Monday 5 September 2016

The funky grandpa cardigan

My ravelry library has now 159 patterns and I just love the fact that I can actually have a digital library! Imagines you'd have to collect all of this in paper form. One of the patterns in my library is the funky grandpa cardigan by La Maison Rille. When I spotted it browsing, it was immediately clear to me that I had to make one for myself and pretty pronto too as it is knitted with fingering weight yarn so ideal for this time of the year.

I knitted in three different wonderful yarns. the light grey/blue yarn is the wonderfully named "Ghosts fading under cold Moon" colour way from DyeforYarn in Merino/Silk. This yarn has a wonderful elegant and subtle sheen to it from the silk. The strips are made using a Zauberaball 100 from Schoppel in the colour "Blaukraut bleat Blaukraut" and lastly the darker upper arms are knitted with SNO from Woolfolk in black/green. All are finger weight yarns but the wool folk yarn has quite a different texture to the other yarns. It is softer and appears thicker with a distinct hue that I particularly like on my upper arms as they cold easiest.

I order the Schoppel wool in Germany but all others are bought in London at Loop.

This cardigan is also knit down from the top like the last sweater I knitted. I already mentioned then that I was a convert and I still am. The pattern is incredibly detailed and has lots of tips and explanation. There were a few techniques here that I had not used before. German short rows and the wonderful i-cord bind off for the cuffs. All were well explained or links to explanations provided.

There are just two things I made different. The first is the lower arm stripe section (photo below). The arms are knitted with DPNs but when it comes to the narrow 2 row stripes the joining points grow further apart the longer the section grows and you end up with zickzack pattern which is very unattractive. I tried this section several times using a variety of different DPSs and also circular needles. And when I had given up, my lovely mother also had a go at it but we both ended up with the same problem, which by the way is visible in one of the images on the rarely pattern side but sadly it is not mentioned in the pattern at all. My solution in the end was not to knit in rounds for this portion but back and forwards and then stitch together the two pieces. After the stripe section I joined again in rounds. This worked really (image) below although the seam is visible but it is much, much less than it would have been otherwise. I think this is an overside in the pattern and should be mentioned as alternative or at least as potential problem or actually the technique to avoid it (if there is another to the one I used in the end).

The second change I made, is to knit the button wholes into the button band. The pattern instructs to cut buttonholes. I was slightly aghast seeing this techniques and really cannot imagine why anybody would willing cut into knitting. The techniques to do it, is very well explained but I find it not only dangerous but also a complication that is not necessary.

I knitted in size S and the sweater fits well although if I would knit the cardigan again (which is quite likely)  I would make the saddle a little wider than instructed. So maybe mix size S and the next higher up at this point. Apart from that, it is a much loved garment already and I have been wearing it a lot.

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