Wrapping up 2019: Sewing, Birbs and a tree

January 17, 2020

Hello blog friends, and hello 2020!

Happy new year! May 2020 be what you need it to be. So far it has been off to a heavy start, and this after 2019 proved to not have been exactly a grand year either. I know it gets tiring saying that, but pretending it's different is more tired. I don't tend to make any fixed resolutions at the beginning of a year, but I do however always take some time to reflect on the year gone by. I'd almost considered to skip it this year, what good would that do to anyone, least of all myself?

So, what I'm going to try to do here is look back first at the sewing I did this year, as well as at some other aspects of my year that brought me happiness. If you're interested in my knitting in 2019, I will follow up with a post about that in a few days in which I will talk about a new creative outlet I picked up in 2019 as well.

2019 was certainly a spectacular year in terms of being disappointed in public figures, and if your life has in any way been influenced by a certain School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the year ended with a bang on that front. The making world was certainly not excluded from this. My making as well as my blogging and social presence in general was slow at the start of the year for that reason.

 In the sewing world, a lot of discussion focussed on size inclusion and cultural appropriation, of which the latter in itself mostly focussed on the appropriation of Japanese culture and terms. In the area of size inclusion things have definitely been moving. A considerable amount of indie companies have stated their intention to include a greater size range in the future, and a few are currently working through their backlog of older patterns and reworking that in a more inclusive size range. Additionally this has translated to a greater diversity in models and it's great to see this change happen.

In terms of appropriation and anti racism I have mixed feelings. Certainly in some cases there have been improvements and I'm glad there have been, but not all companies handled criticism as gracefully as others and it went with quite some pain and fragility. The only companies who I feel handled it admirably are Helen's Closet and to an extend Wiksten. I feel that, possibly even more than in the knitting sphere, a lot of discussion was smothered with a blanket of positivity. I sometimes wonder if when something appropriative isn't explicitly naming the source its stealing from, it is recognized as such- as appropriation. I'm glad to see the progress that has been made though, and I hope it will continue this year.

What I have been sewing: 

 I didn't sew much at the start of the year, mostly because what had been happening in the making community as a whole, and partly because my move at the start of the year. I'm a slow maker in general though and my end of the year highlight reel will probably never shine in the quantitative output department. Indeed looking back at last year's review post I think I didn't make that much more. While I don't think being a slower maker necessarily instantly makes the quality of my output better, I have made some things this year that I really love and that have been worn a lot. 

So let's have a look:
The most worn:

I made these two driftless cardigans at the start of the year, and they have been hands down my most worn sewn make this year. To be honest, if I had to make a list of all time most worn clothing that I sewed these two would be on top, and the podium would be rounded out by the first driftless I made in a funky-er colour. This piece of lighter clothing just works really well in my wardrobe for layering. I remember making them one after the other within the span of  week and that is a huge rarity for me (It usually takes me a couple of sewing sessions over the span of a few weeks to finish things). That is testimony to it being a speedy sew sure, but it also is a enjoyable and intuitive pattern that rewards you with huge pockets. I read in the recent Grainline newsletter that this is one of the patterns from their backlog that they are going to republish in a greater size range later this year so that is excellent news!

I wore the charcoal version to go vote in the European elections in the summer. A right wing fascist party was poised to win in my neck of the woods, however it got unexpectedly bested by the labour party! Of course me wearing whatever has nothing to do with the election result, but it now forever gets an honourable mention whenever I talk about this cardigan.
 The Favourite:

My favourite make of the year was the Myosotis dress and it would have been the most worn had the driftless' not existed. A dress in a rust colour orange had long been on my list of things to make and I felt that colour-wise it would fill a huge gap in my wardrobe. It has since been in almost weekly rotation and it made it to the blog in combination with two other makes, Love note and Heart so I think it is fair to conclude it indeed did fill a gap in my wardrobe. 

It is decidedly more a warm weather dress though, and once the weather really got chillier it hasn't been worn that much, so perhaps I'll make a long sleeved dress in this colour at some point as well. 

