Knit improv…(knitting without a plan!)

Raspberry coloured and blackberry stitched cardi!

Somehow it’s March already and I feel like I’ve lost track of the year! The last few weeks have been hectic and I realised I hadn’t knit a single thing in February.

BlackBerry stitch cuff

So before I make a plan for some March knitting, here’s what I finished in January. It’s a child sized cardi.

It started out as an experiment – I wanted to use blackberry stitch for something for myself and just wanted to get knitting without swatching, so I cast on what I though would be enough stitches for a sleeve. But it wasn’t quite big enough to wear without cutting off my circulation 😂!

Tight squeeze sleeve

It did fit very nicely on my daughter’s arm, and the colour really suited her, so instead of ripping it back I decided to make a child sized cardi instead. Because I started this over the Christmas holidays, my muse was about the house all day, so I tried it on her every time she got within arms reach!

Body knit from the hem up
Trying on for size

When it fit to underarm height, I joined the sleeves and body to continue upwards to a circular yoke. I used scrap yarn for the design, which I also made up as I went along.

I gradually decreased the yoke as it got towards the neck, but there was no real method – except to evenly space the decreases on the decrease rows. The no plan approach had worked this far so I kept it up!

Made to include some growing room!

The neckline was finished in rib to match the hem and all that was left was a button band. I picked up stitches along the edge and evenly spaced the buttonholes….

First attempt at the button band

But I wasn’t happy with it…it seemed too thin for the weight of the blackberry stitch and the cardi in general. So for once I actually ripped back some knitting!

2nd attempt at buttonband

I knitted two bands using double knitting, and then Kitchener stitched them to the fronts.

Finished bands attached

The new bands gave it the structure it needed, and I used two large snaps to close it at the yoke and it’s being worn open below the yoke.

Snaps were added to the upper section afterwards

I really enjoyed making this, and because it’s a loose fit, it works really well as an extra layer over a school uniform on the colder days. It should also fit next year, and I might even add a centered zipper along the front instead of the snaps if it gets too snug for the bands to overlap. !

If you want to make something similar…. I loosely based my ‘plan’ for this cardi on info gleaned from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s book Knitting Without Tears. Which I bought after Kate mentioned it in her series on seamless knitting ☺

Cotton summer scarf

Yep a summer scarf…just because there’s no longer an ‘r’ in the month, it doesn’t mean I can expect to be warm! 


I’ve only ever made baby blankets from cotton yarn and wanted to try out something wearable.

I found the free pattern on Ravelry – its slanted and interesting but not too fiddly.  It’s called Filo Biased scarf

I’d say it would be a good second project for a new knitter – it’s mostly garter stitch (plain knitting) with a few other techniques like increasing/decreasing and yarn-overs added in. 


As often happens, I didn’t follow the pattern exactly  – I gradually made my stripes thicker and added in more of the mesh panels because they were nice and quick to knit!

I bought the cotton in a shop called Sorensen Green in Cork city … my brother said it was my kind of shop and he was right … lots of bits and bobs that I didn’t need, but had to buy! 

I did stop at three balls of cotton though – and told myself I had to use those up before getting more. But of course now I’m sorry I didn’t buy more! Especially since they cost less than €2 per ball.

When I got home, my daughter pointed out the yarn colours matched what I was wearing that day … so at least the scarf was guaranteed to match something in my wardrobe !

Anyone else who matches their shopping to their outfit?

I liked the feel of knitting with cotton and am trying to decide what to make next.

 I also love that I could find a pattern after an impulse buy of yarn. Using the advanced search on Ravelry – by selecting my needle size, yarn amount (metres) and free knitting patterns, I could easily pick a pattern from the filtered options. Perfect solution to my habit of buying yarn without knowing what I’m going to make 🙂

Oversized Houndstooth Sweater

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments on my City Cape:) As promised – I’m starting this years knitting posts with my first make of last year…. Somehow it never made it to the blog even though I was pretty chuffed with it !


Super chunky Sweater

The pattern came from Knitting Magazine Issue 121. It was designed by Erika Knight and uses very chunky yarn and 10 & 12 mm needles!


I used a different yarn to the pattern – Pampas Mega Chunky by Wendy which I bought locally.  I would have preferred black and white but my options were limited because I was eager to start straightaway! I also used 8mm and 10mm needles to get the required tension.


Pattern by Erika Knight

The design is knit in fairisle which means the yarn is stranded across the back as you work :


Inside view

This means you are wearing a double layer of thick yarn. Very cosy!

This was one of the first patterns I ever modified.  I had knit half of the front- but it looked so much wider than I would like to wear. So I ripped it back! Something I rarely do, but it was so worth it to get the fit I wanted. I made the smallest size and removed one repeat (10sts) of the pattern from the width.
By removing a repeat from the front and back it meant my sweater became 8″ narrower. With a finished circumference of 40″.


It’s a boxy jumper and meant to be a loose fit. The sleeves come to elbow length. I originally thought it didn’t make sense to knit a very warm chunky jumper with short sleeves? I mean – if it’s cold enough for a thick jumper then surely you want your arms covered too?? But now it makes perfect sense… long sleeves would be too heavy and awkward. It’s perfect with a long sleeved tee underneath so I’m warm enough and still able to move my arms easily while working!


The only other change was out of necessity …… I was running out of yarn! So I couldn’t do a cowl collar – instead I knitted 5″ of ribbing and cast off loosely.


So that’s it – it’s my go-to sweater when I’m feeling cold and just want something easy to wear with jeans!

I’m keen to move onto this years knitting but am still waiting for inspiration to hit – (although seriously considering the Acorn Trail cardi suggestion). Are you knitting anything right now – feel free to share in the comments 🙂