Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ysolda's Chickadee cardigan

Pattern: Ysolda Teague's Chickadee
Buttons: from John Lewis

I have to say I love this pattern. It involved a new construction process for me, but it is so much more satisfying than knitting a cardigan in separate parts and then sewing them together (my least favourite part of knitting anything). This pattern begins at the neck and finishes with the entire rib edging. There is NO sewing together, so when you finish knitting the garment is also finished. The only final thing to do is sew on the buttons.

The only part of the pattern I tripped up on was the sizing. I somehow missed the line of information that said there was zero ease at the bust (I think this was on page 4!). The patterns I usually follow has this built in. So, I usually knit a size 34" and it fits me fine. This does fit me, but it is snug, and I can't wear long sleeves underneath the cardigan sleeves. I have a few Boden dresses that are short-sleeved cord, and so I will be able to wear it and enjoy it. I also plan to lose another stone in weight so hopefully this will also help!
I was so impressed with the pattern, and so keen to have more cardigans, I immediately cast on the next one. I changed the bird motif for snowflakes, which I drafted myself. I also decided to make it simpler: no border or multiple colours. I won't use contrast yarn for the cast off either. And I am knitting a 38" size!
What I also like is that Ysolda tells you what yardage of yarn the cardigan will take, rather than how many balls of a specific make. I worked out, from the yardage, that the first cardigan would need 8 balls, but actually I have two balls left. For the 38" cardigan I ordered 9 balls, again of the Wendy Ramsdale, but I anticipate having a couple of balls left over from that too.

I love all of the Wendy Ramsdale DK shades, and at £3.59 a ball that works out at a very cost-effective cardigan! I have become fed up of extortionately-priced wools. I used to be a Rowan devotee for years, and I still buy their wool, but it is becoming prohibitively expensive to do so, and recently I've only bought it for smaller projects - a hat or socks. 
This is Pebble (a bantam hen) and Grape (a bantam cockerel). They are a very sweet pair. Pebble is particularly beautiful. Grape, for now, is an acceptable cockerel. We've had some horrendous ones in the past. 

The weather has been beautiful for the past few weeks. I love cold, bright, Autumnal days.

September has been difficult for us as a family this year. My mum died on September 4th. It is a profoundly sad thing and we are all still adjusting.