Over the last few months I have learned something about myself – hitherto somewhat unknown – I have a thing for cardigans!
I love them. I mean REALLY REALLY love them.
I have always tended to purchase cardis over pullovers as I tend to run a bit hot, and pullovers always make me overheat. I also don’t care for the whole ‘pulling over the head’ bit, which seems a bit fussy! (how lazy am I?).
My first big ramp up in pattern difficulty was Miette, a sweet little cardi by Andi Satterlund, pictured below.
With a simple lace border detail,
I thought it would be a good project, after completing my first lace scarf (good fun!)…another level up in difficulty.
It was a good choice. Challenging, so I learned plenty of new techniques, but not too hard for a beginner that I couldn’t finish it. It wasn’t a breeze, but with a bit of concentration in certain parts, it was fine.
How nice to be able to follow along with someone else doing the same pattern! I will definitely be seeking more knit alongs in future. A great way to learn with support.
Before starting I did a lot of research and decided a few modifications were needed – of course! – which made it a bit more challenging.
First off, I used thinner yarn (Madelinetosh DK in Celadon) so had to recalculate a few things. Luckily one of the other sizes was a pretty good match for my gauge and that made it much easier.
I also decided, from reading other people’s comments on Ravelry, that I didn’t want the bust shaping as I tend to wear my cardigans open a lot of the time and didn’t want the boob cups poking out the sides (not that I would have much bulging cuppage to deal with, but one can dream).
I moved the decreases to the sides and it worked remarkably well.
The second mod was to change the twisted rib to regular rib. As the cardi is knit top down I got midway through the ribbing and decided it contrasted too much in the crunchy superwash merino I was using.
I just didn’t feel the crossed rib complimented the lace so went back to a regular 2 by 2 rib and took off the purl row before the start of the band.
This way the ribs flowed right up into the pattern and seemed more cohesive in this yarn.
I spent many ages getting the sleeves right, redoing one nearly all the way once, and finally, near the end, decided to reinforce the button band as it was just too floppy for my taste.
This took a bit of fussing, as I had never done button holes before on the sewing machine. Now I know why you need the special ‘button foot’ attachment. Heh. Oops.
So they look a bit ghetto, but the ribbon makes such a huge difference to the structured ‘polish’ of the finished result, I think it was worth the aggravation…and the yucky stitching is on the inside, thankfully!
I had some troubles getting the right buttons as well. The ones I initially put on, shown below pre-button band, looked fine…but a bit …meh. they just didn’t add anything special and looked a bit dull.
It took me ages, but I finally found the right buttons on a trip to France at a shop called La Droguerie! (Beautiful buttons if you ever run across one in France. Lots of handmade wooden and shell. They are a chain so look for them in major cities.)
I wanted something that echoed the zig zag eyelet pattern, and these little beauties have just the right amount of spiky-ness and the colour adds a little bit of unexpected zing. Also, the colour combo of turquoise and rusty red makes me think of Tibetan jewellery (hence her name).
A mere 2 months to completion! Hah! Oh well, I am very pleased with the fit.
Thanks to Andi for sharing this pattern for free…it is really well written and a beauty of a design!