The Skill Developers:

I started my bra making journey at the end of 2018, but I feel that this year I really took the time to develop my skills in this area. I made the red bra first, and the purple later in the year. I fine tuned the Harriet bra, and worked on a different bra pattern and getting that one to fit. I'm super proud of the bras that I made this year and really feel that I pushed my bramaking skills to a new level. I also think I worked out what style of bras I favour. In a practical sense that means I figured out better what stylelines and cup styles are a good fit for me and on a more superficial level it means that I have a better idea of what fabric and colours I prefer.

That being said, in the second half of the year my bra size changed. Not by a lot but enough to matter. This is a fairly common thing, bodies are not stagnant and bust size changes, big or small, happen pretty regularly. It does mean though that I have to figure out and make tweaks to my bras again, just when I thought I had figured the sizing all out. I don't start from scratch or anything, but I'm going to have to make some adjustments on my future handmade bras this year (until it of course changes again and again...ahahaha). So it looks like my adventures in bramaking are far from over and that it is something that will keep me busy for some time yet.  
The Unexpected:

To round out the year I made the Reggie wrap dress, which was a surprising choice for me. Wrap dresses were never something I gravitated towards, and Reggie is the first one I've worn in my adult life. On first viewing I quite like it, but admittedly I haven't had much opportunity to truly test it's place in my wardrobe since making it in early autumn. It's a mild weather dress, and we are currently in winter here so it's not exactly an extraordinary state of events. I'm excited to wear it later in the year though and see what I make of it then. In the meantime enjoy this well coordinated outfit post.

So as I had a bit of trouble finding joy in crafting in the first half of the year I thought I would talk a bit about the things that brought me joy instead.

I moved at the start of the year to an apartment with a balcony. This is my first time living anywhere on my own where I have my own outside space. I know it's tiny compared to a garden but it's been of a huge influence.

I have enjoyed doing a bit of (balcony) gardening, and growing some of my own stuff and caring for plants has been rewarding. I planted some insect friendly greens and it has been cool to see my balcony, which at the heart of it is just a concrete platform, so alive. At the end of the summer I got a (smallish) tree for my balcony, which took that a step further as I now have birds regularly visit my balcony. Haha, it's a tiny thing, but it's the pride of my apartment. It also ties in with another thing...
Cause I like...Birds

One of the things that brought me the greatest comfort and delight this year is getting into birds more than ever before. Like, I always enjoyed seeing them, but this year I more actively seek them out, and try to find out more about different species etc. I mean I wouldn't call myself birdspotter to the letter though because I don't plan trips specifically, and I don't make spotting rare birds a goal, more like a leisurely low key way of looking out for them more when I'm on my bike or taking walks. It's been cool to see them in forests and around the various ponds, channels and waterways around here, but I have equally enjoyed seeing the city birds surrounding my daily life.

For the autumn and winter months I also put up bird feed around my place and it's been neat to see the type of birds attracted to that and getting to know the preferences of regular visitors.

One foot in front of the other

Despite moving only a relatively short distance, moving house has changed -and you might have noticed this from my project photo's- the nature in the immediate vicinity vastly! I had a lot of fun exploring the fenlands, and seeing its colours change throughout the seasons. The vegetation has a lot in common with the Veluwe heaths that I also visited a couple of times this year, but the entire area has a lot more water and a lot less denivelation and thick woodland. It's been nice slowly exploring these differences, and seeing the seasonal changes in my new area. I found even more contrast when I visited the moody pine forests of the Ardennes in spring - they're relatively close-by, but if only they were close enough to visit them every change of season!

Thanks for taking the time to read this! So this was a look back at my sewing this year, as well as at some other aspects that I have been entertaining myself with. In my next post I'll talk about my knitting as well as a new creative outlet I picked up in 2019. So if that sounds like something that will interest you I'll probably have that post up somewhere in the coming days!

See you then!


In which I am a Christmas Elf

December 23, 2019

Hey everyone,

How is December treating you all? As more and more lights appear on people's balconies, in windows and in gardens, the holidays are almost there. With it, the weather is finally suitable for wearing all my knits again, and my diet is doing a test of how much cinnamon it can incorporate. I had a nice wrap dress ready to show to you! While I think the dress itself is best suited to early autumn and spring, I feel it has proper Christmas elf attire feels to it so I thought it would be great to make her my last pre-christmas post to go up here!

