A massive blanket I can actually wear in public

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For a couple of winters now I’ve been craving a massive aran cardigan to keep me warm when the weather gets chilly. A big baggy one, to wrap myself up in, that would easily go over a jumper, basically like blanket that I can wear in public without fear of embarrassment.  This winter I actually got around to doing something about it! I opted for Maude by Carrie Bostick Hoge as it looked super cosy. I was also tempted by Rosemont Cardigan . I might make that one for next year.

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If you look closely you can see the line from where my cardigan was drying on the airer. I was too lazy to block it out properly!

I used Garnstudio DROPS Nepal in cream. It’s a slightly itchy wool but it’s super warm and it’s for the winter so is unlikely to be right next to my skin. It was slightly off gauge, to be honest, but as it was going to baggy I wasn’t too concerned. Indeed, I was so confident that the gauge issue wouldn’t increase the size too much that I went up a size to make sure that it was suitably baggy. In the end that was overkill; I had forgotten that I am only 5’2” and that my knitting is almost always too big….  It’s a HUGE cardigan! At first I was a bit disappointed as it wasn’t what I’d had in mind. I was aiming for big rather than massive. However, as it has been cold I’ve been wearing it anyway and it has really grown on me. Now I’m thinking that it looks kind of cool in a 90s sort of way.

This is what it should look like. I think this model is quite a lot taller than me!

This is what it should look like. I think this model is quite a lot taller than me!

I’m so used to working with 4-ply that it was a bit weird to be knitting in aran. It came together so quickly and my progress was so visible!

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The sleeves are so long I’ve had to turn them up

The pattern was super easy to follow and I ran into no problems at all. It’s a nice construction with the body worked in once piece until you reach the sleeves and then both the sleeves worked before bringing everything together onto a circular needle. No seaming! The button band is picked up at the end and worked in garter stitch. I wasn’t sure about that at the time as I like the stretch of a ribbed button band and thought a garter rib might pull it out of shape. It has grow on me now but I think that if I was doing it again I would go for a rib to pull it all in.

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The buttons look like they are hideously uneven at the bottom but they are fine I promise!

I got the buttons from the lovely Raystitch in Islington last time I was in London. I have a thing for wooden buttons and I think these are perfect for the shade of cream. I normally avoid cream wool for fear of staining it, by chucking tea all over it or something, but I surprised myself by keeping it clean, even while drinking mulled wine! I had planned to put the pockets in as I am a huge fan of pockets but I ran out of wool and was too cheep to order another ball.

Although its turned out differently to the cardigan I had in my head at the start it has really grown on me and has been worn in heavy rotation since I finished it. I work at home and it’s particularly good for chucking on as an extra layer if it’s not quite cold enough to put the heating on but distractingly chilly. It was also AMAZING when I ventured into the icy cold for ice-skating. My toes were freezing but the rest of me was toasty! All in all I would call it a success!

Finished Beatnik!

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I have finished my Beatnik– hurrah! Its just got really cold again so its perfect timing. I really hate the cold so I’m always looking for ways to keep warm.

Somehow I’ve managed to buy more wool than I need again. Either it’s got something to do with my loose knitting or designers are a little over cautious with their estimates for how much wool a pattern will need. It worked out pretty well that I had extra wool though as it meant I had enough to make the sleeves full length. In this sort of big cozy jumper I prefer long sleeves. It seems a bit weird to have a warm body but cold wrists…even if it creates a nice shape.

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The jumper is knit in the flat and sewn up at the end. For some reason the pattern suggests that you only sew up the shoulders before you pick up the stitches along the neckline rather than completing all of the seaming. I like to get all the seaming done before picking up the stitches as I feel like I’m much closer to being nearly finished.

This kind of thick jumper is never the most flattering item as it adds bulk and doesn’t do great things for your stomach but when it comes to being warm I don’t care!

While I was finishing this off I was having a look over other people’s projects and started to wish that I’d made a cardigan version. This one from Kayrine is particularly awesome and gives details about how she altered the pattern. I’m very tempted to make another version in a cardigan.

On the whole I’m pleased with this jumper. It’s keeping me toasty and warm and I love the colour and the cable pattern.