Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Growing up as a knitter

You might be forgiven for thinking, due to my recent blogging silence, that my enthusiasm for knitting had waned. The last couple of months haven't been particularly easy as I have been taking care of a dear friend who has suffered a great loss, I have found myself turning to my knitting more and more as a way of gathering myself up ready for another day. 


This sort of therapeutic knitting, however requires a careful choice of project. For me it has to be something warm and cosy under the fingers with a balance between concentration and swathes of calming, rhythmic stocking stitch slowly growing in my lap and give me the chance to be distracted but not too challenged. Recently I have become increasingly drawn to making full sized garments for myself, something that I have often shied away from in the past in case the garment didn't fit or didn't miraculously make me look like the model in the photo. My bulging sock, mitten and shawl draw speaks only too eloquently to this fact.


This time, however, I decided that I wanted a warm, cosy, generous cardigan that would work as a jacket as the weather becomes cooler. I also wanted a colour that felt warm so I chose one of my favourite work horse yarns, Cascade 220 in a shade called Birch Heather. I particularly like the Cascade Heathers shades as they combine shades in a sophisticated way which makes them look far more expensive than they really are!


I chose the Rosemont Cardigan by Hannah Fettig which is constructed from the top down and once I had realised that I needed to make good notes during the shoulder shapings I found to be a simple, intuitive knit, exactly what I have needed in these challenging few weeks.


I also came to realise that when I got to the shawl collar I was nowhere near finishing the garment. A skein and a half later I was still knitting but to create anything less than a generous collar would spoil the entire cardigan.


The cardigan is designed without buttons and buttonholes so gives the perfect opportunity to show off one of my collection of shawl pins. This one is a particular favourite by my friend Nickerjac.  It's one of the perks of my profession to spend time with talented, crafty people!


In retrospect I could probably have got away with knitting this garment a size smaller but I'm sure I'm not the only knitter who overestimates the size she needs. The sleeves in particular are longer than I need but having turned them back I think they reflect the shawl collar well so am happy with the way that they are.

I'm pleased to say that the temperature has started to drop so I have had plenty of opportunity to wear my cosy new cardigan and am really pleased that I have plucked up the courage to start knitting more jumpers for myself.


In fact, I am enjoying the process so much I have started another garment. More on this later....