Pattern: Chimney Fire by Melissa J. Goodale from Stick Chick Knits
Cost: $8.40 (£6.59) for pattern and £62.94 for 6 skeins, so about £56 on the cardigan, so total cost excluding labour is around £63 for 100% merino wool hand knitted cardigan.
Value = Priceless 😀
What I learnt
- There must be thousands of easier cardigans to have started with…but I love it more because it wasn’t easy.
- A circular tray on my knee worked well in protecting the already knitted parts, especially when doing the arms which involved a lot of turning the whole project.
- I now can really read my stitches and became expert at correcting mistakes, going down a few rows in a cable to correct the twist and correcting the odd rogue American Moss Stitch (AMS) that went wrong (turned to rib look).
- If you spend 2 months knitting something it is easy to forget some early mistakes and frustrations!
- Safety lines are so important for your sanity, I had 2 occasions to go back to some of mine.
- Don’t unpick a cable until you are 100% its wrong!!! I unpicked the back of the neck not realising it was intentionally different, as the cables were starting to go the other way round!!
- The pattern doesn’t use as many stitch markers as I used and my extra ones definitely helped me know when to switch off doing the AMS and doing the front panel cable sections.
- For cables with an R you put stitches on the holder in the Rear! R = R
- This wool grows a lot during blocking!!!! I did one more 16 row repeat than needed as I was worried it would be too short! I don’t think it needed the extra repeat as its grown a few inches. The sleeves I thought maybe too short are now folded at the cuff after it grew during blocking. I decided to take the pins out when it was still damp and lifted and re-laid it a few times with less stretch in the stitches to improve length issue.
- Despite being in the same dye batch each skein did vary in shade, which is why the bottom and bottom of the arms are a darker shade.
- I thought about adding pockets but worried they’d be a disaster and ruin it, so I am not 100% confident yet.
- I am the world’s most impatient blocker…I used a hair dryer to speed up the drying!!! Probably a thousand reasons not to but I lack patience, so what’s a girl to do!
- Spending some planning time early on is worth it, such as
- Print the pattern pages on single side of paper, not double sided (as you need different parts of the pattern at the same time)
- As there are 3 different pattern repeats in the upper body it is worth listing these in 3 columns (upper body row, arm cable row and front cable row) and don’t throw it away as you need to remember where the arms were up to! (See below image.)
- A baking tray, magnets and a cook book holder worked well for sticking the various pattern sections, list of row numbers and for me I needed reminders of which moves to do on the ‘make one left and right’ (M1L and M1R) and initially needed reminder about the left and right cables but now I’ve got it.
Overall I am thrilled it is finished, its the biggest project I have ever done and it took hundreds of hours to complete but I love it!