Tag Archives: knitted cardigan

recording history

I once blogged about the scarcity of photographs reflecting my handiwork (sorry, I’d link to it but it’s among the lost posts). Recently, however, I’ve had cause to review that notion. Perhaps my handiwork is so much a part of everyday life that I forget it’s there. We have tablecloths and table napkins that are in use on a daily basis and whose appearance in photos is as unobtrusive as they are; but they’re there, utilitarian objects quietly doing what they’re intended to do. Lavender bags are everywhere, if fewer of them in photos. Sewn and knitted garments are often seen on folk and my recent Very Large Photo-scanning project, which saw me trawling through thousands of hard copy photos, made me realise anew that when you wear your own handknits, you just wear them and get on with life.

Perennial favourite jumper

Quite early in the morning. I’m wearing my perennial favourite jumper and Dr B a matching beret. My Dad and younger sister had been adventuring with us on our (very steep) property. We were then still living in a caravan!

It turns out that I have photos of myself in most of the jumpers I’ve ever knitted (I can’t explain the missing two, except to think that perhaps I might have been camera-less around that time). The one above appears in many photos. I started knitting it before I left for Italy, put it away so I could knit a thick jumper for each of us, then hauled it out and finished it while I was in Italy. If you look carefully, you’ll see that Dr B is wearing a little beret made from some of the leftover yarn. I knitted a pair of socks and a beret for myself, too.

There’s no photographic record of the large, warm jacket I knitted and wore for years, at least not in my photos. Someone else might have one. I even have photos of myself in clothes that I’ve made, just incidental to everyday life. There are photos of my nieces wearing the christening gown I knitted. I know there’s a photo of Eldest Niece wearing the little angel top I knitted, though that’s not in my own collection. I know there are photos of her wearing the boatneck jumper I knitted as well as the stripy cardigan, because I have a recollection of seeing such things in other people’s photo albums. (And, by golly, that boatneck jumper was gorgeous!)

So, as I struggle with a backlog of WISPs – let’s call them, rather than the UFOs they’re rapidly becoming – it’s heartening to know that, yeah, I do finish things and people do wear them and they look all right (we might except the abovementioned stripy cardigan which, although a lovely garment, was rather large for its recipient; but, you know, she grew into it and it looked fine then and all the other kids would have worn it, too). One jumper I knitted for Dr B even made it onto national TV. Now that’s fame for you! There are any number of shots of us wearing my handknits among the photos recording our life in Italy. Those thick, warm jumpers were just the thing for those snowy winters. There are photos to prove it.


Posted by on August 16, 2013 in Knitting, Photography, Sewing


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half a leg, half a leg – onwards!

The purple cardie has been frogged. Goodbye, purple cardie

The purple cardie has been frogged. Goodbye, purple cardie

That was rather a lot of work to unpick. But, what the heck. Now I’m doing something different with a plain yarn (at Dr B’s urging). You know the lovely thing about 200g balls of yarn? You can do a lot before you run out. And the good thing about doing a cardie all in one to the underarm? Think how much you’ve achieved by the time you get there! The downside to both of those, especially in combination? You feel like you’re never going to get to the end of that ball of yarn, no matter how furiously you knit. And you can’t believe how long it’s taking to have something worthwhile to wave about by way of explanation as to how busy you’ve been. If you’d done the pieces separately, why, you’d have the back finished.

Also, photos are very boring. Just large swathes of cranberry-coloured stocking stitch (and a couple of inches of good-looking 1×1 ribbing). However, I’ve done about 10″ of the cardie so the dividing for back and two fronts is not far away (in other words, I’ve almost caught up to where I was on the purple cardie, where I’d knitted 13″). For me, that’s good progress. It’s a bit lumpier than my usual output but part of that is, I think, that I’m getting lots of interruptions, so it’s being put down and picked up more than is good for its smoothness. Never mind, the lumpiness will certainly block out when finally I reach that stage.