(Also, if you are inclined to worry, don't mind the state of my arms, these photos where taken on a very mild day. Alternatively worry about climate change which causes so many mild days this year.)

Wrap dresses are not a style I usually go for, in fact I'm pretty sure this is the first one in my adult life. I feel like a lot of them are not super suited to my shape. Normally I'm pretty firmly in camp "bollocks to that, just wear what you like" but that train of thought kinda hits a wall when you try to make things work for you that are - very clearly - not drafted for your body shape. It's one of the reasons why I've been waffling over making the Kielo wrap dress for, oh I don't know, years? I have seen a lot of beautifully made versions, making me want to make one too, but I was never sure if it suits my body and so far I've not seen many versions that convince me that it does. Anyway, all that is to say that it massively helps to have models and/or testers that show a diverse range.

This, however, is the Reggie Dress by Seamwork, a brand that I feel has been a trailblazer in the sewing community in terms of inclusive size ranging as well as showing a greater diversity in models. While that is not to say that there aren't things they could improve upon, I still appreciate them for doing it from the onset. Seamwork focusses on no fuss everyday type of wear. This is the second seamwork pattern I made, the first one was the Jane that I made last year in a effort to make more basics. While I think that overall goal had been successful, the Jane has not been worn so much so I thought I'd give the brand another shot with this dress. 

I wanted to make this wrap dress since it came out a while back. Like most of the dresses I like to wear it is quite a basic, easy to wear, no fuss dress but with a bit of added interest from the wrap, the bow and the puff sleeves. Similarly to the Myosotis I made a few months back, it is meant to fit slightly oversized, so it has a generous ease built in. Another feature is the empire waist, which I think might be one of the reasons this dress works so well for me. Part of why I struggle with wrap dresses is, they have to fit well in the bust area, which can be a problem if you are either significantly smaller or larger than the bodice block used.  Another reason why I wanted to try this pattern was because the model used in the photos made me think that it could also work for me (YAY!).

I used a very similar fabric as the sample dress, the only difference mine being red-white gingham instead of black and white. I bought this fabric when I just started my dressmaking journey and then didn't really know what to do with it. In the Autumn I decided that my next make was going to be with this fabric, when I started brainstorming about what pattern to use my mind went to the Reggie. This order of things is quite unusual for me, I am almost never a fabric first, pattern second sewist, but I think it worked out beautifully here. So what you do need to know is that this dress is a fabric eater! Like this might be super obvious to you, because it is a wrap dress, but you'll be making 3 full sized skirt panels. If you have your heart set on a fabric in your stash that won't cut it with your yardage, there is a members bonus that replaces the wrap with a gathered skirt.

The only thing I changed was take of length of the skirt, which given that I'm short, is quit a usual mod for me. Normally this goes super smooth, but in this case I had a mild drama moment where I cut off more length than I intended. I don't know what went wrong, but I essential cut it to the length I wanted it to end and not to the length - PLUS - seam allowance. To solve this as best as I could I decided to hem the skirt with bias tape, like you'd do a shirt (so the bias tape ends on the back of the hem) instead of the double turned hem. In this way I only lost some mm of skirt length to the skirt finishing, whereas other wise it would be a couple of cm. I'm happy with the skirt length now, which I think is about the same as in the sample. It's on the short side, but I think that works well to balance out the fullness of the dress.

Ok, so my only regret with this dress is that I didn't put in pockets. There are no pockets in the pattern, and I didn't know if there was a reason in-seam pockets might not work with wrap dresses (can you tell I'm a wrap dress noob?) so I didn't add them myself. Turns out there is no reason whatsoever, and I could have just put them in there. We'll see if it annoys me enough after having worn it a couple of times. I might yet take a seam ripper and put them in anyway.

