Finally, I was able to get some photos of my Coraline cardigan.
I love this cardigan so much. It’s turned out exactly as I hoped. This yarn sat in my stash for some time while I decided which cardigan it wanted to be and I think it’s been worth the wait.
Some projects are just destined to be landmark pieces and I think, for me, this is one of them. Ysolda Teague is very, very clever designer. It’s been said before and, given she’s only young, it’ll be said many, many times over the course of her career but damn she’s good. From the hem to the icord bind off on the yoke, it’s pretty hard to fault her so I’m not even going to try. Her patterns are a joy to read and work with; her instructions are clear and precise.
And when you do what the pattern asks, you stop and look at the work in your hands and think to yourself, ‘well look at that! It’s genius!’
I loved working the yoke. Thanks to nearly a week off work, it passed pretty quickly.
I love the fit; I love the drape; I love the feel of it and I loved knitting it. I worried that the icord edging was going to roll in an annoying way at the bottom but I pinned it down when I was wet blocking the cardigan and I think the curl at the bottom is minimal.
The buttons, miraculously, are from Lincraft. I rarely go to the big shops like Lincraft and Spotlight for buttons because you just can’t get a good range of options. So imagine my surprise when I found these. I think they work really well. There are tiny flecks of black in the Felted Tweed, so it’s a good match.
In a nice touch of synchronicity, I just happened watch the movie of Neil Gaiman’s book, Coraline (the inspiration for the pattern), with our 9 year old niece when I was finishing the cardigan last week. We’re big Neil Gaiman fans in our house, and the story is both creepy and clever.
Our niece thought it was amazing that I was knitting a cardigan called Coraline, while we were watching one of her favourite movies by the same name. If you’ve seen the movie or read the book you know there’s a creepy element involving big, dark buttons being sewn in place of eyes. Sean felt to be true to the story I should sew big dark buttons on the cardigan, but I declined!
So here are the details:
Pattern: Coraline by Ysolda.
Timeframe: April 8 – June 14 2010
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed 7.5 balls.
Needles: 3.5mm for all but the hems, which were on 3mm. I got gauge with 4mm but the swatch grew after washing so I stuck with 3.5mm.
Modifications: My row gauge was off so I had to knit more rows, which turned out ok because I wanted it to be longer than the pattern specified anyway. I just kept knitting until it was the right length, keeping in mind that it would grow a little.
Because my row gauge was off I worried about the yoke and thought I’d have to do an extra repeat of the smocking stitch, but when it came time to do the short rows for the neck, it was the right length so I changed nothing there.
I also changed the sleeves so I didn’t have to do the puffy version in the pattern, instead doing a hem just like the body, which a lot of people had done before me. I agreed with lots of people that the simple hem was better for the sleeves. It meant I had to think through the sleeve decreases a little but that wasn’t hard.
And that’s it! Six weeks and I have a cardigan I’m very, very proud of. Sure it was a bit of a slog in the middle with the long rows of stocking stitch and then the sleeves, but once you’ve joined the sleeves, you’re practically done. If you’re wondering about whether or not to make this one, as I did for nearly a year, I say go for it. It’s wonderful.