Sunday, August 26, 2012

Not just for Pandas - Knitting up a Lacy Bamboo Cotton Cardigan

The finished cardi 
I have been working on this fab cardi for the past month and am very happy with the end result, so much so that I am writing this quick blogpost to share it with those of you on Blogger who may not be on Ravelry, where I shared some photos and pattern details here. 

The pattern is by Anniken Allis who is a pattern designer for, among other publications, Let's Knit, a lovely UK Knitting  monthly which I have been getting when I see it in the bookshops for the past few months. This pattern is called Serena and is from the May 2012 issue. It is in King Cole Bamboo Cotton, a lovely yarn with a great fall and drape, which means it hangs well on the wearer! It also doesn't seem to crease, as I've had it bunched up in a bag in my car and it was fine, so it's a dream for holiday packing.

I got the yarn as a stash-busting treat to myself when I got a gift voucher from my daughter-in-law's mother Irene last month when she was here for the wedding of Shayne and Jany, and they came to visit us for an afternoon during their  holiday after the wedding. As the yarn is a bit pricey (about 7 euro for 100gm) and the cardi pattern called for 4-5 balls, I probably would have balked at buying it with my guilt-inducing stash and my pledge to forego any new purchases till it's diminished. But a gift voucher is different isn't it? Yes, thought so!

Note the matching nail polish!
Blocking on foam playmats!
And in the spirit of supporting local crafts, I was delighted the voucher was from the fabulous Design Workshop where Angela plays host to our Tuesday Knitters Circle. I dithered over the colour to choose, given that she had my fave colour hot pink but I decided to be daring and go for another fave colour of this vivid Peacock Blue Shade 531. I started the cardigan in one piece for the fronts and back, and it worked fine, to the sleeve divide and then I worked as if I was working each piece individually. The only thing I didn't do was eliminate the side seam stitches for a totally seamless pattern of lace. I think my maths and chart reading aren't good enough for that yet, or my confidence.

Blocking the sleeves
WIP Stitch and side seam detail
The sleeves were worked in the round using the Magic Loop method with a circular needle, size 3.5mm used throughout (size 9 UK). I had used that  method on two previous jumpers and it worked fine. They were also Anniken Allis designs from Let's Knit.

Blocking on playmats
The shoulders were joined with the three-needle cast off, and I had some short-row shaping to do for the last few rows. I liked the detail in the lace pattern that meant right and left front were mirror images of each other, not identical. This kind of detail is something I'd never think of which is why I knit, not design! This is the third Anniken Allis jumper I've made in the past 4 or 5 months so I think I can safely say she's a favourite and very easy to follow. The charts are also easy to follow and she explains the technical stuff too, like short row shaping and neat buttonholes.

detail of armholes
I took some photos of the WIP and the Blocking (on kiddies' foam play mats that slot together) as well as the modelling - it got premiered at a colleague's hen party last Friday and got plenty of praise, much to my delight. There's something about hand-knits that's extremely satisfying and I am delighted I rediscovered the Zen of knitting and crochet in recent years - as I said to someone on Facebook yesterday - it's my Yoga!


Mereknits said...

It is spectacular, really beautiful. And you look lovely in it.

Liz A. said...

It turned out very nice. I love lacy patterns.

Joyful said...

You are a talented knitter. I love the turquoise blue on you.