Saturday, 02 January, 2010

So how about some craft blogging? I've been thinking for a while that since I have the ability to knit, I really ought to make more use of it and add durable and practical, but beautiful things to my wardrobe to replace some of those acrylic jumpers I always seem to end up buying (because they're cheap and do the job, but then they start to pill and I realise they're not very warm). Plus at the moment, nobody is selling anything burgundy—and I mean anything.

Last year, Morris and Sons had one of their yarn sales (yes, I broke my new year's resolution), and I picked up a batch of old Tapestry Craft yarn because I liked the colour. It's 12 ply yarn and I got 10 x 50g balls for $25, which is pretty excellent for 100% wool. Unfortunately the label didn't state the yardage, so I tried to guess.


I wanted to do something special with it, and after much fashion debate (with helpful input from many of you!), I settled on making Véronik Avery's Oblique cardigan. Véronik Avery also designed the Lace Ribbon Scarf that I made for Bec and also turned into various shawls.

The pattern was rated “piquant”, which in Knitty language means “A little something for the seasoned knitter”, “Daring but not exhausting” and “Probably not tv knitting”. They weren't kidding! Not long after I started, I had to pull out a significant bit of it because I stuffed up. Of course, like all the rest of the boo boos I made with this pattern, it was all my fault; I should have written out the charts properly instead of doing them in bits and thinking, “Yeah, I'll be fine!” If you look at the back of that cardigan, it has five sections to it: the first and fifth are in moss stitch, the second and fourth are in diagonal leaning lace in an eight-row repeat pattern, and the third is in textured lace in a four-row repeat pattern. That's confusing enough for anyone!

But I persevered. Then I ran out of yarn. Of course, not knowing the yardage on the balls I was using didn't really help; I bought two more balls and, guess what? That wasn't enough. In the end, I bought 10 more balls on top of that because I was so determined not to run out of yarn again:


Unfortunately those 10 balls ended up costing me probably another $60, which makes this the most expensive cardigan I've ever knitted. The moral of the story? Decide what you're going to knit first and then by the yarn for it, and make sure you buy enough! (NB Out of the 22 balls I ended up buying, I used 18 of them. This means the cardigan weighs around 900g—almost one kilo! I'm not sure what to do with the rest of the yarn; maybe make a Jacques Cousteau hat for someone. It's not a very guy sort of colour though ...)

But despite this not being TV-knitting, I persevered. By October, I'd managed to knit most of the pieces (even including pulling out the entirety of the left front because I'd knitted the diagonal leaning lace the wrong way). Here's the back:


Both fronts:


One sleeve:


The other sleeve (half-finished):


Then it had to be put on hiatus because of Christmas knitting, which, most fortuitously, I completed in good time (unlike the year I tried to make my dad a Henry scarf, only to realise three days before Christmas that, since I was knitting it lengthwise on 3.5 mm needles and since every row took at least half an hour to do, and since the 24-row pattern required seven repeats, if I knitted non-stop from then until Christmas, I still wouldn't finish it). I picked it up again when the Christmas knitting was done, knitted the front bands and started sewing it together. The last bit of knitting was the collar.

I had already bought some buttons from Lincraft, but of course, being the idiot I am, I hadn't measured them, and this was before I knitted the buttonhole band. The black ones were too big (which was a shame because I really liked them). Then I lost the interior one somewhere in our couch. So yesterday after work, I drove to Lincraft, Alexandria, and got some more with the gift card my Secret Santa had given me. The range was not great, but in the end, I settled on three gold decorative buttons and one wooden one that didn't quite match the yarn (yes, I brought the finished garment with me to check), but as it was the interior button, no one was going to know.


Here is the finished Oblique cardigan:


Now for the next knitting project ...

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Well done on all that hard work!  It looks great and will be very snuggly come winter!

oooh…. It’s done and it looks great on you! xxx

Posted by sammi on 02 January, 2010 1:05 PM

Excellent job Karen! You SHOULD be pleased with yourself!

Have you discovered http://www.ravelry.com ? It is an excellent site with thousands of free patterns in its database, lots of support, tips, forums etc and of course - friends like me? Look me up when you get there - fionag77

PS Are you just wearing a bulky dress or are you sporting a bump under that dress?


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