Pattern: Cropped Cardigan with Cabled Sleeves from Learn to Knit, Love to Knit by Anna Wilkinson. I knitted the smallest size in the longer length.
Yarn: 350g of Coldharbour Mill Double Knitting, 100% Pure New Wool, in the colour Cornflower, found on Ebay for about £14 for 470g.
Buttons: Bought at The Wool Shed in Oyne when it was a stand-alone shop, they are “handmade fully washable giving employment to women in South Africa” ceramic Incomparable Buttons
I cast this on in April and had put it aside for a while for no particular reason. I decided it was time to finish it before the cold weather comes.
I have mentioned before that this pattern is written out, rather than charted.
I found it surprisingly tricky for a “Learn to Knit” design.
Although I am an experienced knitter, I knit more socks than garments, so don’t have the knowledge to make many adjustments, other than to the overall length.
So I followed the pattern to the letter, other than to pick up stitches down the side fronts to knit the buttonbands, instead of making a long narrow strip and sewing it on, as instructed.
As I knitted, it struck me as odd that the sleeves were the biggest pieces, but I put this down to the raglan construction. I thought it might be OK for the upper bodice to get part of its circumference from the sleeves… but of course I now realise that is crazy-talk. As I sewed it together, I feared I had knitted a cardigan for a female bodybuilder, with massive biceps and a flat chest.
It also became clear that the cuffs are teeny-tiny in comparison to the upper arm.
You can’t easily change the sleeve length because of the cabling down the side. The sleeve is 9 cable repeats long, and when you reach the top, you have no excess stitches left on either side of the cable panel, due to the raglan decreases. You need to work out for yourself how to keep the cable going to the very end. It can be done, but it isn’t written out for you. I had to think about it – good brain exercise!
Looking at the pictures in the book, I expected 3/4 length sleeves, but these are full-length on me. The more I look at that model in yellow, the better I can see that her gangley-geek style is not just about her height or the other clothes she is wearing, a lot of it comes from the cardigan itself.
It reminds me a lot of an early 1950’s cardigan, with its nipped-in waist, almost batwing sleeves and high buttoned neck.
And that’s not a problem… it’s just not what I was expecting!
If I had seen a schematic of the finished garment before I started, I probably wouldn’t have chosen this pattern.
I think it looks really cute, and kinda vintagey, but I am not a fan of baggy biceps.
I suppose I have room for puff-sleeved blouses underneath!
And it works well with a shirt-collar on top and is great with a high-waisted skirt.
But there is a lot of excess fabric in unexpected places – especially at the back.
It was fun to knit.
I love the cables.
It is a lovely colour.
It is warm.
So… I will definitely be wearing it, but it’s not what I expected!