Anyone who follows me on instagram knows this cardigan has been a labour of love for a while now (and will have already seen some of the photos below). It’s on hold temporarily while I work on a lace scarf (with the help of Woolarium) but I’m actually nearly there. It’s Andi Satturlund’s Hetty pattern .
I was careful about knitting a gauge swatch and blocking it properly. Thankfully, I came out right on track after blocking, as you can (kind of) see from the before and after shots.
I’m using Quince & Co Opsrey in Winesap, from Suzy Hausfrau. And I LOVE it. Easy to work with and non-itchy, which was always a worry for me, because even soft merino makes me itch like crazy usually.
At least in relation to the back body piece, I was also careful to put in lifelines, which helped enormously. I actually think the process of being so careful with the lifelines meant I made fewer mistakes. It seemed to help my concentration (but cf the sleeves of doom later on, when I didn’t bother with lifelines and made mistakes constantly, causing much aggressive cursing as I ripped and tinked my way back…a lesson also learnt the hard way with my lace scarf). The lifelines are the purple embroidery cotton running through the repeats:
And because it was my first time ever knitting something so big and so complex, I wrote out the repeats row by row, to help me tick them off as I went. I would probably only need one small chart for myself to repeat in future, but I think it was a good way to start for my first cardigan.
And it turned out, this was a good discipline to keep, because once I got over the shoulders, into decrease land, I couldn’t get by without charting The. Whole. Pattern. Perhaps more experienced knitters get by without this. But I couldn’t manage to wrap my brain around the lace repeats and intermittent decreases and how to fit them in at the edges (without missing a yarn over or slip/slip/knit and ending up with the wrong number of stiches) unless I literally charted every row. I found it completely essential.
Picking up stitches for the seamless shoulder, and then shaping it with short rows, were both firsts for me. I’d never done either and I was pretty pleased with how it worked out:
I found some online tutorials for this process really helpful. Fluff and Fuzz on short rows. Cotton and Cloud on short rows. And Purl Bee on short rows too. It’s picking up the wrap on the back row, which isn’t specified in the pattern, that I was a bit slow figuring out. But I don’t find it so challenging now.
This is where I’d gotten up to before leaving for Japan. You can see in the bottom picture there’s a mistake in the pattern, which I had to rip back and fix, but it’s under control now. By the time I got home from holidays at the end of January I had finished the body and the waistband ribbing and knit half of one sleeve. I’m now nearly finished the second sleeve and all that will be left is picking up and knitting the button band and neckline. It’s fascinating to see a seamless knitting pattern take shape and I can’t wait to finish.