Thursday, 6 October 2011

The shawl collar cardigan!

Well what can I say about this?

I picked up some bargain yarn at this shop just recently, and picked a simple pattern to make a little cardigan to put away for Sophie for a yuletide gift. So aran yarn, wool content, stocking stitch cardi - easy don't you think? Poorly mama wanted as easy as can be for those late nights spent upright and aching. Cast on the back, follow the pattern - fine. Same for the right front. Do a quick tally of the yarn left........oh dear! One and one third skeins used for the back, around two thirds for the front. Taking a guess that each sleeve will use one skein and a further two thirds for the left front, leaving just under half a skein for the shawl collar. Hmmm, maybe my tension is out a little? Nope, all fine there. Did I mis-read the yarn requirments? No again, five stated and five bought. Oh well, maybe the collar won't use as much as I'm thinking. But just in case I cast on a sleeve next. Just as I thought it used exactly one skein, with only just enough left to stitch it up. So I set aside one skein for the other sleeve, and enough yarn for the left front, stitched the shoulders of the right front and back, and picked up the stitches for the shawl collar. I hoped that I would get this half of the collar completed with half of the remaining yarn. It soon became clear I wouldn't!
But then an even bigger problem became apparent. Following the pattern exactly was not going to give me the collar shown on the picture. I doublechecked the pattern, squinted at the picture to ascertain the number and formation of the stitches. No way was the pattern going to result in that collar. The shawl collar on the picture ended in a button closure at the chest, the shawl collar in the pattern  vee'd all the way down to the bottom edge of the cardi. So after banging down my knitting and snapping a lovely wooden needle taking a deep breath, I pulled back to where I thought the pattern was going wrong and started on the alternative top-of-my-head shawl collar. This turned out better than the original pattern but I still wasn't 100% happy with it. And I used over half of the collar yarn too! Although I have to say considerably less than I would have used following the pattern. So after acquiring an extra skein of yarn I put the cardi away and went on a little R'n'R break.

After a couple of days away and some non-taxing and therapeutic hooking of the Granny Stripe Kingsize Throw (capitalizing for such a mega project is essential I think?) I decided to face the  cardi again and so knitted up the left front and second sleeve. When it came to the collar I decided to follow the pattern once again,  and then showed  anyone I could bribe into caring  interested housedwellers the mutant-looks- finished-but-why-does-it-have-2-different-collars? cardi and see which they preferred. And the overwhelming opinion of all three bored interested people (I tried to get an opinion off  the 15 year old boy on his way to the fridge but strangely he didn't appear to be that interested) was that the revised collar was the winner. So I ripped back the original, pattern followed, odd collar and tried to remember my own. A bit more moaning and groaning later and the collar was finished. Still not how this knitter imagined but the general opinion is that Sophie will like it, or more importantly, that her mum will!

And if you read my yarn along post on the other blog yesterday you will already know that I have casted on for the same cardi again in Heather's size and an even lovelier colourway. But this time I know what I'm doing with the collar. And it definitely isn't the one on the pattern......or the one I ended up with above!!

So just in case anyone else wants to buy a pattern that shouldn't be followed, or knit a very oddly shaped shawl collared cardi, or maybe even show me exactly how I could have gone so wrong, here are the technical details :)

Pattern used (kind of): Sirdar 2275
Yarn: Sirdar Click aran shade 0148
Amount: 5.5 skeins (although pattern states 5 and would have used at least 6!)
Size: age 6-7 (although this fits cain who is actually a small 5 year old, luckily the same size as Sophie)
Needles: pair of 4mm (plus one extra for snapping!!) and pair of 5mm
Cost: 6x£1.39 - £8.34 from this sale (no idea why the price states £1.49, it was only £1.39 instore).
Yarn left: approximately 35g including short lengths.

I would love to hear if any of you have knitted this cardi, or will knit it, and how it has turned out for you.
And yes, I have yet another finished item to share with you all, so don't forget to come back soon.


1 comment:

Pomegranategrl said...

A beautiful cardigan! A lovely pink for sure.