Skip to main content

.Cardigan For Amanda.

This was an extempore project: one that I had not planned to knit, but I wanted to make something for our friends' baby girl since we didn't want to go for a visit empty handed. I thought I picked an easy and quick knit (only garter stitch) but it turned out to be a much more complicated and arduous project than anticipated.

I have knitted a lot of Drops design patterns, so I'm used to the way they write their instructions: short and concise without anything extra. But these instructions were very undetailed and cursory, and in some places downright inconsistent, even contradictory.

First of all: construction. You start knitting at the bottom of front piece on the right hand side increasing for the sleeve as you go. Then you make the left side similarly, put those two pieces together and knit the back from neck down. By the time you have reached the ribbing on the bottom edge of the back, the piece starts to feel quite big on your lap and the yarns get tangled around the sleeves.

My solution if I would knit this again: I would either cast on for the both sides and the back and knit them together until the sleeve increases, and after that continue with the front sides separately, join in the neck and graft the pieces together along the back when the sleeves are ready. Or I would knit the front pieces separately as instructed and knit the back as a separate piece as well, reverse the instructions and start the back from the bottom edge and come up to the top of the shoulder, and  then graft the pieces together along shoulders and the top of the sleeves.

The first inconsistency of the pattern came when starting the neck decreases for the first side of the front. The instructions say: "Now slip the first 4-5-6-6 (7-8) sts at beg of row from RS on 1 stitch holder for neck (work sts before slipping them on holder to avoid cutting the yarn)." Quite straightforward yes, BUT what about the other yarn (for the other colored stripe)? What should you do with it? If you just continue knitting you will soon notice the other yarn is in the wrong place, at the far edge of the fabric, and not at the edge of the neck where you are knitting. Should you cut it then? I solved this by floating the yarn, as in stranded fair-isle knitting, and it worked out just fine.

The same problem reappeared when making the sleeve increases for the left side of the front, when you have to make the increases or actually cast on new stitches at the end of the WS rows and again when binding off stitches of the sleeves on the back. It just doesn't work well with the stripes. There isn't any suggestions on the cast on method either, I used backward loop floating the other yarn behind every new stitch. In my opinion these things should be explained better in the instructions, so that you don't have to spend a lot of time trying to figure them out for yourself and making a mess.

As with many of the Drops instructions you have to make a lot of calculations yourself. They just tell you to decrease or increase a number of stitches evenly. For example decreasing 9 stitches evenly to get from 38 stitches on your needles to 29 or increasing 20 stitches to get from 56 stitches to 76. You have to work out for yourself how many stitches to knit between the decreases or increases to make it even. The same thing with the buttonholes: they just tell you to make 4 or 5 buttonholes, yes, evenly

Anyway, the cardigan is now finished, even though it took a lot more effort than I had planned: Friday night, whole Saturday and Sunday night when I had expected to be ready before Saturday evening. I'm no expert on baby sizes, but it feels a bit big for a 7 month old. Good thing is that babies grow fast and rather a tad too big than too small. The garter stitch makes the fabric warm and thick, as well as stretchy so I hope baby-Amanda will  get to use it for many months to come. I added one more button hole than instructed to get them nicely and evenly distributed.

This was quite nice stash buster project as well. I used about 325 grams and 474 meters of yarn (2.5 skeins of Novita Isoveli and 1.5 skeins of Garnstudio Drops Karisma) from my stash. The stripes could easily be done with more than one color to get rid off all the bits and pieces and other leftover yarns.


Popular posts from this blog

Salut Chéri! Beret Pattern.

Here is the pattern for the berets I've knitted. The name for the beret is from the t-shirt I was wearing when I took the project photos of the first beret for Ravelry. I thought the name suited the beret, since it's quite classical take on the hat that has become the icon of everything French. Happy knitting!

Cloud Mittens - the Pattern part 1.

This is so long overdue, but I have now finally managed to write down the pattern for the Cloud mittens. Here it is, my Christmas present to all you guys! Enjoy!
(Here is the link to the pattern on Ravelry)

You need: 125 m or 135 yards of DK weight yarn (blue sample knit with Novita Wool, 100% wool, 135 m/ 50g) 125 m or 135 yards of sport weight yarn for the lining (blue sample: Garnstudio Drops Baby Alpaca Silk, 70% alpaca, 30% silk, 167 m/ 50 g) 
Needles: a set of 2.5 mm (US 1 1/2) DPNs or circular needles if you prefer Magic Loop method like me
Gauge: 16 stitches and 22 rows = 5 cm (2 inches)

To fit an average woman hand
Intermediate knitting skills required

(By Far) The Easiest Way to K4Tog.

I have published earlier a post on an easy way to k4tog - knit 4 stitches together - which is an essential stitch in my Cloud mitten pattern. As you might already know it is a bit challenging especially with 2.5 mm bamboo needles that not only have sharp tips but are bendy and especially prone to snapping. Stubborn as I am, I wasn't going to give up and change the design just to make it easier to knit. So I came up with the idea of using a tiny crochet hook to pull the working stitch through other three. 
I was planning to use this same method when knitting the second pair of Cloud mittens, but alas, I couldn't find the hook anywhere. I seem to have misplaced it and I just can't remember where I put it... And as you know I don't crochet often so the second smallest hook I had was size 3.5 mm which didn't work for this purpose for obvious reasons. 
So I was back to square one trying to figure out how to do the k4tog in an easy way when I got the idea of reversing t…