Thursday, 10 March 2016

A Return to Pattern of the Week!

I am going to stop apologising for the lack of blogs. I promise. Not every blog will start with an apology because this one will just have to do for the whole of the next few months.

The shop is getting on top of me. There's a vlog uploading as we speak (it's uploaded!) about my horrific day yesterday and I've got to admit that I'm struggling a bit. There's a lot to think about and I'm waiting on so many other people to do stuff and I hate that. I like to be in charge of my own destiny but I'm not at the minute. I also can't start packing up because the yarn/needles/patterns need to be on the shelves until we finish here and there's not enough space to store the other stuff. It's all going to have to happen on the day as it were. I started knitting some samples up but one of them went badly wrong and I can't bring myself to do it. And the doctor told me not to knit for a few days (although I'm ignoring that, I think I'd implode if I didn't knit at the minute). Anyway, there are lots of problems, nothing that I can do and nothing that you lot can do to help though I know you'll be offering. It's just a case of working through it.

But, something that has really cheered me up and kept me going today is this new(ish) cardigan: 

I actually finished it the day before I went to Stitches which was either the 22nd of 29th of February - I forget... I wore it on the day and it was still a little wet from blocking! It was also mostly too hot to actually wear it but I do like wearing a new thing to things like that - I believe it makes me look like a and actual knitter/crocheter (always shocked when yso's don't wear their bits/can't actually make them (!!!)) and it gives me a bit of confidence which I need with things like that. After that I wore it just like a normal everyday cardigan, including to give the talk to Nottingham Uni. Just after I finished with that I was meeting up with a customer who'd forgotten to pick up a ball of wool and before I met her I went for a coffee whereupon I just forgot to pick up my cardigan because I'm a tit.

I rang them up straight away and they found it and I was going to pick it up but, readers, there's been no time to do anything recently and it didn't get did. So, a week after I lost it, I sent Chris over to get it and then I got a text message saying something like 'I got your cardigan. I met a customer of yours. She's mad and she loves you'. Haha. Turns out it was only bloody Sarah! Sarah was working there that day (I think!?) and when she realised who he was went a bit mad! Or rather, stayed as mad as she usually is... ;) How wonderful is that??!?!

So this cardigan already has a story attached to it. The crocheting of it was too quick for it to have a story, it didn't go anywhere interesting just here and my house and Chris' house and the buses in between. But now it has a story.

Anyway.... Let's get down to business.

This is a crochet cardigan. It's King Cole pattern 3900 which I've finally put up on t'internet here. It's a DK pattern and originally worked in the Bamboo Cotton DK but, I think because it's still bloody cold out there, that wasn't even in contention. It was only ever going to be in the snotty green of the Panache DK (aka Pasture. I think King Cole missed a trick there...).

Nice big fuzzy photo for you. I did the short version, sans pockets (I know! Not like me to leave out pockets. I really am not in my right mind at the moment...). I also, as I usually do, did a size down from what I 'should' be doing. I like things smaller than King Cole usually write them.

You can just about make out, better on the long version, that there's a little rippling at the bottom there. I missed that completely. It's too fussy for my liking so I just started with trebles straight into a chain. I didn't actually count the chain, I made one long enough roughly, added some more, worked my trebles back into them, counted the trebles and then stopped and turned when I was ready. It's an awful lot easier counting trebles than it is chains, it's also easier to keep your chains a more even tension when you're not stopping and counting every ten stitches. And any extra chains you have at the end can just be chopped off about an inch from the work, slowly undone and then that end sewn in like normal. Makes it like a hundred million times easier. And I'm all for an easy life.

Notice too that there's only two lines of zig zags running up each front. I don't hate that but I'm a big old human and two little lines would look just like two tiny weeny lines on me I think, so I decided to make it an all over pattern. It wasn't hard to do. I think the stitch repeat was something like *5tr, ch1, miss a stitch*. Once you've set that up at the bottom, the rest comes together. And it was a surprisingly easy pattern to keep straight once you get to the shaping at the top.

The shaping at the top is unusual. Naturally, I'm thinking it would be do a decrease at the armhole edge in every row because it's a raglan. No. I ain't going into what it is, it's unusual is what it is but I really like the ratio that they've created there. I think I'll use it again.

Now, if this goes over your head, allow it to, you don't need this. But I've started doing my decreases differently! It started when I made Jeremy Corbyn just before Christmas. I don't often to amigurumi but when I do I'm always disappointed with the decreases but the one good thing I did get out of this pattern was a different way to do them. The standard way is to do all but the last stage of one stitch, all but the last stage of the next stitch, and then yarn over and pull it through both stitches together. This works nicely and, once you've got your head around it, it's very easy but it can look a little clunky. The 'join' of the two stitches happens at the top of the stitch meaning that most of both stitches are there and only pulled together at the top. The woman that design Jeremy Corbyn does it a different way. She inserts into the front leg only of the first stitch and then the front leg only of the next stitch, yo and pulls through, then finishes off the stitch. So I used that but because it's tr's rather than dc's I yo first, insert into front leg of first and then second stitch, yo and pull through and then you have the three loops of the treble to finish off. All of the bringing together of the stitch happens right in the base of the stitch and only in the front bit of it anyway so it somehow looks less bulky. Anybody else got any clue as to why it's better!?!?!?

So. They're the changes that I made. I did make sure that the zig zags all started off leaning one way  so they look reasonable but then when I got to do the fronts which I did last (and in one evening! Ugh! Don't do that) I made them zig and zag respectively. If I'd have thought about it I'd have done a zig front and sleeve, a zag front and sleeve and the back zig on one side and zag on the other. But. Meh. Who's got time for that?

In other news, with this cardigan, lovely Davina was inspired and did the pattern in the Dusk colour of the Panache DK but she likes the ripples at the bottom and doesn't like the zig zag. So guess what she did! She only went and did the ripples at the bottom and none of the blady zig zags! AIN'T CROCHET GREAT!? I haven't got a photo of that yet, I'm not sure it's totally finished. But when it is there will be a photo and we will look like twins. Fact.

I think that's all,

Thanks for listening to the ramble.

Love Eleanor.


  1. Whooooo! I'm famous! Totally stealing the more zig zag idea. Sarah x

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