I want to knit a cardigan.
Or, to be perfectly honest: I want to wear a handknit cardigan.
For weeks now, this desire has been stirring inside me.
All that time I could not start knitting one because I was making blocks for the Karma blanket and mitts for friends and trying to knit something to cover up the body using just one skein of sockyarn (it cannot be done) (not in elastic wool anyway):
Cover-Up by YarnMadness, 400m fingering thickness, ndls 7 mm
looks good once blocked but creeps up within 20 minutes of wearing
A cardigan, a cardigan.
I have plenty of patterns in my queue of cardigans I am determined to knit. Which one to start?The problem is that you cannot grab a yarn and start knitting and end up with a fine cardigan. You have to think first. What’s your size, what’s your gauge, what adjustments does it need in the waistbustbackneckohwhydon’tIjustdesignthethingmyself?
Thinking is not my forté these days… Not even making a simple choice comes natural to me.
I decided to go about it another way: choose the yarn first and let that speak to me. “Which cardigan would you like to become, yarn?” Yarn usually has strong preferences. It is a round yarn and would look good in textured fabric. Or it has lots of silk in it and would love to drape. My eyes and hands recognize these things and have a preference of their own: which yarn would I like to work with the next few weeks? Colour, season, touch, needlesize all comes into play then.
I have a few yarns in my stash designated to become cardigans. So I browsed around… and got lost for a few hours trying to match yarn with patterns and gauge and body shape and other people’s queues and then a mystery KAL for a shawl in pretty colours and then another intriguing mystery shawl KAL from a favourite designer of mine and then dinner and a dancing cat
So I started spinning yarn for the first Mystery Shawl while thinking about the second one: “it’s lace yarn, that takes foréver to knit and then you and up with a pretty spider web that doesn’t keep you warm! I’ve never finished anything in lace because I want shawls to give me warmth! it has a 1000 beads!” I probably still going to participate because her shawls are amazingly looking and not hard to knit at all.
Temptress, a pattern that I love to have, and Snow Angel, a pattern that I have.
So the next day, while spinning and thinking about shawls, I hoped for another approach to get me a cardigan: get out the yarns and see them in real life. Listen to their song.
I pulled out the yarns that I could actually remember and find with ease. (Other yarns need to be dyed first or carefully matched with a pattern that’s suitable for variegated yarns or such. Too much thinking required. Not enough singing.)
I put my feet up and listened to their songs:
Quite a few of them started their tunes midway: they already were half cardigans. There’s even the Peabody sweater that only needs it shoulders closed (again requiring some thinking and therefor not finished yet)
Here’s Peabody on the left. Still have some yarn left so I could start another cardigan with that, perhaps pair it up with another colour.
In the middle Yuuret. It needs partial frogging and reknitting. A fast knit. Could do it in a week. But a friend of mine commented: “why such a particular pattern? Why not just knit a straight up cardigan with that yarn??” which is enough to make me doubt if I will wear a Yuuret often enough to justify the third reknit and if I’d not better make the yarn into a more simple cardigan that would probably see a lot of wear. This project has to marinate for a long time before I come to a decision, I’m afraid.
On the right the grey Donegal cardigan from Springwools.com that I so painfully miscalculated in the Bluebird pattern. It is half frogged now. And there are fresh balls of yarn so I could start knitting without frogging it totally first. This yarn made my hands touch it over and over again. A definite attraction there. But to do all te recalculations…. Bluebird is a DROPS pattern and you really need to read and understand those patterns first before you take a needle to the yarn. Much thinking required.
On the left the Wrenna cardigan, started when I was making the knitting list for the fall. It’s halfway and a quick knit but I am not convinced by the open lace work in the front. It shows the shirt underneath very clearly and I have few (say 1) shirts that are not bright blue or pink or white.
This pattern features a lazy round yoke without a raised back and my neck gets so cold with that. Besides, this ‘boat neck line’ is one of the least flattering neck lines on me. And in bulky yarn… I’m too small and curvy to look good in bulky yarns.
In the middle there’re glorious Autumn colours! A Donegal style yarn. Ready to go! I’ve been matching this yarn with Lauriel for days now, in my head. Lauriel is a cardigan with leafs and inset sleeves and I love it.
But again: that round yoke… so cold!
Here’s someone with a clever solution:
While browsing through other people’s projects of Lauriel I noticed it is not very flattery shaped. It comes out big on a lot of people and the gatherings at the underbust only flatter a certain body type (mine?)
Also, the increases in the yoke are orderly spaced apart making for a bulk of fabric where a girl doesn’t need it: near the front of the shoulders, bulging up in the arm pit. I would space the increases differently. Which is a problem because the increases are part of the leaf pattern…
I would love to knit leafs with This donegal type yarn howver. It shows a beautiful reversed stockinette stitch side so I would probably do the whole body in reversed stockinette stitch… All in all, too much thinking required.
The last yarn I had on my coffee table was a cone of green real Donegal. Donegal Soft in a slightly felted Merino single, straight from Ireland via Springwools.com who only charge a 3 euro flatrate shipping worldwide (that’s $3,95)
It’s colour will not convey through the internet.
It’s darker than this, with no white flecks. It’s the PERFECT YARN for a baby dragon cardigan. A cardigan with spikes up its arms and hood. I had a cardigan like that. I wore it to pieces. As an adult, mind you.
I want to reknit that cardigan. But this requires some serious thinking…
I do want to wear a green cardigan NOW. But I don’t want to knit it…. now.
So here I am, sitting with my feet up, eyeing yarn. And with no other choice than to commit to some thinking, one way or the other.
I want a cardigan.
Here, here’s what too much thinking does to you: