Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Simple Pleasures...

Last month, I had the chance to test this beautiful cardigan (click to the pattern page on Ravelry) designed by Annamária Ötvös (click to her designer page still on Ravelry).

As it is announced in the name of the design, it is a simple pleasure to knit.
The construction is great and I learned some new little tricks while knitting (like the slip slip purl decrease when working the sleeves). As it is knitted in worsted weight yarn, it knits up almost on its own (very rewarding). And it has pockets, I love pockets on cardigans!
The pattern is extremely clear and well written and all the techniques used are explained so that you understand them right away.

Inevitably, everything didn't go as smoothly as I expected. I was knitting size XS2 (in order to get S2 because my stitch gauge was a little off) and when reaching the pockets, I decided to lengthened the body, following the larger sizes instructions (I very often need to lengthened the body and sleeves because I'm tall). Everything is fine, I finish the cardigan (forgetting that I lengthened the body and picking up less stitches than I should have along the front bands...), I try it on, the fit is perfect, comfortable and cosy just like I wanted it. The security blanket of cardigans. I then decide to move on to the next step: BLOCKING.

First of all, I must say that I don't enjoy blocking. I do it because I had some awful surprises in the past but this is not my favourite step of the knitting process (but is there someone who truly enjoys blocking? If you do, please let me know and give me the reasons, I'm willing to try to enjoy it!). 
This said, I block my cardigan, I dry it between towels (ok this is the part I like in blocking, when you walk on the towels!) and I gently put it on his drying towel, where he is going to lie until he's ready.
At that time, I didn't really notice anything. It is only the next day that looking at the cardigan again, and listenning to the voice of the Lord Knitter who told me it was huge, that I realised I had to face reality: my cardigan had grown a LOT during the blocking process. Most probably because of the weight of the wet garment...

Sooo, I rip off and re-knit half of the body and sleeves, I pick up the good number of stitches along my fronts, and I reblock my cardigan. This time, I decided to tumble dry it in the washing machine before putting him on his drying towel (I was scared it would felt but nothing bad happened!) and my cardigan is now just as I wanted it! Perfect for the Fall/Winter season both in style and warmth.

About the yarn, I used Alize Cashmira which is a 100% pure wool yarn. I really liked knitting this yarn and the stitch definition is really nice. It is quite cheap too so I was even more happy. I wasn't sure about the warmth of the cardigan (compared to the previous one) but I am absolutely not disappointed, it is quite warm. I used some buttons I had bought in Norway a couple of years ago, et voilà! A brand new cardigan for my winter season!


Here's a link to my Ravelry project page (no no I don't spend my life on Ravelry...) and a close up on the buttons before they were sewn.

Soon (hopefully...) I'll show you a new hat, and a another sweater!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The latest!

I am a huge fan of Isabell Kraemer's designs and I had been waiting for this pattern to be published for a very long time. When it finally was, I was ready to start.
I had my yarn ready, my needles ready, everything.

This is the yarn I had chosen, Cascade 220 Heathers.

I was still hesitating about the contrasting colour but after thinking it over (and the help of people from the Ravelry group) I finally chose the orange and I must say that I am in love with the result!

 It was the first time I was using this yarn and I was really pleased with it. It knits up really well and it is WARM! I think this is going to be one of my favourite cardigan this winter (and so far, I think it is the warmer I have). I definitely want to knit other garments with this wool (especially with all the beautiful colours this yarn comes in).

The pattern was great, easy to follow (as always) and it knits up fairly quickly. It had been some time since I had knitted something in worsted weight and I had forgotten how rewarding it was. You feel like you're knitting as quick as a flash.

Of course you can read my project notes on my Ravelry project page. And now, off to knitting!