This cardigan was my project for my Level 4 finishing class with Jean Wong. The finishing classes are a less hectic and less formal version of the Nihon Vogue course, which still teach a lot about design and techniques. Level 4 is meant to be a round-neck cardigan, so I decided I wanted to add argyle-style diamonds to it. Some amount of design and swatching later, I got as far as the photos show.
And haven't got any further, since I'm working on another project. Much of my knitting time is while watching TV, or at a knitting meet-up, and somehow duplicate stitch and seaming don't go as well with those activities as the more mindless knitting itself. Particularly as they both need good light.
Maybe tomorrow I'll get some more done. Or maybe not.
Yarn: Rowan Calmer, 7 skeins of main colour and 2 each of the contrast colours. The bottom photos have the most accurate colours.
Needles: 4.0 mm (body), 3.75 mm (bottom ribbing), 3.5 mm (sleeve ribbing), 3.25 mm (neckband and front bands)
Pattern: my own
Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/laurendw/diamonds-cardigan
I guess I fall into the category of "Fearless Knitter", as otherwise I wouldn't have made my first major stranded project a steeked cardigan in superwash wool. In my defense, I did pick something for my daughter, so it's a lot smaller than one for me would have been.
The pattern is the 13502 Cardigan by Dale Design from the Dale of Norway leaflet Dalegarn #135: Designs for Baby. I blogged about it in June 2008 as Roses Cardigan, and I've just realised I didn't blog about finishing it. The stumbling block to finishing it, it turns out, was getting the sewing machine out to sew the steeks. To start with I couldn't see where I was stitching and eventually I used a contrasting thread to baste the line first. I couldn't get it all out after sewing on top of it, but it was covered by the crochet edging anyway, so isn't visible.
note the elephant buttons
Roses Cardigan, folded
Yarn: Dale of Norway/Dalegarn Baby Ull. 2 skeins of dark blue, 4 skeins of light blue, 1 skein of yellow-gold, and 1 skein of dark green.
Comments: The pattern made sense and has little shaping, so it's an easy first stranded project. There is a small amount of back and forth knitting, which requires patterning while purling. It looks much better after blocking. My daughter loves the cardigan, and it's often the only warm item we can get her to wear. I managed to find some cute elephant buttons in the right colour and size. Elephants don't really go with roses, but nobody has complained so far.
Ravelry link: Baby Ull Cardigan
My current non-TKGA knitting project is a cardigan for my toddler daughter. It's my first "real" stranded knitting project (I don't count the frogged tiger hat), and the roses have that embossed look to them. I assume some of that will block out eventually. Unlike the tiger hat, where I was holding both yarns in my right hand, I'm using the background colour in my right hand, and the "pattern" colour in my left hand. I usually knit holding the yarn in my right hand and throwing it, but picking with my left hand is quite comfortable. I watched Lucy Neatby's Gems 2 DVD where she shows how she holds the yarn in each hand, and I find that her method works for me.
I've been trying out different methods of getting the stranding to work (with some success, despite the embossed look). I tried the "weave every second stitch" method, but that shows through too much. And then I tried weaving every 3 stitches. Since the yarn is so fine (32 stitches per 10 cm/4 in) in the end I decided to weave only on a gap or 6 stitches or more on the body, and more often on the sleeves, as that's where the little fingers might catch.
Baby Ull cardigan
Dale Baby Ull cardigan
The photos were taken on the sundial in our front garden, while the tulips were blooming.
If you want to see what the finished article should look like, pictures are available on Ravelry at Dale 135 pattern book; unfortunately the Dalegarn web site no longer has the book listed, nor the pictures. Ravelry also shows the pattern page and my project page.
My mother-in-law, Jean, and I had a deal. She'd do some sewing for me, and I'd knit her a cardigan out of yarn she had bought. She crochets, but wanted something knitted this time instead. So I got her measurements and the yarn, designed a cardigan, and finally finished it on Christmas Eve Day, a couple of months after starting.
I don't know what the yarn was but it looked like a worsted-weight, mostly wool, yarn, in a dark grey heather colour. The style is simple, a basic loose cardigan with about 10 cm ease at the bust, fitted sleeve caps, and a fairly high round neck. The overall pattern is a very simple lace repeat. The hems are folded stocking stitch folded hems on the sleeves and body. The front and neckline bands are double-knit bands as per Jen's instructions.
Lace pattern, in a 12-row repeat:
rows 1 and 3: knit
even rows: purl
row 5: *k2tog, yo, repeat from *, k1
rows 7 and 9: knit
row 11: *ssk, yo, repeat from *, k1
The ssk row produces a left bias that balances out the right bias produced by the k2tog row. When I was blocking the cardigan there was very little overall bias, and the little that was there was easily held in by the double-thickness hems and bands. The cardigan draped nicely in this stitch done on 4.5 mm needles, with the hem inner on 4 mm needles (purl row as fold line) and the bands on 3.75 mm needles (double knitting needs slightly smaller needles).