Mimosa Cardigan

Tambourine1Quick, before summer gets here and makes it unbearable to wear this cardigan even for a short photo session!

I haven’t worn it since I finished it two months ago, at first because I hadn’t blocked it yet, and then because even though the weather had not been very warm yet, it was still not cold enough anymore for me to wear such a cardigan. It’s now patiently waiting for its hour of glory on its shelf in the wardrobe, and I’m pretty sure I’ll wear it a lot come fall and winter. I mean, aren’t those circles of nupps adorable?

Tambourine3I don’t think I’ll wear it a lot closed all the way up like this though. I prefer it open; it looks less strict I think.

The lovely pattern is Tambourine by Julia Farwell-Clay, from Pom Pom Quarterly #12, and the yarn is Drops Karisma (colourway 52), which I can only recommend since it’s already my third time using it. I didn’t like the contiguous button bands of the pattern, so I changed them into ribbing I picked up and knit on afterwards. I explained this in more detail on Ravelry.

Tambourine4I also didn’t feel like sewing the sleeves to the body, so I decided to try and replace them with seamless set-in sleeves. After I had done my calculations, I took a look at these instructions and saw that the sleeves of size M used the same number of stitches, so I simply used those sleeves instead of the Tambourine ones. The sleeves are a little bit snugger than expected (it may have something to do with my gauge tightening when I knit in the round), but they are still perfectly comfortable, so no biggie.

Tambourine5I lengthened the sleeves a little bit, too, because with past knitting projects I often forgot that sleeves tend to creep up when you wear them and ended up with too short sleeves.

Even though I haven’t worn it yet for meteorological reasons, I’m really happy with the outcome. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I can’t wait for fall to arrive so that I can wear it though, because that would be much too ironic seeing as how all I can think about right now is summer!

Tambourine2

Mama Mustard Cardigan

Moutarde2When I took a look at my me-made wardrobe before the start of Me-Made-May, I quickly realised that I was pretty lacking in the cardigan department. Cardigans are one of my staples, yet I only knit three of them, isn’t that crazy? So of course I decided my next knitting project would have to be a cardigan.

Moutarde1I still owned a store-bought mustard cardigan that went with virtually everything in my wardrobe, but it had started pilling and showing other signs of age, so I had been thinking about replacing it with a me-made version for a long time. I had some mustard merino yarn in my stash, so I browsed Ravelry by entering its gauge in the search parameters and I came upon Kelly Brooker’s Mama Vertebrae pattern. Aside from the fact that that name freaked me out a little bit (still does: to me it evokes scary creatures with a prominent spine – creepy!), I really liked the simplicity of the pattern, so I immediately bought it and got to work.

Moutarde4I was in-between two sizes and I chose the smallest one because I wanted a close fitting cardigan. I followed the suggestion of stopping the raglan increases early in order to get a smaller armhole and I didn’t cast on more stitches to compensate for the omitted raglan increases when I started working on the sleeves so that I’d get a closer fit on the sleeves. Also for that closer fit on the sleeves, I decreased two stitches every eighth row as suggested in the pattern. I really liked the fact that the pattern is easy to customise to get the fit you want, and also that it is written for four yarn weights!

Moutarde5I initially debated knitting long or 3/4 sleeves, and I opted for the 3/4 sleeves mostly out of laziness, but when I reached the 3/4 length indicated by the pattern, I felt like the sleeves hit my arms at a weird place, so I went on knitting until I felt like they were long enough to be a true 3/4 length. And of course after blocking I realised I had actually knit long sleeves… Happy accident!

Moutarde6Before blocking I was really worried about the number of stitches I had picked up along the neckline: even though I had used Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off, the ribbing pulled the whole front of the cardigan in and I felt like no blocking would be strong enough to make it the right size. Turns out I was totally wrong: once the yarn was wet, it was really easy to get it to conform to whatever shape I wanted it to take.

Moutarde3So this is not the most original knitting project, but it fills a hole in my wardrobe and I can only hope I’ll wear it even half as often as that old store-bought mustard cardigan! Next on the list: a navy cardigan! Can you believe it’s been at least ten years since I owned one?

Marvelous Mustard Mitts

FallMittsOops, didn’t expect such a close up on my plump fingers, ah well!

So you may remember knitting wise I was working on a cotton short-sleeved sweater. Let me just say, starting a summer sweater at the beginning of September… Not my smartest move. The arrival of fall means close to zero motivation to knit anything summery. I begrudgingly managed to knit the back of my sweater and to begin the front part, but so much for my “I don’t do UFOs” rule, I NEEDED A BREAK from it!

FallMitts2Lucky me, my favourite knitting designer had recently released a free fingerless mitten pattern that had my name written on it: I’ve been meaning to knit myself a pair for about, I don’t know, two to three years, yet always chose to knit cardigans and sweaters instead. It’s like I thought it would be a waste of time knitting accessories when I could be knitting cardigans and sweaters, forgetting it takes so much less time to knit such small pieces. Yet I didn’t want to buy any mass produced ones, so my hands have been freezing when I take my bike in the morning (when it’s not cold enough to wear my winter mittens and too cold for bare hands).

FallMitts3But now my hands are saved! I stayed up late and missed some sleep so that I could finish the mittens on time to wear them this morning. About that, I guess you can imagine how hard I laughed inside when a colleague remarked on how tired I looked and how wild my weekend must have been! Nope, I didn’t dare telling him it was knitting that was responsible for my tired face…

FallMitts4Knitting these mittens was really the break I needed, they were a fast and easy knit (you can find a few technical details on my ravelry), yet produced a cute and immediately useful result. I was so happy to wear them today, and I think they pair really well with my shawl and jacket.

Now I’d like to at least finish the front of my summer sweater before I can delve into another knitting project, big or small!