I have a new cardigan to show you! The project has been a long time coming, but I found she was definitely worth waiting for. The pattern is Jenny at the Fair by Mary Jane Mucklestone. When I saw this pattern it was love at first sight, I wanted to cast on right away! But...since I tend to have that with more patterns *ahum* it had to wait a while. But now it's done and ready! The pattern is part of a collection, 'the Rhineback Sweater', edited by Ysolda Teague. Initially the patterns were only available in this collection, but later they were released as individual downloads. Admittedly I was not as sold on the other patterns in the book as I was on Jenny at the Fair. Many designers worked on the book, the patterns reflect this and are very different in style. Most of them are not garments I could see myself knit or wear. So instead of buying the book, I waited for the single patterns.
The cardigan is knitted in the round, with a steek at the front for the opening. I use steeks regularly in my knitting, but often with a sticky yarn, such as Shetland or Icelandic wool. Drops Nepal is a smooth yarn and I was eager (and a bit wary) to see how well it would hold a steek. I've steeked superwash yarn before, so I wasn't too scared to put me off doing it. Steeking smooth yarn is entirely possible, but I will say that I'd recommend reinforcing before cutting. Once you start cutting the yarn next to the cut, that isn't reinforced, stitches will swiftly disappear before your eyes. I steeked, and knitted the button band before blocking. With these types of cardigans it is impossible to block them to certain measurements before the steek.
The cardigan was as fun to knit as it looks (which is a lot!). I loved working the colourwork borders and breezed trough them while knitting. The colourwork motives made for very addictive knitting and I couldn't put it down before knitting "just one more row". The cuff and border have slightly different patterning, presumable to make the chart and numbers add up, but it gives extra interest to the patterning.
The colours remind me of Matryoshka dolls (In Dutch we call them 'baboesjka', an all together different Russian word, for some reason). The bold colours, particularity the combination of dark blue, red and yellow brought them to mind while I was working on the cuffs. My grandmother gave me such a doll when she came back from her travels in Russia when I was about eight years old. The doll has lived on my shelve ever since, looking down on my knitting progress.
I think this cardigan will get a lot of wear. Even though it is a heavily patterned cardigan, the colours are those that I wear a lot. I think the navy and red will tie together with the rest of my wardrobe quite smoothly. I own a similarly (but store brought) heavily patterned cardigan which I have worn to bits, this was the final nudge to start this pattern. It has certainly wet my appetite for more all over colourwork projects. First I have to finish what I'm working on now, and then I'll see what my knitting hearts wants to make next. Might make it into my summer project, when I'm not sucked up in uni work.
Have a great weekend!