Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Skye Cardigan

At last, a finished object - and not another baby cardigan.  After I finished the Pierowall Pullover at New Year, I found myself missing the challenge of following complex charts.  An Advanced search of Ravelry projects threw up a pair of socks - Skye socks by Mary Scott Hough - using a complex chart featuring Celtic spirals.  In the original, very strongly contrasting colours had been used: bright yellow and bright blue. 

For this cardigan I used a cone of Shetland style yarn which had originated in Selkirk - suitably authentic.  I matched that with a sock yarn by Katia, the pink colourway of the one I used on the Pierowall.  The marbling and speckle on the pale base makes the yarn sit well in the tweedy Shetland.

I knew that to attempt armhole or front edge decreases across a complex chart is very challenging, so it was fortunate that the chart for this one fitted almost exactly to the shoulder width, and therefore could be used intact.  I just needed to calculate how many stitches to allow for the front slope and how many for the armhole and cast these on around the panel.

I started with a twisted rib, as this looks neater.  The back is plain, and I did not introduce any waist shaping.  The older one gets, the less one has a waist to worry about.

I puzzled for some time as to how I might mirror-image the chart for the second side, but then it came to me: the answer is right there in the words.  I stood in front of the mirror holding the chart in one hand and the camera in the other and took a photo of the mirror image.  I know there is an app for that, but this was sufficiently high-tech for me - and it worked.  A little cropping of the image, and Bob's your uncle.

Shoulder seams were joined with a three needle bind-off and the sleeves picked up and knit from the top down using short rows.  I did sew the side and sleeve seams, but these seams are always less problematic anyway. 

So, all that remained was the front edge.  I needed something which would not distract from the patterned panels and thought to start by knitting a facing to the topslope and the back neck.  As I cast this off it curled up by itself, exposing the purl side of the facing. Why fight it? I thought, especially as it looked like a special little braided edge.  I picked up the front edges in the same way.  As of now it has no buttons, and perhaps needs none.  It may have some form of closure - perhaps I-cord ties?  I'll see how it wears.

On its first outing it was light, but warm.  It has a certain 40s vibe about it and may yet have shoulder pads fitted.  A success, I think.


elginknitter said...

Just beautiful! I love the chart you used, and the yarns show it off to perfection.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

What a labour of love ! Both the colours and the pattern are beautiful .
Clever trick for reversing the pattern ... I find my little camera invaluable when I'm making a quilt . Without it I'd never remember what I'm supposed to be doing .

MaureenTakoma said...

Well done! How beautiful. From the picture it does look like it might like one closure option at the bust. You're right to think it should be something unobtrusive so the patterning can sing solo.

LizM said...

Wow! It's a wonderful balance between the complexity of the charted pattern and the simplicity of the rest of the garment.

Mary Lou said...

A real thing of beauty. Well done! And it fits you so well.

Anonymous said...

This is stunning. Really lovely.

This must really be Olympic knitting....As a non knitter it looks amazing to me....