A cardigan for a very tall and incredibly thin person…..

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It’s taken me years to get around to making an Aidez by Cirilia Rose. It’s a free pattern with a really lovely cable. There are tones of them on Ravelry complete with super happy pictures. I did my research in advance and it looked like the biggest problem would be small arm holes. I was a bit worried about that as I am rather generously proportioned in the arm area (I have no idea why as I am lacking in any accompanying strength). Luckily for me that didn’t happen. I ran into a different problem entirely. I managed to make a cardigan which is super duper long and at the same time impossibly narrow and thus totally unwearable. 😦

While this is not the first virtually unwearable item I’ve made it is by far the most beautiful! It’s so cruel. It looks so lovely sitting there and then as soon as I put it on it on, ugh! I couldn’t bear to take a picture as it looks so dreadful so I will try and describe it instead. Picture a long thin sheet of knitted fabric hanging limply down my back, so narrow that you can barely see it from the front. It manages to make me look both shorter and rounder which is not exactly the look I’m going for.

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Look how pretty the pattern is! I wish I could wear it!

I suspect that the problem is with the wool. It’s a lovely sort of grey/purple shade of Garnstudio DROPS Big Merino which was an absolute pleasure to knit with (It is super soft and has the loveliest stitch definition). Unfortunatly it is on the thin side for an aran which is less than ideal considering the pattern actually calls for super bulky wool. My gauge was a little off but I thought I could get away with going up a couple of sizes. Clearly that was an optimistic plan!

As I was making the front pieces I was concerned that they seemed rather small but had hatched a plan to pick up stitches around the outside to form a fairly thick button band. Once I’d finished the (long and rather tedious) process of seaming I realised that the approach just wouldn’t work as the button band would need to be 4 or 5 inches which would look weird and use up a hell of a lot of wool. It also wouldn’t solve the problem of the cardigan being insanely long.

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Look closely, can you see where I went wrong?

To make matters more frustrating with this project I actually had to make the back twice. I’d finished the whole thing off and started on the front before I spotted the sneaky knit stitches hiding in with the purls. I thought maybe I could get away with leaving them but the longer I looked at it the more I could see the mistake! As I was using pretty big needles (6.5mm) the second version came together quite quickly but I was still less than thrilled.

On a more positive note the cables look quite complex but are super simple and easy to remember. If you’re familiar with the pattern you might have noticed that I’ve made a slight change to the outer cables on the back. I could pretend it’s because I preferred the more classic cable I went with in the end but that would be a lie. In truth I couldn’t work out what the instructions were asking me to do and rather than be patient with it I just substituted the cable for something easy! I’m sure that if I had read it properly and spent some time on it I would have worked it out in the end.

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So, what am I going to do about this knitting disaster? I haven’t quite made up my mind yet. An optimist might say that I could improve things with a really firm block to try and widen the cardigan and take up some of the length (so far it’s only had a pretty half hearted blocking). Or, I could just admit defeat and unravel it? Perhaps this cardigan just isn’t meant to be!

Lots and lots of cables

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The cable pattern is very pretty as you can see!

Before Christmas I made a start on a Beatnik by Norah Gaughan. I’m using Garnstudio DROPS Nepal which I got for £1.50 a ball from The Crochet Chain which was an awesome bargain. Also the pattern is free on Knitty so I didn’t have to pay for that either (not that patterns are hugely expensive).

Quite a few of my knitter friends have either made it or are in the process of making it. Plus,  I like the 60s styling and it looks super warm so I thought I’d give it a go.

I’m loving the colour and the wool but its taking me forever to finish making this….. I think it’s mainly the cables. In general I don’t mind cables especially when they are repetitive and I don’t have to keep checking the instructions. I think that’s because I am lazy and also its annoying to have to carry the pattern about with me all the time and try to balance it on my knee when I’m knitting.

For some reason this pattern only has a chart for the cables and  I really don’t like charts. I much prefer written instructions (Maybe everyone else really likes them and it’s just me? ). I’m not entirely sure why I don’t get on with them…..I think it’s all the checking keys and remembering to read it from right to left and then left to right..Far too much hard work for my liking! This chart has caused my little brain particular confusion as the instructions that go with the key are actually on a different page which means I have to be able to see both at the same time (so two bits of paper balanced on my knee). Also you actually have to pay attention to the wrong side rows rather than just lazily purling which you usually get away with on a cable pattern. There are also a lot of symbols which are only slightly different from each other and that means I don’t seem to be able to remember any of the symbols (other than knit obviously).

