Friday, 10 June 2016

Careless whispers

When it comes to accessories, I rarely knit the same pattern twice.  However, when it comes to garments, the opposite is true.  I love to find a basic pattern that I can tweak through stitch patterns, yarn choice and by lengthening/shortening the different elements.

One such pattern is the Whisper Cardigan, designed by Hannah Fettig and first published in Interweave Knits in Spring 2009.  If you click through, you will see that the Whisper has bell sleeves, wispy, curly tails in the front and is quite cropped (8 inches from the underarm if memory serves). None of these elements are particularly appealing, but I really liked the idea of the cardigan.  So I set about making it work for me, and then knit it twice more for good measure.  My modifications are sleeve shape, increases on the body rather than the short rows, edgings to minimise rolling, and some lengthening.

Firstly, the sleeve shape.  Instead of casting on vastly more stitches than required, I cast on almost a sock cuff and knit ribbing for more rows than I cared to, before switching to stockinette and knitting increases at set intervals to the underarm.  I knit as per pattern across the back, as I really like the little gathering detail, and as per pattern for the ribbing all around the shrug portion.

On to the body, rather than knitting short rows and ending up with considerable ‘tails’ on the front, I knit increases on the skirt – starting with every right side row for 3 inches and then tapering off to every 3rd right row, then every 4th, until the end.  The increases are immediately after the edging stitches – which is another modification that I have repeated (though with different patterning) to minimise the rolling.  I did garter rib on the first Whisper but for numbers 2 and 3 I’ve used seed stitch.  I kept the first stitch as stockinette on the right side and then had 7 seed stitches of edging.  I then used seed stitch on the bottom of the cardigan, for 10 rows.  I like the seed stitch edging as it lies flat on the sides and doesn’t pull in so the cardigan still drapes nicely.

The yarn was heavenly – a little cashmere sure makes a difference!  Lovely to knit with, and I alternated skeins through the back (flat knitting only) but didn’t need to because the dye is consistent.  The red is a great true, blue-based red, almost my perfect colour, and the little cardigan is just the thing for a London summer (or a Melbourne spring).

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