Because it is December and I had to go full Yule Nisse on you, I paired it with this red-white store bought colourwork cardigan that I think I've had for maybe 8 years? I try to make my clothes work for as long of the year as possible, which means I layer dresses such a these a lot. I think it might be something I want to show more often. I know it is helpful to see full detail shots of sewn stuff, but I also greatly enjoy see sewist share outfits with how their makes work in everyday life. I noticed that looking back I really like seeing my orange Mysotis paired with my knits for the posts on Love Note and Heart. I didn't even think about it at the time, cause I'm used to always having to style knits with other things, but I don't do it the other way around with sewn stuff. 

I'm quite taken with the end result. It has some features that had you described it to me, without me seeing the pattern. I would probably have passed on the project all together; wrap style, puff sleeves, no pockets. But I'm glad I went with it. It's a playful, and styled like this a bit whimsical, but should I in the future want to ooze less Christmas elf vibes I think it could be styled in loads of ways, and I have some ideas of stuff I want to try once it is more weather appropriate. I'm not wishing the days away though yet, I love winter.  Sending warm thoughts to you, and wishing those who celebrate the festive period in whatever way a loving time.



Orkney's Second Winter

December 06, 2019

Hey Makers,

I hope this last month of the year is treating you well. I'm enjoying these frosty days and witnessing the change of autumn to winter. Autumn held on long this year, and while most trees have now lost their leaves they held on exceptionally long (it even made the news here!). While most trees have barren branches these days, and some swapped their leaves for twinkle lights, my balcony tree has only now started to turn yellow and letting go of her leaves! 

I thought this would be a good time to squeeze out a post and finish my unintentional series of catching up with the previous autumn/winter's projects. I knit this Orkney cardigan in the autumn last year, and finished her just before the year's end. I posted quite a few progress photos and updates on my instagram at the time but never followed up with the finished thing. Reasons for that are mostly the same as what happened with the Riddari sweater I made: in other words, my move and my cat's illness drama that happened around the same time. So it is time to put my memory muscles to work to remember the details of this project and then I will be, dare I say it, up to date with all my big knitting projects!

Orkney had been in my queue for ages, ever since it was published in Rowan's Autumn-Winter magazine back in 2012. Back then I thought the design was gorgeous but felt too intimidated to start knitting it. Even when I had substantially more colourwork under my belt and had confidently made my first allover I was still a bit daunted by it. After I finished both Windermere and Unst however, I really couldn't come up with any excuses as to why not to cast it on. So I made the decision to, at last, go for it (imagine Etta James singing accompanying this post at your own leisure).

In regards to the colours for Orkney, I had a different approach than I had with  Unst where I overhauled the entire pattern palette. For this cardigan I used some of the same or similar colours that are also used in the pattern, and only changed those that weren't speaking to me. Partly this was because I used stash yarn, originally bought for a different project and wanted to work with what I had as much as I could. Another reason is that felted tweed has a more limited colour palette so there are less colours to play around with to begin with.

I used 13 colours, as did the original design. However, I swapped some colours here and there in the patterning for various reasons. Sometimes it was because I preferred a different colour in that motif or I wanted to go for a different mood. Once I swapped a colour because I was afraid I would otherwise run out of one of the ribbing colours (it was a close call, but didn't happen). Once it was because I was knitting in a darkened room while watching a film and found out that I used a wrong colour in one of the pattern bands - I like living on the edge with my colourwork! Since I liked how it looked (and to be honest, the colour I was supposed to use was very similar) I just finished the colourwork band like that.

This was the first time I used Rowan Felted tweed. I can hardly believe how many years of knitting it took me to get to this yarn, which most Rowan fans consider a true workhorse yarn. I am usually more drawn towards yarns with only one fibre or a mix of two fibres, whereas felted tweed mixes wool, alpaca, manufactured fibres/viscose. I do get it now though: this yarn is really nice stuff, it feels great and knits up beautifully. If you have a sensitive skin, you may well get a lot of enjoyment out of a yarn like this.

