Just because it is now officially March, it is less than a month until spring starts on the calendar, and the retail stores have been trying to convince us for weeks that it is already time to buy tee shirts and sandals and flowing spring dresses, around these parts in Ontario we can’t stand down just yet. The temperatures are well below zero this week, I’m on my second cold since mid-January, and lordy oh lordy do I have sweater stash that needs knitting up.
This was a big motivator for me in starting the Blooming Cardigan. It was a perfect gauge match for the Wild Apple Hill Farm wool I bought at Rhinebeck in 2008 (a rustic, wooly aran wool with heathery texture), and I thought it would just be a nice way to knock out a sweater. I liked the style but didn’t anticipate loving it the same way I have known and loved other sweaters.
Well, I’m here to tell you I was wrong. I do love this sweater. I might wear it all week, in fact.
Pattern: Blooming Cardigan, by Sarah Hoadley, in Interweave Knits Winter 2008
Yarn: Wild Apple Hill Farm 2-ply, blackberry colourway
Needles: 5mm for the body and sleeves, 3.75mm for the ribbing and collar. If I did it again I’d go up to 4.0mm on the ribbing.
Modifications and Notes:The main modification I did was to add length. I’m 5’9″ and with most mainstream patterns, I typically add 1″ before beginning the waist shaping decreases, and 1″ between the waist and the armholes. This is one of those times where all my assumptions about what I knew about gauge, what I knew about the right length I need for me, the right spot to put the waist shaping…it all worked perfectly. It took me several sweaters at the beginning of my sweater-knitting time to figure all this out, but now that I have, sweaters are my favourite. (Well OK, except for when socks are my favourite.)
The other main modification I did was to change the little cable twists at the edge of the bobbled nosegay pattern, so that they were twisting in opposite directions instead of the same direction. I also moved the nosegay pattern towards the center a little bit, so that I could keep it intact after doing the armhole shaping decreases. Other than that, I did work the body in one piece, and eliminated the sash purely for personal preference, but the pattern itself is well written and suitable for a variety of skill levels. If you’ve got something aran and tweedy or heathery sitting around, give this a whirl.
This took me about a month and a half start to finish, but if I”d dedicated myself to it more monogamously it would have been finished in a few weeks. I have to start knitting at 16 sts over 4 ins more often.
I have to say that the more I spend time looking at this Winter 2008 issue of Interweave Knits, the more I like it. In fact, there isn’t much I wouldn’t knit from this issue, and there aren’t many magazine issues I can say that about. I think this issue has been getting less love among knitters because whenever I hear people talking about the new Spring 2009 issue, it is often with a “thank goodness it’s better than the last issue” tacked on in passing.
Well, Winter 2008 IK, I’m here for you. Let’s be friends and knit things together, we’ll have a grand old time.