Completed cardigan!

Completed cardigan!

I finally finished a hand knit cardigan for myself. Here it is!

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This garment started with the yarn. I visited the Bendigo Sheep Show in July 2012 with my friend Sarah, her Mum and Julian who was at that time 12 months old. We had a great day, watched some sheep shearing, admired the sheep and ogled lots and lots of beautiful yarn and fibre. There was a stand selling 1kg lots of seconds 100% merino for $25. It was branded as “100% Merino” but I discovered after the show on Ravelry that it was Pear Tree Yarns who were having production problems selling off all their stock. Sadly they have now gone out of business. This was their 8ply (dk) yarn and the other lot I bought is a mauve 10ply (worsted).

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I cast on in October 2012, gave it a rest over summer, and was trying to finish it to wear the Australian winter of 2013. The body was finished when my husband and I had a winter long weekend getaway where I was determined to finish it. Unfortunately I spent most of that weekend in the bathroom vomiting or lying queasily on the couch (morning sickness with Tessa). What with a difficult pregnancy, newborn and international move, the cardigan got put down for a long time. But now it’s done, at last.

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The pattern is Something Silver by Veera Valimaki.  It’s not very well suited to my body shape, and is not a pattern that I would choose now, to be frank. I chose it because of this beautiful version by Ganeshas on Ravelry. I made the size 42 (in July 2012 my bust was about 42″) added buttons al the way down the front, added full length sleeves and added a few more stitches to the upper arms. Given that my bust circumference is now 3-3.5″ larger really I am lucky that it fits at all.

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You can see that buttoned up it is really not the best look for me. Also the armhole depth is not enough and those raglan seams are tight and uncomfortable. This pulls the wide neckline even wider to the point where the whole cardigan slips sideways off my shoulders (I pulled it up for the photos but they slip off as I move). The sleeves are blissfully long enough – 19″ from underarm to cuff seems to be a good length for me – thank goodness for customization!

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The wooden buttons are form Buttonmania, purchased when I was convinced this cardi was almost done! It is the most delightful button shop I’ve ever visited and worth having to collapse the pram and take the baby and all your stuff out to ride the very antiquated lift in the Nicholas Building.

Final result – this cardigan is pretty hot to wear despite the lace, meaning I’m not sure that I’d want to make a garment out of the mauve 10ply, so I’m a bit unsure what to do with that. I do really like the pattern design, the pockets and wide garter bands are lovely and I like the overall diagonal lace pattern. I’m going to wear the cardigan because I’m determined to, not because it’s the most beautiful garment to wear. The tight underarms are pretty annoying. But it’s done! Onward and upward (and CustomFit sweaters from now on…..)

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Introducing Something Silver

I really started knitting because I wanted gorgeous hand knitted jumpers for myself. I had picked up a few op shop gems over the years, and I do have some quite nice commercial wool jumpers, but really what I wanted was a lovely snuggly hand knitted cardigan.The second project I ever knit was a large ladies cardigan. This was ambitious, but I was motivated. I didn’t want to stuff around with scarves, I wanted a cardigan. No one else was going to knit me one, I would make it myself.

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Needless to say the cardigan in question is itchy and hot and I hardly ever wear it. Knitting a cardigan in my size is also a massive, massive undertaking. Yet it seems that I can’t stop doing it.

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This pattern is Something Silver by Veera Valimaki. I was particulary inspired by Ganeshas green version, and I intend to add buttons all the way down the front as she has done.

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I bought the yarn at the Bendigo Wool and Sheep show. It was branded as 100% Merino, but have been told that it was actually Pear Tree Yarn who were having production issues and were selling off their stock. I got this 1kg (!!!) bag of beautiful light green 8ply and another 1kg bag of silvery mauve 10ply for $50, which is the most amazing value for beautiful Australian merino yarn. It was seconds and you can tell that they were having production problems with this yarn.

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There are quite a few sections of loose fluffy yarn spiralling into the tighter plied sections. The width of the yarn is also quite uneven. I am not bothered by this as I think it gives a rustic look and I knew it was seconds when I bought it, but if I had paid full price for the yarn I would definitely be upset. As it is I am enjoying working with such lovely soft merino wool. I do suspect that it will pill like crazy though.

I cast on this cardigan on the 31st of October but gave it a bit of a rest during the hot weather. It has cooled down lately (apart from single hot days just to remind us that it really is still summer) and this project has back out of hibernation. It makes really good TV knitting – that lace chart is very simple, and now even easier that I’ve starting using a post-it note to mark my place. Such a simple idea, but so helpful!

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This cardigan is knit seamlessly from the top down. I have learnt my lesson, after a heart breakingly too short cardigan, and now know the value of being able to try on a garment as you knit. My only fitting worry is the sleeves as they will have zero ease at the bicep if I knit without modification. Hmm. Not quite sure what I’ll do there.

I only have two rows left before I divide off the body and sleeves which is a very satisfying milestone. I have a positive feeling about this cardigan. I hope it turns out to be this winter’s favourite.

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