Downside of this yarn is that it has a smaller colour palette (although, for Rowan yarn line standards it is almost a big range), much smaller than other renowned colourwork yarn brands such as those from Shetland, Iceland and Norway. Felted tweed also has a more muted colour palette, so if your into colours with more of a bang you might struggle to get a nice selection here. I wouldn't really call the colours super heathered, but the tweediness gives it a beautiful and more complex effect. I feel the overall colour range leans more towards pastel colours (there is one true red, where there are at least 5 different pink colours). Because of this, and because I limited myself to largely use what I already had, I had a harder time to get my colours to spark when used in combination and sometimes feel that the overall effect dulled and washed out the colours a bit. One of the interesting things about this pattern is that sleeves and body have different patterning and use different colour combinations. Instead of mirroring each other, they echo each other, which made playing around with colours even more interesting. It equally made it harder to go wild with colours cause the colours need to work together on a larger colour range and the overall effect needed to be cohesive.

I did like knitting with the yarn and I think some of the colours are really beautiful so I can see myself using this yarn again in the future. I have quite a lot of leftovers so I will use those at some point anyway. But largely because of the more limited palette, and colour focus I don't think this will ever become a huge workhorse yarn for me.

The cardigan is worked flat in the pattern but as I usually do with colourwork garments that are worked flat, I converted it to be worked in the round. Orkney was no different, I put in steeks for the centre opening of the cardigan, the armholes and the sleeve caps. I put in 5 steek stitches per steek.

I went up an needle size and went with needle size 3.5 and 4 instead of the recommended 3 and 3.5 needles.  Additionally I went up a size from the regular size I wear. I extensively read the project notes on Ravelry and almost all of them either mention that they increased their size because they were cautioned for it or people saying they wished they did. In any case, with such a strong consensus that the cardigan was a bit snug in its sizing, I followed suit. After Unst I wanted to make an allover with more added ease for a different fit, so I'm happy with my decisions to achieve this.

 One of the things I often do with Rowan and Marie Wallin patterns is to make a paper copy of the chart which I then colour in pencil as I go along for a smoother knitting experience. I do this with any colourwork pattern that has black and white charts and recommend doing this if knitting from symbol charts bothers you. If these charts are the reason you never knitted a Rowan pattern for example, this is a small "trick" that will perhaps make it a lot more accessible for you.

I added a ribbed button band, because I prefer that look. I thought it a shame to break up the fair isle patterning with buttonholes and buttons. I went back and forth a bit whether to do it in corrugated ribbing, like the neckband, sleeve and hem ribbing. In the end I wend with a single colour rib band, again after comparing some projects on Ravelry.

One of the good things about posting about a project after you've finished it for a good few months is that I have a more complete insight of how this cardigan works in my actual life. A year onward, I can more easily identify some of the aspects that I would do differently were I to make this cardigan again. So, one of the things I would change is the neckline shape. I didn't noticed this in the pattern photo, because it's worn open at the top, but it is more open than I anticipated and also more square. Anyway it is not a huge problem, but it doesn't combine as well with with some of the stuff in my wardrobe so in a redo I'd change that for a round neckline. I would probably also lengthen the garment a smidge. The current length is neither cropped nor normal/regular length but sits somewhere in between that. Don't get me wrong, these are relatively small things that irk me a bit at times, but I've been wearing it a ton nonetheless.

So, there we are. All the knits that had been waiting in the wings are blogged, ravelled and out on instagram. On the one hand it feels a bit weird to no longer have this list of knits that I still needed to post about in the back of my mind any more, but I'm mostly relieved to have them done. I'm not super hung up on instantly putting my makes online or only counting them 'done' after I have -ha, as I amply have proven over the past year- but it is nice to share them with you all (I mean, otherwise what is the point of me having this blog?) and I know some of you had been wondering about the WIPs on my instagram, so here they are.

Pattern: Orkney
Designer: Marie Wallin
Source: Rowan Magazine 52
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed

Enjoy the fairy light season!


Thanks, it has pockets

November 15, 2019

It is about time I show you this cardigan I knit at the start of this year. I cast on in late 2018 and finished her early next spring. I knit most of it in the middle of that year's emergency cat surgery drama, said cat's long recovery, and moving house. Not the best circumstances for choosing a cabled cardigan as my main knitting project!  I think I subconsciously felt the need to knit myself a warm hug during that period. A very *long* hug apparently. (Pippi Longstockings would have said it was knitted with a giraffe in mind!). Spoiler alert: a super long cabled cardigan, particularly knitted in those circumstances, is not a mega quick project despite using bulky yarn. This Aran cardigan with chunky cables in bulky wool was just what I needed at the time. I think it was also the project that my cat needed at the time too, because in a lot of the photos of her time recovering from surgery, she is napping on this project. 

