February 10, 2013 by Rehana Jawadwala
My first ever “big” project, not just in size but also in the complexity of construction moving on from hats and scarves.
Made from gorgeous pure shetland wool from the highlands, I took three strands of 3ply yarn and knitted them together. These were slightly tweedy on their own which has added a wonderful depth to the colours. I used two strands of deep reds and one of a more bottle green. This design is a simple raglan top down jumper from Ravelry. I didn’t want a jumper but an open cardigan I could slip in and out of. So I modified the pattern slightly (basically not joining in the round).
The top down raglan increase technique is simple, effective and so very versatile. I now knit many things with this construction. Particularly small baby garments that knit really quickly. So here is my initial effort of the raglan increase.
Once you achieve the increases then its just “TV knitting” from then on. Back and forth till you get the desired length. I wanted this cardi rather long so that I can also throw it on in springtime without a coat (I didn’t think it would be ready before then!). I also wanted my little cutie cat Hobbes to feature on my first major project.
Isn’t he just gorgeous! So this gave me an opportunity to try another technique I was quite keen to get going with – intarsia!! I got a bunch of cross stitch cat patterns and worked out the position of the motif and added that to the cardigan. Here is the complete cardi (sans sleeves) with my cat motif.
As much as I’d like to say, “isn’t the cat motif lovely?”, it does look a bit strange. My buddies at the knitting club did not even recognise the motif as a cat. So here is to better choice of motifs in the future. Well at least intarsia is no longer a mystery. Infact it was just a common sense approach, if you have a block of a different coloured yarn why bother carrying it all the way round? The trick is to drop it but wrap it with your primary yarn on your return, that’s it! If you don’t you get holes in your knitting. Even that is not any major stick as you can pick up the stitches later with a tapestry needle and some same coloured yarn. So all of you who always wanted to learn intarsia I say go for it. If you want more information on this I have re blogged a brilliant tutorial on intarsia from knitting daily.
Once I finished the sleeves and added the buttons, I then blocked the sweater and in about four days it was ready to go.
This has been quite a satisfying project and I am quite proud of it. I have learned some valuable construction techniques and importance of getting the shaping right, even though it is not perfect this time around. One of the biggest arrogance of mine was that I skipped swatching! Big mistake. It is a little less consequential with this loose fitted over the clothes cardigan but next time around I will swatch (as most good teachers will say to you).