Car Ride Knit: Old Town cardigan

For car rides I need to have a simple knit. Something to keep my hands occupied. A knit I don’t have to look much at.

My hands just fiddle away and it calms my mind. I can ride in the car while I do this. Or I can watch tv. Read. Have a conversation. Walk around farmers’ fairs.
I think it is good for the brain and for the soul to fiddle with yarn in a repetitive motion.

It does require some planning, though, having a mindless knit about. There should always be a sock on the go, one that isn’t at the turning of the heel or the closing of the toes. I can get away with the decreases for the toes, I’m not ashamed to get my foot out in public and try it on.

A project like that needs to be in its own WIP bag. A friendly bag. With at least one stitchmarker that makes me smile. Perhaps a little chocolate too. It needs its own needles and yarn and it needs to be cast on already, all ready for just mindless rounds. Or it could be a sleeve. Or a simple blanket.
At the moment it’s the brim of the Devonshire Cream hat:

I’m still knitting on it. But soon it will be long enough to go around my head. Then starts the thinking bit: kitchener the tube. Pick up stitches, knit the dome.
So I need to think about the next simple knit just about now. So it will be ready for when I have to take a ride or have to watch tv. Or have to have a conversation that requires some serious mind calming.

So what to choose for my next project?
I don’t feel like socks. I’ve got enough of them at the moment. (although I’m always partial to happy self striping coloured yarn. But the socks that come from those I can hardly wear in public…. Or I could make socks from Drops Fabel sock yarn held double. I love to wear those in my hiking boots. Or in wintery homes. But those zoom along way too fast. One day and I have a sock.)

So…. a cardigan then?
A cardigan would do nicely. One that I have gauge on. One with positive ease so it doesn’t need to be precise. A cardigan like Old Town by Carol Sunday.

Get needles, cast on, follow the pattern. No need to think much.

Except of course I have to!
I have casted on and have been knitting away at this while I rest in my bed during the last few days, watching Strictly Come Dancing and Horrible Histories and Ripper Street and The Paradise. Yes I love the BBC. And costumes.

I’m using a nicely hand dyed sock yarn, three skeins of them. Blueish purple, the colour of new jeans. I’m using needles 3 or 3,25 mm, it gives a drapey fabric.

The cardigan fits the bill, I like knitting this. Mindless. My mind is at peace. Which is very important because I get wired fast and often, with my illness, my progesterone shortage and being in the city with all its fun things inviting me to come play. Oh how I love the city. To sit in a coffee house, wearing smart clothes, scribbling away in a little notebook.

Well. Knitting Old Jeans Town.
Gauge for this pattern is 24 st per 10 cm. I am doing size M. Could do S and add more ease for bust but I chose M.

Construction is fun! a little sideways piece at the back. Pick up stitches, no seaming. Interesting but not too difficult. Such a change to be able to just follow the pattern, just put the old spaghetti head on mute and follow instructions.

Except when you’re a loose knitter… like a certain someone we all know…who not only has spaghetti for brains but also a colander to keep it in…. my gauge is 20 st at 3,25 mm. 22 st at 3 mm.

This is a significant gauge difference in garments. I will swim in this cardigan when I follow size M! It will turn out like an L.
I have just realized this. I will have to frog and start anew. Probably recalculate the numbers to my gauge.
Ooooh, I’m getting really tired of this, this wrestling with gauge! I’d stamp my feet if they weren’t tucked in comfortably under a woolen blanket and a cat.
There’s no other way about it, I have to work with the gauge I get, not with the gauge I want.
Even with gauge 22 st instead of 24 I need to cast on 50 st instead of the 60 in the smallest size.

Not wanting to do the math nor the thinking I surfed my queue and Ravelry’s database for other cardigan patterns, top town, with my actual gauge. But none of them use sock yarn? I feel a bit of a freak, getting this loose gauge in this size yarn and needles.
(wait! I should have surfed projects of course, not patterns! I might not be the only freak!)
perhaps I’ll do this tomorrow.

Either way: I’ll have to frog what I already knitted. While I do this the series I watched and the thoughts I thought while knitting this will come back to be. A kind of curtain call.
But my, the colours are gorgeous!

Bad picture in late night indoor lightning:

Either way, I’ll have a mindless knitting project set up for shen I finish the brim of the hat. Good planning. We’re driving again next Friday. And we watch video next weekend.


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