Monday, 30 August 2010

Work in Progress - a BIG bit of knitting

When i was in Topshop recently i tried on this cardigan:

I know that it doesn't really look much, but it is navy cotton and has drop sleeves and the way it hangs is just lovely. I was not so impressed by the pockets and the sleeves though so deciphered the pattern and decided i can make one like this, with all the elements i was inspired by but without the ugly parts.

The shapes are all just big oblongs, and i consulted my book - Design your own Knits by Debbie Abrahams and published by Hamlyn - and the guidelines for drop shoulders there told me that there was very minimal shaping, and oversized but not too bulky is best.

here is the cover of the book in case you like the sound of it and what to find it. it is useful i would say and has a nice lot of proportional graph paper - good for accurate shaping.

I couldn't find any cotton in a colour i really liked in the shops as a lot was for baby knitting so only in pastels, and some of the other blues were just too blue and not dark enough. Rowan had a good one though, but i was perhaps trying to convince myself that Colinette was the place to go (it is my fetish i fear)

So i indulged (again) in a large quantity of a yarn they sell called Banyan which i think is 100% cotton, although the website contradicts itself. Whatever it is, it is just what i was looking for. I went for the colour Bright Charcoal:

Colinette Banwry in Bright Charcoal

So far i have completed the back which is possibly the largest single piece of knitting i've ever seen! Knitting in stocking stitch is so fast and satisfying though - i am experiencing similar addiction symptoms as with the crochet.

I have had a couple of dilemmas along the way though - firstly about the width of it (knitting on circular needles allowed it to spread out and it just looked so enormous) and then about how plain and flat it looked without any lace or stitch detail. but i persevered on the back and persuaded myself that it will be better to be true to that one that inspired me and that sometimes less is more (especially when using quite a colourful yarn) and as it grew so did my belief in it. I did take one small action though and created a small ruche in the middle of the back. This has broken up the vastness with a little bit of shaping and also reduced the width so the measurement at the shoulders is closer to my original calculations, but it hasn't really interfered with the simplicity i was aiming for. All in all i am very happy with progress. The cotton has such a lovely weight to it. i just love to squeeze it.

It will be better to show what i mean with some pictures (the sun came out today so hopefully favourable conditions for photos soon)

Now i have started the front panel and it's growing fast! I am worried about how much knitting i am doing at the moment though, and might try to cut back this week and try to do a bit more reading. All this quick stocking stitch makes me realise that it would be quite easy to make a couple of basic cardigans for the winter, and much nicer and warmer ones than from the shops. But less about that for now - we still have 22 days of summer to go...

Yours ambitiously,
Emilia. xxxx

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