Shiraz Cardigan

My Shiraz cardigan, the test knit I’ve been working on for Thea of BabyCocktails, is finally finished. It’s taken me a while, a while longer than a cardigan should, but here it is.

Shiraz Cardigan

Since Spring is here and the days are warmer, I’m going out on a limb and calling this my first winter cardigan for 2011. In April next year when we’re all panicking about winter knits in the Southern Hemisphere, I’m gonna be there saying look! I did one already!

Shiraz Cardigan

It was my first test knit and the experience was interesting. Because I was a bit slow, I found things in the pattern that it turns out others had already let Thea know about, but from that I just took that my detection skills were as they should be!

So here are the specs:

Pattern: Shiraz Cardigan by Thea Colman. It’s been published so it’s ready for you whenever you are!
Yarn: Cascade 220 Mallard.
Needles: 4.5mm Knit Picks Harmony
Mods: None. It was a test knit so I made it to spec. No I tell a lie, i made two buttonholes instead of three. It was an accident. I’m pleased with it anyway.

Shiraz Cardigan

One of the key design features of this cardigan is the hourglass moss stitch panels which draw both the eye and the garment in at the waist. I was really looking forward to seeing how this effect played out once I put it on. It really works.

In the pattern, Thea gives you the option to change the length between the two panels – see that straight bit there in the middle? I kinda wish I’d done that now but I didn’t because I’m short waisted and never have to lengthen anything there. But I would for this because it sits a smidge too short for my usual style but I wore it today in the office and decided going out of your usual style sometimes is good.

The detailing is really nice. I found the moss stitch panels a bit challenging at first until I got used to it but once I got there, it was fine and I love, love, love the effect. There are hems all over – the neck band, the sleeves, the body – I’m a big fan of hemmed knitwear. It’s almost a criteria for items I choose now. Almost. Not everything needs it, but I think I’m drawn to pieces with hems.

Shiraz Cardigan

So thank you for the chance to find out what being a test knitter is like, Thea. It’s certainly a different way to knit. I’m not sure I ever quite relaxed about it, except for maybe in the plain stocking stitch parts. It creates a much more mindful approach to the knitting, I find.

I think next winter I’m going to get loads of wear out of this. It’s so comfortable. Cascade 220 is always so very wearable and this will be popped over all sorts of outfits and become a high rotation winter piece.



28 thoughts on “Shiraz Cardigan

  1. Pingback: A Few on Friday « Bellsknits

  2. That style really suits you. I liked it immediately when I looked at the first photo and even more when I looked at the details. What a beautiful pattern.

    Test knitting is odd, isn’t it? I test knit a pair of toe up socks. It was the first time I had even done a pair and it was a good test of the pattern directions.

  3. you look lovely and smiley in your gorgeous new cardi! i love the moss stitch details very much – it reminds me of some knitting patterns from the 1930’s. great colour on you too. and i’m sure there will be a few more chilly mornings when you can wear it before summer sets in.

  4. Wow. It looks grrrrr-eaaatttt, Helen! Terrific! Love the color choice, too. And love the post: that is exactly it: you would have to be mindful. I think I’d be too afraid of messing up! But anyway. You did great. It looks fabulous. And I don’t think it matters that yours was slower than the others – it’s still another sweater a knitter can look at and see proof how nice it is, right?

  5. Wow, that cardi turned out really beautifully, Bells! Congrats on a super job. Love the colour on you, too. I think this one will definitely go in the queue. I must be the only person on the planet (especially a US-type person!) who has never knitted anything with Cascade 220. Time to remedy that!

  6. Well, It’s about time you finished that!!! (I jest) I love the hour-glass detailing and the moss stitch is very pretty. It looks like something I would wear! The color is right in line with my wardrobe.
    Nice job!

  7. The hourglass detailing is definitely very flattering. The first thing I thought when I saw the first picture is that you looked so slim!

    V V nice indeed, and glad that you conquered the moss stitch shaping too – and good on you for being one up on the 2011 winter too.

  8. Thank YOU Helen! It’s so much fun to see how this design in particular works on everyone. And I love the deeper seed stitch yoke on top – as the sizes go up, the yoke is a little deeper on each size, which I hoped would be flattering to a good bustline! And I’m thinking it is…

    PS. That shorter length over a dress with a good skirt and waistline might also be a fun experiment! I like having cardigans of different lengths lying around for different outfits…

  9. It’s the hourglass panels I noticed first thing. Really, really nice pattern! And the color of the yarn is beautiful–it looks like it has some depth to it, that it’s not uniformly one color. Is that so, or is it a trick of my screen?

    I looooove Cascade 220. I finally have an LYS close to me that stocks it, so no more ordering online or waiting to go to WEBS. Not sure if that’s a *good* thing!!!

  10. I’m so glad you persevered with this, because the cut and colour suit you so well. This is going to get a lot of wear next winter I think! Beautiful work.

  11. It’s lovely and so very flattering. I love the hourglass effect and the v-neck too. I can see one of these in my future too!!I think it will be handy in Spring and Autumn too.

    • That’s gorgeous! Such a flattering style and color. I’ll have to add that to the neverending list of things I want to knit. Lovely job. The ribbing looks very sharp – did you do something different with the cast on and cast off?

  12. It’s such a great colour and the button placement is perfect – very shapely! And how good to have a headstart on next winter’s knitting!

    I like a turned hem too (although I don’t much like actually making them!!) and I’ve never seen one done in ribbing before – interesting!

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