Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Tartan Cardi

Ahhhh, this blog is feeling more and more like respite right now, so lovely to be back and I've got something to talk about!

So, it's no secret how much I like Knitty.com and Amy Singer. In every edition of the mag there's something to inspire and I am forever grateful. Something that caught my eye and I kept coming back to was the Princess Franklin Plaid Collar. So much so that I haven't really stopped thinking about it since 2013 (I had no idea it was that long ago! I can still remember the first time I saw it and it took my breath away).

How cool is that?!

Now, we're all knitters and crocheters here and we all know that we all have a million scarves and cowls and snoods and we probably don't need any more. Thing about neck accessories is that they don't really wear out do they? Not in the same way that cardigans and socks and things do, which means that once you've made it you've got it for years and years and therefore I try and avoid making them unless I really really can't not. And to be fair, what I loved about this was the technique rather than the thing. So the idea that I'm talking about today had been percolating for a year or two before I even considered casting it on. I did that at some point last year, early last year when I was going through a bout of finish-it-and-use-up-the-stash-itis but I only managed to finish it yesterday.

And I love it and I know that it's good because every single person who's come in the shop has commented on it. Boom.

So, I haven't got a pattern for you and to be fair I'm not going to write one because I'm not sure, despite the final garment being brilliant, that the idea is a sound one but I also couldn't not write something because so many of you love it. I found, on rav I think, a basic pattern for a top down raglan and used that to make the body in garter stitch. I put big chunky ribs at the top and bottom because I knew I'd need to hide some ends.

I did a stripe sequence that I kind of made up and went a bit wrong sometimes too but mostly kept the same all the way through. All the increases and things were done right on the edge so as to try and keep that out of the weaving process. Once the knitting was done, all I had to do was weave in the weft. All I had to do. Haha. 

 Now that was a job and a half, you can read about how to do it in the Princess Franklin pattern, he explains it better than I ever could. The weft had to go all the way up the fronts and then when I got to the armholes, it had to then go all the way up the fronts and down the sleeves too. I really like the way that the raglan 'seam' looks:

I wasn't sure that the vertical stripes were going to meet up properly at the back so I made the fronts right because people were going to see that and then fiddled a little bit at the back. If I remember rightly I just took out a couple of the purple lines in a mirrored pattern at the back and I doubt anybody would ever know:


Then came the really difficult bit - sewing in the ends. Every singly vertical bit had two ends. I thought I might use one thread to go up and down if I was doing more than one vertical stripe in the same colour but I found it really hard to keep the tension right. One of the brilliant things about knitting is that it stretches both ways - more one way than the other - but definitely both ways. When you're weaving as I was doing then you lose the vertical stretch. The tension needed to be such that it didn't pull the garment shorter, and allowed for a little stretch but didn't bunch up. I didn't get that right. I didn't take my time sewing in the ends either so when it was laid out for blocking and I was stretching it into position, some of the ends popped free. And that's about where I left it.

I knew I would have to sew those ends in and find a way of securing them without being able to add any more length to the strands... And that just kind of gave me brain ache (also, pretty soon after we got loads of really good stuff in the shop like Drifter so I was far too busy fondling that, haha).

But yesterday! Yesterday was the day! I had steadied myself for a day of adminning and doing lots of little jobs that hadn't got done and I did do a lot of those but I also forgot two crucial pieces of paperwork which meant that everything else went to pot so I caught up on a bit of housework - sorting out the recycling, doing the washing, cooking in a nice relaxed manner, changing the sheets - all lovely housewife-y things and then I settled down to sew the ends in on Chris's Christmas jumper and then I was ready to tackle this which I'd found at the bottom of a pile of (clean) laundry. I went through finding the ends to sew in, re-wove them where needed and used a finer needle to split some plies to add strength to that sewing job. Then I debated sewing a straight stitch along the entire hem of the thing and all up the sleeves and then I thought to myself 'oh no Eleanor, you already mostly look like a tit, what's a few little ends poking out going to do?'. So I left it. And if they poke out I'll leave them, or I'll fix it according to my whim and to be honest, after a while, the ends with mostly be felted slightly and stay where they should anyway.

Then I put the eight buttons into place and then I tried it on and took the best photo ever taken without a bra which can't be shared because the beauty will be too much and then I put it away to wear today, and here I am full of compliments! Boom!

I can definitely see that it's going to be a favourite to wear - very snuggly, although I feel like snuggly season is almost over (maybe?). It's also kind of smart so it will be a nice one to wear when I visit the bank or the solicitor, that kind of thing but eventually it will be a ratty every day cardigan and I need more of those! So, if you can get your head around what I did and you like it enough, it's a very simple cardigan to make, you just need to do more reasonable sewing in your ends than I did - take time and effort and it would be worth it.

Also, if you aren't mad enough to do a whole garment, lovely Lindsey used the same idea to make a crochet cowl in chunky. I just love this technique!

That's it. I've got so much to do, I'm offski!

Love Eleanor. xxxxxxxx

No comments:

Post a Comment