I don’t have plans and schemes

I don’t have plans and schemes
And I don’t have hopes and dreams
I don’t have anything
Since I don’t have you

Well, actually, I do!

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1478
My next garment

Over the past couple of days I have been examining my modest yarn stash to work out which yarns I want to keep and which I am never going to use so therefore need to donate to charity. I’ve also been getting some exercise winding small remnants of Shetland wool from the cones into balls as I think they will be easier to store. I am saving all of these to make a Fairisle patterned sweater one of these old days.

Since I finished Gaudi earlier this year and ended up with plenty of left-overs of the Rowan Felted Tweed DK, I have had the above cardigan on my radar. It is Basilica by Martin Storey – a lovely, cosy-looking bundle of colour which will my third project from the excellent Rowan pattern book New Vintage DK, which I bought in autumn 2018.

After careful consideration, I have come up with the following colour scheme:

Main colour for ribs and collar – a double strand of JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool in Marine (the ball nearest to the model’s head in my photo)

Secondary colour, for the larger colour blocks on body and sleeves – a double strand of JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool, one strand Blueprint and one strand an unknown shade of grey

Stripes – Rowan Felted Tweed DK in Mineral and Clay, double strands of JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool in Medium Grey and an unknown shade of orange

I am planning one very small change to the way the pattern is written so that the stripes are at the bottom of the garment and the solid colour block starts at the armhole and stretches to the neck. This will get around the fact that I have a limited amount of my secondary colour.

Considering that this garment is knit in stocking stitch with a very simple stripe sequence, I am surprised that Rowan felt they needed to produce it as a charted design. I understand (although I don’t entirely agree with) the use of charts to convey complicated instructions that would take up too much space if written out in full, but in this instance I can’t imagine the written instructions would take up as much room as the chart.

That’s the limit of my knitting plans and schemes so far. The pale pink “sloppy joe” jumper is still on my list, but first I want to concentrate on getting this bunch of wools out of my stash. I don’t really have any other sweater quantities stored away, which is a lovely position to be in. Ideally, I’d like to run my stash down completely. Lovely though yarns are in their skeins and balls, I like them so much better when I’ve turned them into garments and put them in my wardrobe!

Well, I think I will knit another couple of rows on my cowl before tea – I am just starting colour number eight.


For your education and/or enjoyment, why not take a listen to Don McLean’s version of Since I Don’t Have You?


 

Advertisements

Finished object – Inigo Cardigan

19-06-19 Inigo c1

Last week I wrote that I wasn’t going to push myself to complete my knitting, but it turns out I did! My Inigo Cardigan is done and I am almost entirely enchanted by it.

Technical details:

Pattern:  Inigo by Lisa Richardson
Source:  Rowan UK pattern brochure “New Vintage DK” published 2018
Size: To fit bust 32-34″/81-86cm
Materials:  Sublime Yarns Luxurious Tweed DK (discontinued), 60% wool/40% cotton
Needles:  4mm KnitPro Symfonie wood straight needles, 30cm long

The pattern is very well written and explained everything you needed to do very logically. There were a couple of places where I didn’t read it carefully enough, but I can’t blame the designer for my lack of attention. This project is knit in separate pieces and seamed together, which is my preference, but I know it is off-putting for a number of knitters.

19-06-19 Inigo c3

The yarn was surprisingly pleasant to work with and I would say improved slightly when I put the garment through its post-completion wash, dry and pressing. I don’t generally like cotton, but this combination of 60% wool with 40% cotton seems to yield a very nice fabric that doesn’t take too long to dry and feels summery, but still holds shape.

Speaking of shape, I must address the one thing I’m not so happy about with the finished garment and that is the gapping where the fronts meet. I think this is caused by three factors coinciding:

a)  I could do to be five pounds lighter than I am!

b) The front bands are knitted together with the body on the 4mm needles and are therefore not quite as firm as I would like them to be; I think it would be better if the were knitted on a smaller needle to give a tighter gauge, or crocheted.

c)  There are only five buttons; the gapping would be reduced or eliminated if there were more.

19-06-19 Inigo c2

When I had finished the knitting and seamed the pieces together, I searched through my button box for suitable buttons. I decided on the silver ones because I feel the shape of the cardigan coupled with the tweedy yarn lends this garment a slightly Chanelesque air and metal buttons suit this very well.