To try to make it simpler I colour coded the chart, the key and the instructions with various coloured pens. This was working pretty well until I  ran out of pens and I had to start using symbols (which has proved a little confusing.). With my little colour coding system things are a little easier to follow and I’ve made quite a bit of progress. Yesterday I was talking to a friend about it and she mentioned that she’s seen a colour coded version. So I looked again at the pattern and felt a bit of an idiot when I realised that there is indeed a colour coded version on the pattern….. However it was heartening that the editor put it together as she was also in need of some extra help! If you’re starting to make the pattern I suggest that you use it!

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This will look even better when its been blocked.

I’ve finished the back and I’m three quarters of the way along the front. As you can see the cable pattern is looking lovely and is well worth all of the effort! The jumper is looking a little long and the cables are super stretchy so I am hoping that my giant knitting isn’t striking again! If that does happen it shouldn’t be that bad with this jumper as it will still look nice a bit baggy where as it would look pretty bad if it was too small (emphasising every bit of cake that I consume!).

All I need to do now is finish the front and make the nice easy moss stitch arms and then I’m finished (probably just in time for the weather to turn warmer which will serve me right for making it so slowly!)

Boyfriend jumper

I’ve finished the 135-36 Jumper for men with textured pattern in Karisma Superwash by DROPS that I’ve been making for my boyfriend. It’s all blocked and ready to wear. It’s very green….

It was a really easy pattern with no shaping and I made it even easier by simplifying the pattern. I took the needle size down to 3.5mm for the body and 2.75 for the ribbing.  It was pretty quick to make and not too dull as I had the cables every 12 rows or so. There was a bit of sewing up to be done at the end but I actually quite like sewing up, I find it quite relaxing.

I used the wool the pattern recommended Garnstudio DROPS Karisma Superwash. I wanted to give at a go because at £2.25 a ball it’s a bargain for pure wool. It also promises to go in the washing machine which is pretty essential as I can’t see this jumper getting hand washed…

I wasn’t sure about the wool when I was knitting with it. It was much better that the Hjertegarn Lima I made a jumper from at Christmas but still a little bit scratchy. It’s really softened up after blocking and given the price I think I’ll be using that again.

I really like using the DROPS wool, their prices are very good without sacrificing quality. I haven’t found anything cheaper that isn’t acrylic. I normally get my DROPS wool from Scandinavian Knitting Design. They are really nice to deal with and the wool comes super quickly. I tend to have a look on the drops site for the actual colour first to get more of an idea, although when you’re buying wool online you can never quite be sure what colour you’re going to get.

My boyfriend likes his jumper (which I am very pleased about!). I think that it is a bit too big and a bit too green…… I like the pattern though so I think I might make it again in a small in a less bright colour.

Olive green cable jumper

I’ve finally got around to making a jumper for my boyfriend. He picked the pattern himself and I think he’s made a very good choice! He’s opted for 135-36 Jumper for men with textured pattern in Karisma by DROPS design. It’s a free pattern and although it hasn’t been that popular on Ravelry I think it’s really nice.

I’ve used Garnstudio DROPS Karisma Superwash as the pattern suggests. This is the first time I’ve used this wool and I really like it. It’s reasonably cheap, feels very and nice and will go in the washing machine so it’s perfect. I think I’ll use it again. I wasn’t sure about the colour at first but it’s growing on me.

 

I’m always a little nervous when making things for other people so I’ve been putting it off a little bit. I love knitting things for people but I really worry when I’m knitting about getting everything perfect. It’s one thing for me to wear a jumper or cardy with a few accidental modifications but I wouldn’t want to force that on someone else. After all if someone has taken the time to hand knit you something you’re going to have to wear it at least a little bit…

So, because I want it to be as near perfect as I can get I’m finding myself taking much more care not to go wrong and when I do go wrong I’ve actually been going back and fixing it rather than just leaving it or sort of bodging it like I normally do. The pattern is repetitive with a few knit and purl stitches and a couple of cables every 12 rows or so. For some reason the more simple a pattern is the more likely I am to go wrong. I guess that as it’s so simple I’m not concentrating that much and so making little errors here and there. There’s been more ripping out than I’d like with this pattern!