Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Christmas cardigan!


I'm so happy to have finished this cardigan! It's right on time for Christmas - and rather tasteful as far as seasonal knitwear goes, I must say. I couldn't resist posing by the Christmas tree, even though the light everywhere has been so terrible recently. I've never had a Christmas jumper (or the like) before, and this is as close as it gets: nice and festive in jolly red, but not a santa motif or an actual jingle bell in sight.



Aside from a couple of baby sweaters and a cardigan for my partner, I haven't done that much sweater-knitting over the past 3 years. Over 2016 I've focussed on socks, having completed 9 pairs thusfar and aiming to reach 10 pairs by the end of the year. I cast on this cardigan in October, after handing in my dissertation, when I wanted an activity completely different from academic writing. The pattern is called Georgia by Kim Hargreaves. It is a simple boxy cardigan with a crew neck and thin garter stitch edgings. It's from a back issue of Rowan Magazine that I acquired around 10 years ago, near the beginning of my knitting practice, and never actually knit anything from. I used a rather generic merino blend DK yarn that had been hanging around my stash, which I'd started knitting a cardigan from around 8 years ago - and never got anywhere with it! It felt great to finally let go of the incomplete project, unravel it, and turn it into something that I just love and am now wearing non-stop.

All Rowan Magazine patterns tend to be designed to be knit bottom-up in pieces, which is rather old-fashioned, but it works for me. I dabbled heavily in top-down, seamless sweater construction when I first started to knit, and none of those garments have had much longevity in my wardrobe. So it was nice to fall straight back into the rhythm of a seamed sweater, my preferred method of construction. DK-yarn is definitely my favourite yarn weight for sweaters: it's the right balance between texture, lightness, and timeliness of the project.


I'm particularly fond of knitting this simple horseshoe lace pattern; I find it so rhythmical and always memorise it so quickly. It grows very instinctively. It's often knit in white or neutral colours, which I feel makes it look slightly old-fashioned. I think that the pattern really shines in this bright, bright postbox red. It's also very snuggly in the merino blend wool (just a generic, mass-produced kind of yarn), and the laciness means that I don't overheat, which is great since this winter has been extremely mild so far.


The only slightly weird thing is that the sleeves have come out rather short! I followed the pattern exactly, and the body is the correct length and width - so I'm not really sure what happened there. I can style it out by pulling out the stripey cuffs of my t-shirt; but it's not really ideal, and in the future I'll have to work out an optimum sleeve length to aim for. Oh, and I did something weird when knitting the button bands and have thus double-button effect at the collar - which has turned into a happy mistake.


Overall, I'm super happy with this project, and have been wearing it nearly every day!

Project Details
Pattern: Georgia by Kim Hargreaves, Rowan 28, size XS
Needles: 3.75mm bamboo straight needles, with 3.25mm for edgings
Yarn: King Cole Merino Blend DK, red, 
Cost: pattern, yarn & needles from stash. It probably cost around £35 for yarn and pattern, but that was nearly 10 years ago!

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