After several days of being in gardening clothes or pyjamas, I got up and got dressed properly yesterday, determined to get proper photos of my finally finished (second) Featherweight Cardigan. We drove out through country roads to Bungendore, had tea and coffee in a cafe and then wandered around town looking for a backdrop. Sean found this big old tree and I posed.
So, here it is. Begun on 24 December 2010 as something to knit while driving to our Christmas day destination, it’s finally done. I put it down far too often in the last few months, otherwise it would have been finished earlier. But I set a deadline for Easter and I finished it on Good Friday!
If you know the Featherweight pattern you’ll know it’s quite different. I made this in 4ply for a start, not laceweight. It wasn’t at all hard to modify it from laceweight to 4ply. It’s knit top down so I basically just cast on as written and then increased until it fitted around my shoulders and arms as I wanted it to, sectioned off the arm stitches, kept knitting until it was the right length, added some feather and fan rows at the bottom. Many thanks to MicheleLB from PDXKnitterati for that suggestion!
The sleeves were done fairly intuitively. Randomly I just decided to decrease at a rate of two stitches every sixth row, kept going til i was happy with it and then added feather and fan around the cuffs.
On reflection I might have narrowed the cuffs a little more but I’m not sufficiently bothered by it to undo them, even though as top down sleeves it would be pretty simple. I can live with them.
I kept the stocking stitch band as written and knew I’d be fastening it with a silver brooch which was a gift from RoseRed a couple of years ago. It’s a shawl pin but I think it works equally well as a cardigan clasp.
All in all I’m really happy with it. I wanted a simple pale blue cardigan to replace an ageing shop bought one that is nearing the end of its life. I got what I wanted. The yarn is so very soft. It’s a light, soft and yet still warm piece.
I bought the yarn in a big unmarked bag last April at Wangaratta Woollen mills. At the time I thought it was probably Patons Feathersoft, which is 100% baby wool. The first time I came to doing a spit splice, the yarn wouldn’t splice! Uh oh! I worried immediately I’d bought something nasty (despite how soft it was). I did a burn test and it behaved sort of life wool, sort of like nylon – a bit melty. I did some research and decided the unmarked bag had in fact contained a heap of Cocoon, which is 30% nylon. I didn’t mind at all really, even though I prefer all natural fibres. It should help with durability and it’s kept its shape nicely post-washing and blocking.
This process showed me that a basic top down pattern is highly versatile and can be modified easily. Well, I knew that already but actually doing it was confidence boosting.
Want to know what I’m obsessively knitting now? A jacket. It’s for my lovely nephew Willem who is seven and is long overdue a knitted garment. It’s called the Alex Jacket and my Teddy Bear posed in it for me this morning.
It’s really nice to be knitting something in worsted weight – it’s growing so much more quickly than the 4ply featherweight! I hope very much to have this off the needles in record time!