odd result with these yarns. With this in mind, I unpicked the swatch and have put this idea on the back-burner for the time being, with the intention of revisiting it when the mood strikes me.

That decision was aided by me reading this blog post over at Fringe Association. That little summer cardi she writes about reminded me of this heavy winter cardigan by Norah Gaughan:-

2006 Autumn

This was published in the Autumn 2006 issue of Vogue Knitting (or Designer Knitting, depending on your country) and I have knitted two successful versions in the past. Reminiscing on this, I started to think about that golden yellow yarn that I keep starting projects with but never finishing. I have considered a couple of times the option of holding it with a strand of cream wool to give a marled effect and it struck me that it might work for this pattern. So I swatched:-

 

Love it! Below the centre-line I used 4.5mm needles which gave me a gauge of 18 stitches to 10cm and above the centre I used 4mm needles which came out bang-on the 20 stitches to 10cm that the pattern calls for. My row gauge is, as ever, completely off – I can’t understand how anyone ever manages to get both row and stitch gauge and I don’t understand how the designers knit to get the gauges they do come up with, but that’s neither here not there. I’ve been knitting a long time and I’ve got used to the vagaries of it all. (Actually, my theory is that the row gauge is distorted with aggressive blocking, but don’t quote me on that because it might be a bit inflammatory!)

The photos of this swatch are useful because they illustrate the point I was making about my colourwork swatch and how the Shetland wool blooms when washed. Comparing the big picture of the yellow swatch (pre-wash) with the one top-right (post-wash) you can see how the cream stitches in particular have puffed up and softened in appearance. The yellow yarn is a blend of acrylic and wool so the behaviour is less pronounced.

So, there we have it: good progress, bad gauge, swatchy meanderings.

I hope your week is going well and you are getting in some knitting, planning, crafting, or just plain resting.