It’s the first Friday in June so “Happy Christmas!”. What do you mean, it hasn’t been Christmas for five months and 8 days? I hereby declare Friday 2nd June 2017 to be a knitterly sort of second chance Christmas (shortly to be followed by a third chance Christmas when I eventually finish Pip’s hoodie) because, thanks to a lovely hot sunny day that helped speed along the blocking, I have finally, finally finished Kitty’s Christmas cardigan.
In truth it stopped being Kitty’s Christmas cardigan a good week before Christmas when I realised that with the best will in the world there was no way that I could knit a 4ply cardigan in age 10 in the time remaining, even if I didn’t eat or sleep. She got a skort instead which still fits and is much loved and ticked all the boxes for handmade by mama and handmade in an afternoon.
But I hadn’t forgotten her cardigan, and knowing that there were no more sizes if I held off too long and she shot up again, I cast on in the Spring and got to work.
The pattern is Petal, designed by Michelle Wang and from Brooklyn Tweed’s BT Kids collection. I love the patterns in that collection and I have my eye on Magnus, Atlas and Wyatt for Pip when he gets just a smidgen bigger (so probably this summer!). It’s knit top down, which is perfect as being able to try it on as you go it a must with my every growing eldest daughter. It’s also a really clever pattern, because most of that cardigan is just a nice plain knitted rib. Truly. There’s a bit of increasing going on for the yoke, and then the leaf pattern adds some interest, but by the time you’ve separated for the sleeves, it’s rib with an incredibly clever sled stitch on every fourth row which does all the work of making those ring cables before another row of leaves and the finishing rib. I tried to find a video on YouTube to link to but it brought up how to knit and cross stitch pictures of sleds which isn’t exactly what we’re looking for but basically you bring the third stitch from the end of the left hand needle over the other two like a sort of crazy backwards cast off, then k1 yo k1 and you’re done. It’s true knitting magic and I loved learning something new and clever almost as much as I love the finished fabric.
It’s knit to the largest size in the pattern, no extra inches, no messing around and it fits with a little room to grow.
The yarn is special. This is Wollmeise, that came from the actual genuine Wollmeise shop in Germany last summer. Kitty chose it with me; she wanted pink, I’d been looking for the perfect coral-rose for her for ages and here it was, Babe; probably named after the pig. It’s a very gentle semi-solid, with just enough variation to give movement, and not so much that it looks like the washing machine marmalised it, and I suspect the depth of it just doesn’t quite come out on my camera, no matter how long I spend messing about in Lightroom so you’ll have to believe me. As a fabric it knits up beautifully to show off all the cables and lace work, and the finished cardie is so soft and cosy that I’d be jealous if it weren’t for the fact that there’s also yarn in the bag for a cardigan for me.
And when I came to choose buttons, there, sat on the shelf, were tiny flowers; small enough to get through some fairly dinky buttonholes and a perfect colour match. That, if anything, must be a sign of the Knitting Fates’ good graces.
From last week’s one sleeve to go, the bank holiday weekend saw one sleeve, two button bands and one collar, the buttons went on on Wednesday and then it had a little wash and block to open up all of the lace work and make it perfect.
It’s a big hit with Kitty; she’s been trying it on in all the different stages, but even when I’d put all the buttons on it wasn’t quite the same as the first time she tried on the finished finished version. She’s promised faithfully not to leave it on the floor, and if that isn’t a sign of adoration I don’t know what is!