Kim Hargreaves was the first "big name designer" I came in contact with when I just started knitting. I knew she had recently gone independent from some big company -I didn't even know it was Rowan at the time- and had a huge following and reputation. I think she was the first to make the move to go independent and focus on self-publishing her pattern books. This was at a time when Ravelry was going through what most people now see as the golden window of time to sell .pdf patterns. Looking back I still think she was a trailblazer in certain areas; going independent after being the face of a big design house, publishing her own books, organizing her own photo shoots, owning her own publishing company and reinventing herself with a consistent style. These are career steps which in the past few years have become almost mandatory if you want to make your living as a designer of patterns. 

Someone in the knit group I went to at the time was a huge fan of hers, and had all of the independently published books at that time. This definitely fuelled my fan development. For a while I was a diligent follower of her work. Thinking back to that time, I can see what elements of her work spoke to me. I was still very much searching for and figuring out my style in terms of knitting, making and the way I wanted to dress and present myself. I needed some time so sift through things, develop myself as a maker and see what spoke to me and what didn't. There are elements to Hargreaves' style of work that I know don't speak as much to me now as it did then. I admire her classic lines and minimalist influences, but these days I know that specific style is not for me. However, her more involved projects, her updated takes on traditional knitwear such as fishermen and Aran sweaters are designs that definitely do have a place in my wardrobe.  If a design of hers involves lots of cabling and texture, then I'm almost sure I'll like it.

These days I no longer collect her work. I think she now focusses on capsule collections and the minimalist clean style that often goes hand in hand with those is not what I'm looking for in my knitting. In fact, in a funny turn of events, I would now even say I'm more interested in her earlier work that she did with Rowan and perhaps the earlier independent books, than her current work. Her name will always be a big name in knitting for me though, maybe not on par with Alice Starmore, but definitely close.

When I decided I wanted to make a cabled cardigan with traditional elements I first looked at patterns at Ravelry, but I couldn't really find anything that I liked well enough. Brooklyn tweed has a lot of gorgeous cabled designs, such as the well loved Rowe, but I was looking for something with a more pronounced nod to traditional Aran sweaters. Surprisingly I found them a bit thin on the ground. I briefly considered using a vintage pattern to make my cabled cardigan dreams come true, and I might still do that at some other time. I decided to look over my collection of Hargreaves' books to see if there was something in there, and when I saw this Heart pattern from her book North I knew it was a good candidate. It had a lot of elements that I was looking for and when I realised I could match it with yarn I already had the deal was done. 

Pattern: Heart
Designer: Kim Hargreaves
Source: North (2014)
Ravelled here

I used absolutely ancient stash yarn for this project. Again, it's from a time where I didn't know what I liked to knit or wear. Soon after I bought this, I began to figure that out more and more, which is also the reason why it had been in my stash for so long. The pattern calls for Rowan Brushed fleece, which is a light bulky, fuzzy, kind of felted yarn in a mix of fibres. The yarn I substituted it with is in many ways nothing like it, save that it's also a light bulky yarn. This yarn is plied, worsted spun and smooth, showing of cables and texture better, it is a 100% wool in a natural sheep colour.

I did have a wild moment in this project when I had an instance of dye bath drama. The label clearly said each ball should be the same dye bath as the rest of the skeins, but the knitted up fabric clearly said "Haha! No.". Did I mention I only realised said dye bath drama when I was close to finishing up the back on the cardigan, I peered down at my work and spotted that stripy wreckage close to the ribbing?  Can you tell I knitted this project in peak dark season in an apartment that did not have great lighting? I was so flabbergasted when I noticed it, both about the fact itself and about it going unnoticed so long. I couldn't believe it, so much so that I mad a quick dash to the paper bin to double check that my dye baths where in fact the same and I hadn't just made up that bit (this is why we hold on to those labels, kids!). The weirdest bit is that it was only a relatively small stripe of discolouring while the skeins I used are huge.  Now, one of the skeins was pre balled in 3 smaller balls, which I had stored together in a small closed plastic bag with the label tossed in. The only reasonable explanation to me is that one of the balls got significantly discoloured because of sunlight/storage unaffected. It's still an unsatisfactory explanation because I stored them along with the rest of the skeins and only one of the smaller balls was effected, and it was actually darker than the rest of the yarn!? The only other reason I can think of is that the yarn gnomes just tossed in a random ball of yarn to have a good laugh and confuse me.

