I mentioned I might be doing a bit of knitting this year.
So far I managed to make a second sweater for my son, which I will have a go at shortening. I also made something nice for myself. I used another Purl Alpaca design – the Cyrene jacket – as I had such great success with the Lorelle sweater. I chose Alpaca Rain – a greyish brown taupe (natural English alpaca yarn) and started knitting it before Christmas. I actually finished it a few weeks ago, and have been wearing it a great deal.
It is far from perfect.
My first attempt was very confusing as I couldn’t really understand how to deal with the moss stitch border, as this post elaborates.
My second attempt was much better, although this time I struggled with the sizing. I started making the extra small (as advised by Tracey and Kari-Helene), but I just couldn’t believe it would fit round my hips. I had no confidence in the shape, and even though I was along way down the line I unravelled it completely and started knitting the small. Then I thought it might be a bit big on the waist and shoulders so went back to the extra small. I made up the sleeves and they seemed to be about 2″ too long. I generally prefer a slightly shorter sleeve (so I can check the time surreptitiously). I hummed and ha-ed – should I rip it back and re-make them? I just couldn’t face it. So the fit is maybe a little weird and possibly unbalanced.
I am not really sure about the longer back. It is practical and warm. It has a kind of peplum look, but I think I would have prefered to have an even hem (I am slightly averse to high low hems of all descriptions). But I think it looks OK and maybe helps reduce the appearance of larger hips. What do you think?
The collar and lapels are sort of unstable, but I think that is a nice feature – they sort of flap up and down as they please. I have a brooch on in the outdoor photos so one side is anchored and the other is free. I think it is a very nice pattern and lots of people have complemented the cardigan – saying it looks like I bought it, and that it is an expensive item. I would recommend it – if I knitted it again (my Mum wants one….) it would be a fairly quick make as the yarn is thick and it only has one piece, plus the sleeves.
I have found that when you press these items and wash them they seem to loosen up a bit. But the texture of this item is much firmer than the Lorelle. As I guess it should be, as a jacket. Overall I am finding it a versatile, comfortable, fairly dressy cardigan that goes with everything.
And I am inordinately proud of managing a cardigan/jacket. I have done button holes! I did short rows! I knitted both sleeves at once! I sewed on vintage buttons (with thread – should that have been wool?)! I made a collar!! Set in sleeves! I made a fitted item! Why – I feel like I have just landed a jumbo jet. Not long ago this would have seemed the most unlikely project for me.
So what now?
I have started this jumper. It involves colour work in peerie stripes. It is knitted top down in four ply wool, and I am finding it pretty hard going. I have mucked up the tension. It maybe too small. The raglan transistions are non too tidy. I have lots of loose ends… Argggh.
However I have learnt to knit with the yarn on both hands. This is a revelation and quite good fun, although keeping the tension right is really hard. The colour work rows are improving as I work down the jumper. I will persevere as this involves lots of learning, and I am using inexpensive yarn and the colours are left over bits.
I mentioned I love the Ankestrick patterns, available on Ravelry and Love Knitting. I bought Heavenly (which is very similar to the Lorelle in terms of shape and construction style). Once I have familiarlised myself with the colour work I will do one of these. Then maybe I will move on to cables. Then socks!