New favourite cardigan

According to Ravelry my new favourite cardigan has taken me 3.5 months to knit. I’m really pleased with this – there was a time not so long ago when I would plan *months* ahead and not be able to bank on finishing a garment until after the season after next. Those days are gone.

Well, for the projects I work on, clearly. For others, the months rules still apply.

I got the yarn for this latest project from the New York Sheep and Wool Fair, or Rhinebeck for short.

rhinebeck-trees

I could have sworn I took a photo of my Rhinebeck haul but a cursory search in a single location didn’t yield fruit and the picture wasn’t all that great anyway. I took yarn weight and quantity details with me, as I wanted to get something lovely to make a Lavandula with, and this seemed like the right place to get it. I wanted to get something in a dark grey.

When I saw the skeins of dark grey alpaca hanging in the booth, I thought “that looks like the color I’m after” (I was in the US, so clearly was thinking in US spelling). I reached out and felt it and -ooOOooh!

I was in love.

This is possibly the smooshiest yarn I have ever felt, smooshier even than previous alpaca yarns I have loved. For the next few weeks, my favourite trick was to hand a skein to someone who was in full conversational flow, and -ooOOooh. Yes, it’s conversation stoppingly smooshy. I quite quickly moved on, though, from petting it to winding it. I wound each of the 3 skeins I got into 2 balls so that I could knit a row in each of the skeins, thus preventing any colour-pooling or having the arms in a different colour. For, as the lady at the booth said, although the yarn is undyed and all from the same fleece, the underbelly might have been a different shade to its back. The balls of wound yarn were also very smooshy.

The first part of this pattern requires one to knit 12 inches of very long rows of 1×1 rib. This is not my favourite kind of knitting, being 1 step up from the dreaded moss stitch, but needs must. After quite the ribbing extravaganza, you get to knit a lacy pattern so I hung on in there.

ribby-alpaca

Through series 2 of The Bridge and I think some Game Of Thrones I ploughed on, having memorised the lace pattern (to the extent that the second sleeve has slightly more lace at the row-ends than the first – I got more confident by then) and much concentrating and checking off through simultaneous raglan and neckline decreases. And The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I had to do the button band twice because I didn’t pick up enough stitches and it pulled in too much.

A quick beef about this. Why say “pick up 90 stitches”? Why not say “Pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows”, especially when the body of the garment is measured in inches rather than rows. Eh? A lot of misery could be avoided that way.

nearly-done

…and so it was nearly done. I sewed the buttons on straight away (I had planned ahead and bought some before starting to knit. Get me, with my thinking ahead) and thus found out straight away that I had one button hole too many. I think, however, that I do indeed have one button hole too many and not one button too few as doing up the top button, were there a button there, would look really quite odd.

And so here it is – my new favourite cardigan.

finished-cardigan

I had a moment of crisis about half way through making this that the combination of raglan sleeves and rib over the belly would only serve to accentuate my negative features ~ however, in spite of the amount of sucking in that’s going on in the photo above (note the blue shade around my lips) I think it’s actually pretty flattering. And the snowflake pattern works well. As does the colour. And it’s still very smooshy. If a bit hairy.

I just hope the large amount of negative and dark telly I watched while making it hasn’t affected its aura. I’d hate to start growing tattoos as a result…