Since I found out about the dye bath drama when I had almost finished the back of the cardigan I wasn't feeling much for just ripping out all that so I decided to see whether there was a way to salvage the project. I briefly debated about maybe over dying the whole thing when it was done. However I decided against that as the dye bath difference was quite pronounced and dyeing the whole thing would be no good if the colour difference would still be there, just in a different colour. 

I then decided to look into in-pattern grafting. This seemed like an option worth trying because in that way I would be able to keep most of the work I did on the body and only get rid of the discoloured stripe. It turns out it is totally doable, I used this tutorial about grafting in-pattern so you can go there if your curios about the actual grafting part. What I did to fix the dyebath mistake was go to the end of the piece of knitting I did in the darker colour, untied the knot there and frogged that entire piece. I could keep most of the ribbing, but frogged the discoloured part, and reknitted it to the right length again. I then knit half of the cable pattern after the ribbing, in order to have the cables start at the same point as the two front pieces and then grafted it back together in pattern with the rest of the body that I left on holder. It is not entirely an invisible perfect join, it might have been if I had practised more and made more of a fuss about it. But not entirely perfect is good enough for me,  especially in this spot where it is a bit out the way anyway. In this way I lost considerably less of my work than I would otherwise and while it was a bit fussy it didn't take me more than a day to get it done.

So as you might have gathered by now, this cardigan is constructed in pieces and. While I knit most of my sweaters in the round I'm not actually averse to knitting in pieces and seaming. The thing is just that for colourwork allovers and yoke sweaters it makes no sense to me to knit in pieces when you could also do it in the round, so I never do it there. A cabled sweater is another beast altogether where knitting it in the round doesn't have the advantages it has when knitting colourwork. To be honest, knitting a long cabled cardigan in the round doesn't sound appealing to me at all. So I didn't.

Other than the dyebath tinkering I had to do I made one obvious mod to this cardigan. I made the V-neck less deep, and less gradual. More of a normal V-neck than the deep-V neckline the original has. I prefer normal V-necks anyway but then  I saw that a couple of other people on Ravelry did the same which made the decision to do it easy cause I could compare both necklines at a glance (this is one of the reasons I love Ravelry so much, please keep uploading your projects there). Seeing the pictures I feel this was a good decision.

One heads up: the button band instructions are not terribly helpful. It just says knit it and make 6 buttonholes in it. This of course allows you more freedom, and I personally would have to tinker with the buttonholes anyway because of my neckline mods but might be something to keep in mind if you were to make this cardigan. I went for more buttons because of my higher neckline and didn't want to make the spaces between buttonholes super large. 

I'm really pleased with this cardigan. While I was knitting it I had some doubts about the colour. I naturally gravitate towards colour in my making, and while I love natural sheep colours it is more in my nature to combine them with other colours then just use them on their own. Even though a natural coloured Aran cardigan was kind of the whole point of making this thing in the first place, as it grew and grew I started to wonder if  all those oatmeal cables might overwhelm me a bit. Once it all was finished up, seamed and all, I knew I need not to have doubted. The cardigan feels very me (and because I am me I will probably always prefer wearing it with warm or autumnal colours but given my wardrobe that shouldn't be a problem). I'm wearing it here with my Myosotis dress I made a couple of months ago and it might be my favourite thing to combine this cardigan with. On top of that it is super cosy and warm (it might not look like it given the sunshine, but it was super cold when we were taking these photos), IT HAS POCKETS, and given the memories attached to this project in times of need, it feels like the big hug I promised to knit for myself.

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