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You know I love a good cardigan, right? Well, I’m really excited about this one.

I wanted to design a solid cardigan with a shawl collar and a big cable up the back. It would be cozy, not too fitted, medium length, and knit out of dk-weight yarn. A quick search on Ravelry found almost exactly what I had been thinking of…already designed by Thea Colman.

That’s just life, I guess, and never one to turn down a good cardigan, I bought the pattern and cast on.

This cardi’s going to be awesome!

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Friends, it took me a year and a half of on-and-off knitting, but I have finally completed my Bianca cardigan.

It doesn’t have buttons yet, but it was past time to get some photos, so C. helped me take a few in between rain showers.

I love moss stitch edging. Although it’s hard to tell, the cast-on for the bottom of the body and sleeves is done in a contrasting colour. The shop didn’t have orange so I used pink – can you believe I bought a whole 50g ball of pink just to knit a few rows? That was when my yarn collection was tiny and I didn’t have leftovers and scraps…

And I have to say, for all the pain of knitting a whole sweater on #2 needles, the stringing of beads, the setting-in of sleeves, it’s a great fit.

I’ve finished the Featherweight Cardigan and have been wearing it a lot – it’s perfect for cool sunny weather.

20091010 featherweight detail

It’s knit in sweetgeorgia’s handpainted lace. It’s amazingly soft, and warm considering it’s made from only two 50g skeins.

I like this pattern much better than Hanna Fettig’s other cardigan, Whisper, which has weird shaping around the armpits. But you should have a look at her patterns if you haven’t already. Because I still consider myself a beginner knitter, I really appreciate the simplicity and elegance of her designs. This one was knit in the round, so no side or shoulder seams to fuss with.

20091011 featherweight back

I knit a 1×1 rib for the border around the front instead of the stockinette suggested by the pattern – I thought it might look funny if the edges rolled, and I know I’d be tugging on it constantly to make it lie flat.

20091011 featherweight front

The only thing I would do differently is the sleeve cuffs. I shortened them to elbow length, but you can see the perma-wrinkle they’ve developed from where I bend my arms. Complicating the matter is the modified tubular bind-off I did on the cuffs, thinking it would be a cleaner edge. It’s too tight- my ripped biceps have kind of maxed out the ribbing, but the bind-off keeps it from stretching out evenly.

An update on my remarkably slow progress on the beaded cardigan…

blocked-bianca

blocked fronts

This morning I washed and blocked the two front pieces. Two things were immediately apparent:

  1. I misread the neck shaping instructions, adding about 15 extra rows. Both sides. Oh well, it could be a lot worse, right?
  2. I really need to learn how to do short rows.

But, just two sleeves to go. I really hope this turns out.

blocked-bianca-detail

there are beads in there...

Plus, a little test swatch of the handspun silk and merino. I’ve always appreciated handmade things, but this process has upped the ante. The time and care involved in carding, spinning, dyeing, and knitting is amazing. A woman I once knew was horrified that I bought my clothing in consignment and thrift stores, because she believed that the (potentially negative) energy of the previous owners was still somehow occupying the fibres of the clothes. Whatever you think about that, it’s interesting to consider all the energy that goes into handspun and handknit items that makes them so much more special than something from Cheap-Mart…or maybe I’ve just watched Like Water for Chocolate one too many times.

silk-merino-swatch

swatchlet

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