I am sure I will revisit this pattern, probably knitting a version in wool and addressing the closure issue. However, I love this version and will enjoy wearing it. It is a really strong entry into my spring and summer wardrobe. I wasn’t too sure how many balls of the yarn I started off with (13, 14, 15?), but I have enough left over to make a little sleeveless top at some point.

But, wait, that’s not all the knitting news! I have started the Norah Gaughan Vogue Cabled Cardigan.

19-06-19 NGVCC p1

I have completed two sleeves! I can’t believe how quickly this is knitting up. I love working on it and it feels so good to finally have a project I know I will complete using the old gold Sirdar Country Style yarn. This will be the second project in a row where the yarn has been donated to me when friends and family have been de-stashing. I have been listening to my collection of Blake’s 7 audio books from Big Finish whilst knitting. There are a lot of excellent stories on these CDs and they are just the job for long stretches of stocking stitch with no shaping, which makes up the majority of this pattern. When, in the fullness of time, I move on to the cabled ‘scarf’ part of the pattern I shall need to concentrate fully and that’s when I will need complete silence.

I hope your knitting is coming on apace.

New on the needles

08-05-19 apple pie
Is it an alien planet? No, it’s an apple pie!

It is a miserable day in Norfolk today with a curtain of rain plunging down from a sky that hasn’t had the heart to brighten for one moment since dawn. The kind of day when you just need to sit on the settee with your knitting and only get up to bake apple pie. I usually make pie in a deeper dish, but decided to go for what my mum would call a ‘plate apple pie’ and jolly good it is too. I think it would only be improved if I had a Lego astronaut that I could pose on top to pretend it was a photo of an alien planet.

I had a couple of days not knitting when I finished Gaudi and then I cast on a pair of socks as a quick palate-cleanser before heading into another garment. I had a ball of Mr B Yarns’ sock wool in the colourway Isambard ready to go and I got a reasonable amount of the first sock knitted before being hit with the urge to knit another cardigan. The sock is my usual plain vanilla on 60 stitches using 2.5mm needles.

08-05-19 on needles
Vanilla sock, and the beginning of Inigo by Lisa Richardson

The cardigan is Inigo, a design by Lisa Richardson for Rowan Yarns from the New Vintage DK pattern book, just like the Gaudi cardigan. When I bought the book at the tail end of last year, I knew there were a number of garments I wanted to make from it. This pattern is designed using Rowan Cashmere Tweed, but I am using Sublime Luxurious Tweed DK which is a departure for me because it is a mix of 60% wool and 40% cotton. I think this will make a nice summer cardigan with the cotton content whilst the wool makes it more comfortable to work with than a lot of cotton yarns.

I am currently at the point where I will start to increase stitches from the waist to bust, but it hasn’t been a smooth ride getting here. I am going to confess that I didn’t knit a gauge swatch, just went straight into the garment cold in a yarn I have never used before because clearly my life isn’t exciting enough! I cast on using the recommended 4mm needles and the second-smallest size (91-97cm/36-38″ bust). When I finished the moss stitch hem I thought it looked wider than I would want, so I unpicked it and started again on the smallest size (81-86cm/32-34″ bust). I knitted about 4″ on that then measured my gauge and found I was getting 20 stitches to 10cm where the pattern calls for 22 stitches. I really liked the fabric at that gauge, and enjoyed actually knitting it, but I decided to start over again knitting the second-smallest size with 3.75mm needles to see how that would go. I got to the end of the decreases into the waist on that attempt, but found even one size smaller needles made the knitting much tougher on the hands and I wasn’t quite so keen on the slightly denser fabric it produced.. I would have persevered with it, but I had somehow lost a stitch in the decreasing and couldn’t find where I had made my mistake. That was enough to convince me to return to the original plan to make the smallest size on the 4mm needles and I am glad I did. What you see in the photos has all been knitted today so it is going pretty quickly.

08-05-19 close-up

I really like the pattern for this little jacket-style cardigan, plain and simple it will be just the thing to pull on through the summer. I don’t think I have knitted any of Lisa Richardson’s patterns before, but I have often seen her designs in the Rowan magazines and long been a fan of her design aesthetic which often leans slightly towards the vintage.

I hope you have better weather than us today and, if not, that you have been able to spend a little time doing something you love to bring a little cheer to the gloom.


Many thanks to my sister for donating the lovely Sublime yarn to me when she was de-stashing.