Colours of PimpelPurple

I heard you thinking yesterday: “THREE cardigans on the needles? There’s the blue contiguous one and that Pumpkin Ale in Wollmeise. What third cardigan?”

Well, last week I started another cardigan. I had just cast off Sprig Pullover and I have this beautiful Wollmeise DK in the most beautiful purple and I have just the right buttons to go with it…

The pattern is Colors of Kauai by Hanna Maciejewska, a paid for pattern, top down, that I’ve made once before but I don’t wear it:

 colours or Kauai project page

Actually, I’ve started this pattern on two other occasions since then but I never finished them. Once in fuzzy white alpaca lace and once in Ruby Tuesday red wollmeise fingering weight.

The fuzzy one got frogged because it turns out I don’t like knitting with fuzzy lace weights (huh?). The red one got frogged because I tried to do simultaneously set-in-sleeves at the same time and I just lost the plot with too much things going on at once. And it was too narrow at the shoulders, as you can see in the picture. Also, if I recall correctly, I only had two skeins of sockyarn which would give me again a cardi with short sleeves that I wouldn’t wear.

Since then I’ve procured a third skein of the red yarn and have casted on for Old Ruby Town cardigan with a lovely sideways lace edging. Only to park it because of the shoulder thing. Argh! There will be a red cardi in my future, I’m sure. But it may be a future far away…

btw, the white fuzzy one shows how invisible the provisional cast on row in this pattern is! It’s at the arrow, left bottom corner.

For the current purple cardi I did a regular cast-on, Tillybuddy’s stretchy one, and picked up stitches afterwards. This too is invisible from the Right Side. But from the wrong side there’s a ridge. I wanted this because this ridge gives the shoulder more structure. It’s my belief that a cardigan hangs mainly from the shoulder.

As does my own body.
Which is why, when choosing a size clothes to wear/make, you need to choose the one that fits your shoulders well. Everything else can (and needs) to be altered but shoulders are key.

Colours of Kauai has a certain lace pattern in the front panels but I wanted a different one. I had seen a gorgeous sun yellow one  that has been blowing me away for 21 months now:

 pic by Pattepoilue

Absolutely wonderful! I want this. And those trousers and that tan, shirt and necklace. And that physique. And those little boobs so I may move freely and jump and run and wear wonderful happy sweaters.

Pattepoilue was inspired by Jettshin, who is a marvellous crafter, and who’d used this lace pattern in another fitting cardigan.

Beautiful detail on the sleeve! Happy skirt! Happy shoes!
Jettshin’s cardi is knit contiguous by the way. (I don’t know this method well enough to copy it. Yet.)

Utterly inspired by the vibe of these two ladies I now add my own happy colour to this idea.

First I did a whole day of studies of the lace pattern to find out how to deal with my yarn overs and the big holes they make and how to get the columns of twisted knits to grow stunningly out of the increases. And I wanted that little curl in the middle to fold nicely onto itself:

The lace pattern is a known pattern in several knit designs. I took it from a Japanese stitch dictionary: Knitting Stitches 300, it’s stitch #71. After a day of swatching it turns out following the lace pattern exactly is the most beautiful option… insert “Duh”.

And that I had copied the pattern incorrectly and had been working from a wrong chart all day …. insert “Duh” #2.

So the next day I cast on and went zoom!

By now I’m feeling pretty smug about all aspects of this knitting project: the pattern, the colours, the lace, the yarn weight, the way the yarn handles. And my sharky project bag (4 euros at

Here the back is finished and the two front panels. I’m about to cast on stitches for the underarms and connect these three panels.

When I do I’ll knit a few rows and then I try it on. To determine wether it needs bustdarts and where they go.

I named this cardigan “Holle cardi” because this colourway is called “Fliederbusch” which, although it refers to the Lilac flowering bush, I associate with the Elderberry (Sambucus), which is called “Vlier” in my native tongue. Too close to “Flieder” to keep them separate!

Lilac. Way more subdued than my yarn.

De “Vlier” is called “Hollunderbusch” or “Holle bush” in German because it’s the signature shrub of Frau Holle. Known from the fairytale by the Grimm brothers. But actually a goddess from way before the Celts and the Germanic tribes washed over Europe. Known for nature, the weather, husbandry and farming, birth and death, women and wool spinning.

De Vlier follows the seasonal transitions of the goddess: in Spring she wears white airy flowers who smell sweet. In Summer the berries ripen and the leafs are full and green. In Autumn the berries are deep purple black and edible and give a red juice.

Holle, or Hulda, her colours are green, white and red (or was it black?). And she may well be the “Elder mother” from which the Elderberry gets its name. “Hollunderbusch” literally reads as “Holle under the bush” and throughout time the Elderberry is to believed to actually house a (female) spirit. For centuries it was Frau Holle but when Christianity forbade other deities it became evil spirits and witches. Or the Elder Mother who has to be asked before taking wood from the Elderberry.

 Elda Mor, illustration by Arthur Rackham

Disrespecting the Elder Mother would rain misfortune upon the proud human. Sounds like something Frau Holle would do alright.

Wollmeise Fiederbusch yarn looks like it was steeped in Elderberry juice, fresh in the sun. It’s such a celebratory colour! It talks to me of life and cheer and womanhood. And strength.

I really want to knit with it. This time I’m changing the pattern slightly so I will wear it more often than my other Colours of Kauai: more wearing ease and longer sleeves.

Zoom zoom.


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