The house is finally resembling some sort of order both inside and (amazingly) outside now, so I have the chance to update my knitting progress.
I have plodded away on the “not Calvert” cardigan since April, putting it down while I finished a baby blanket, picking it up again in the July break, putting it down again while I packed and moved, and finally picking it up again and plodding on to the finish line in the middle of the school holidays just gone. A trip to All Buttons Great and Small in Newtown and an afternoon at SSK sewing on four perfect buttons finished the job.
I have been wearing the finished product off-and-on over the last two weeks with Sydney’s changeable weather, and I’m very happy with the resulting garment. The yarn, Sublime’s extra fine merino 8 ply, was not cheap. I bought more than I needed for Calvert, being unaware that Berroco add an extra margin to their published yarn requirements. So I had added an extra extra margin. So I had 18 balls. I used 14 balls, but not very much of the 14th. The leftovers will make a child’s jumper somewhere down the track. The yarn was well worth it though – beautifully soft, it holds stitch definition well, and is pilling only very lightly (I expect this will settle down). Ripping out Calvert and starting over was a very good decision.
The pattern I based the cardigan on is Mr Greenjeans. I changed the cable and rib to ‘Double Lace Rib’ (p129 The Harmony guides Lace and Eyelet Stitches Erika Knight ed.2007), and it is this feature that seems to generate the most positive comments. I made the neckline a tad wider than it perhaps should be and the V-neck is a bit lower than I would have liked, so if I wear the cardigan over a summer shirt, it tends to slip off my shoulders a little. No problem with my winter tops which seem to grab the knitting more, preventing this.
I’m now planning another cardigan in a lighter yarn (4 plyish) and open lace pattern for summer wear (I wonder when, since there is already so much on my mental to-do list!).
My current knitting is another baby blanket, for another expecting work colleague. The first one was so well received, it seemed somehow wrong not to do the same again. Well, not the same, since that would drive me insane (the zig zags were annoying me by the end of that last one!). The baby’s sex is not known, so I decided on bright colours. Which meant dyeing up some Bendigo cotton. I couldn’t find my dyeing records folder (and still can’t!), but mixed up the colours and ran with it anyhow and am very pleased with what came out of the dyebath.
The “pattern” is the Ribbons Baby Blanket, though I haven’t actually got a copy since it is pretty easy to work out what to do. I started out doing all stocking stitch though, and that didn’t work – it wasn’t going to come out as a flat blanket. So I had to rip back and start again in the alternating stocking stitch/reverse stocking stitch stripes. I changed my increasing method too, which is also helping make it more square. I’m back to the same stripe I was on last Thursday when I ripped back.
The big challenge will be finishing it before she goes on maternity leave – in six weeks’ time. I couldn’t start sooner because of moving house and really wanting to finish the cardigan. It will either be tight or not achieved. I can manage to finish it by her due date in early February though. I may regret working in the round – as I know from the pinwheel sweater, those rounds get *very* long!