Yesterday, I finished making one of these cardigans from my Etsy shop – Ginpoodle. I love this cardigan, it is made following an original pattern from 1949 that I have resized. It is a lot of work but the stitch pattern is just so gorgeous and its very forgiving because the the stitch makes it quite stretchy.
First of all the customer requested a mustard colour in pure wool, so that meant several very happy hours online trying to track down a mustard colour wool in the right weight and in the right quantity. Turns out there were very few options and the prices ranged from affordable to eye-watering. The nicest shade of mustard turned out to be the cheapest one – hurrahs all round. So off I go to order it, only to find out the colour is discontinued so there was only the odd ball to be had here and there. Disaster. After a couple of days I managed to find an eBay seller who had it in stock so I hit ‘Buy Now’ faster than I’d move if you told me there was a free buffet. The next day I received an email from the seller to say he didn’t actually have the quantity I’d ordered. Grrrr. Now at this point I know there is very little of this stuff to be had anywhere so I’m feeling a bit panicky, but then I remembered my usual snood yarn supplier also stock pure wool and thank god for them they had the same yarn, but on a cone. I love them so much.
All this meant that by the time the yarn arrived it was two weeks after I’d received the order so the delivery date had to be adjusted. That’s the thing with custom orders, if I need to order in a special colour yarn it will take longer to complete because of course I can’t start until I have the yarn in my hands.
This stuff was worth the wait though. This yarn is beautiful, the colour isn’t flat at all, it has tones of gold and orange that you only really see if you’re knitting with it, it just gives the most beautiful shade of mustard I’ve ever seen. Why they have discontinued the shade I don’t know because everyone that has seen it loved it.
It starts off with a teensy bit of ribbing, then goes into a broad rib pattern (note excellent nail colour matching that I am very proud of) before going into the cathedral stitch repeats. Now, if you can see, they’re like little lacework arches a bit like cathedral windows, I’m fairly sure I’ve seen this same stitch in a stitch directory somewhere with a different name so if anyone can jog my memory please do.
The fronts of cardigans are nice and quick to do because they’re so narrow, which can lull you into a fall sense of security of how long its going to take you to make the whole thing because at this point you’re so pleased with your progress you’ve completely forgotten the way sleeves take over your entire life with no end in sight. Look at this picture and you’ll see I’ve already started the back, I’m just at the start of the cathedral stitch. I’m using my gorgeous KnitPro carbonz which I love despite the ‘z’ that should be an ‘s’ irritating me. Normally that sort of nonsense would put me off buying them altogether but they’re so chic in black and silver and my partner works with carbon fibre so it makes me feel like he’s nearby when I knit with them. At this point I really should have blocked those two front pieces because they look pretty ropey and uneven to my eyes until they’ve been blocked.
In rare moments when I was not knitting I read this book, several years after all the other knitters in the world have read it. Its very funny indeed, if you are a knitter and you haven’t read it already please do get a copy, you’ll see yourself on every page. The lighting in the middle pic is horrendous because that’s my desk at work, I’m knitting at my desk in my lunchbreak and everyone else is pretending that’s normal. The third pic is back home with the back piece finished on my vintage trunk.
All I’m going to say here is… arrrrgh sleeve hell. Though as I was making them I realised a jumper with a plainish body and cathedral stitch sleeves would be lovely and I should make one for myself. Remind me would you?
After sleeve hell comes blocking hell. I don’t know why I hate blocking so much but I do. I think it’s all those pins and stretching. I always worry its going to ruin all my work or not dry properly and smell of damp. This never ever happens, the knitting is always vastly improved and it does always dry much more quickly than you expect. But blocking always gives me The Fear.
Last week I visited the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally on the Wednesday, and despite having already bought about a ton of buttons in various colours and materials for this cardigan I bought these beauties from the Italian Button stand. I couldn’t resist, they’re perfect aren’t they? There are 14 buttons on this cardigan. If you don’t like doing up buttons or are always in a frightful rush do not buy this cardigan.
I taught myself a better way of doing buttonholes too so they came out all neat and perfect first try, normally I oversew them afterwards but no need now.
So here it is, the finished cardigan. I love it. I know I made it and its not very British to blow your own trumpet but I think it’s beautiful. I am very happy with it and fingers crossed it’s new owner will feel the same. The flat feels a bit empty without it.