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 ☺

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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 !

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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!

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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.

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Pattern by Erika Knight

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

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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″.

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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!

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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.

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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 🙂