Meanwhile, it’s back to the Bendigo Woollen Mills’ Classic 12 ply in combination with the faithful Patons Classic pattern (a good match). I’m using shade 664 which is cranberry and Patons Classics Book 102 Raglan Cardigans for Ladies pattern number 1 in size D/95 mm. I’d probably normally fall into the category of tight knitters (rather than loose, if you had to err either side) but I’m using needle sizes recommended for average knitters because they gave me correct tension/gauge. I knit more loosely on circulars (even when knitting to and fro). That means I’m using UK 4/6 mm and UK 8/4 mm (a confusing combination when you write it down).

Oh, and I’m still trying to find a job, of course.


Posted by on August 6, 2013 in Knitting


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not smug, just satisfied

That would be me as I start finishing off a few projects I’ve had lying about the place for a while, including the chevron-style scarf that wasn’t really lying about the place so much as something quick to keep me occupied while I thought about which other project to tackle next. I don’t like huge amounts of unfinished projects although I think they’re a necessary part of how I knit (different projects for different purposes). I’m even just about ready to get back to Nonna’s cardigan.

More immediately, however, I tinked a couple of inches of my Noro Silk Garden scarf and am now making good progress on that. Being simply a two-row sriped 1×1 rib (knitted with two balls of yarn and definitely inspired by Jared Flood‘s mouthwatering version), it’s good sit-and-knit stuff and does me nicely for commuting in the car (if perhaps not so well in a bus because it’s on straight needles). That will be a good thing to have out of the way and ready for use. Winter is definitely here, however late it might have been in its arrival, and I need a good, thick scarf. The chevron-style one is lovely as a neck warmer but it’s not really heavy duty enough for those cold, cold morning walks that I undertake while YoungB rows and Dr B cycles.

As to Nonna’s cardigan? Yeah, well, I’d have been a little less hasty about using the old one as a sizing template if I’d seen her in it before I cast on for the new one. I washed and mended the old one, as much as I could, and sent it back to her. Then we happened to go out somewhere and I saw her wearing it. Though I don’t doubt it was originally the right size, by now it’s obviously too small. Oh, dear. So I’m actually going to have to frog 13 inches of work on a cardigan knitted in one piece to the armhole. You can see why I’ve stalled on that for a while. I know she’ll love a new cardigan and all that, but, you know, I’m feeling a bit defeated there and wondering if I’ll actually have enough yarn. We’ll see. I’m sure I can come up with some sort of solution, but I need to keep knitting while I’m thinking about what that solution might be.

Once I finish the Noro scarf, I have a couple of other small projects that I can probably get back to before I need to tackle the cardie again (I’ll frog it and leave the yarn to de-kink in the meanwhile). There are some mitts and a pair of lovely socks (the latter for myself) that ended up at the bottom of the list for a variety of reasons mostly relating to other people’s need for other, more important and definitely more urgent, things. Those little undertakings deserve to be shaken off and finished so that I can then devote some serious time to the Ursula mittens, doing a cardie of some sort for Nonna and making a start on YoungB’s jumper (that would be the one I’m going to make for his 21st birthday in three years’ time; if I start soon, I should finish it before the due date). In between times, I have to convert some old pillowcases to garments for a ski trip – don’t ask; just think uni students and general silliness – and get our messy house into some semblance of order! Yeah, right.

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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Knitting


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the upside of the downside

I’m now officially unemployed. No income. Definitely a downside.

I’m now officially unemployed. Plenty of free time. Definitely an upside.

Today when I was trying to fix a cardigan I’d washed for Nonna, Dr B asked could I maybe knit her a new one? Uuh, yeah, sure. I had to get some new buttons – my button box had nothing the right size in anything remotely approaching the right colour or quantity – so while I was out and about, I did at least buy some thick yarn that might assist in getting a result before Christmas. But, you know, as I often say, I am not a fast knitter and there are lots of other things I have to do. All the same, Nonna has never been a high maintenance person, so if I can get a plain cardie knitted fairly quickly – pretty yarn to do all the work, but stocking stitch fabric and maybe simple garter stitch bands – then I’ll think it’s for a very good cause.

That’s in between every other bit of knitting and sewing I’m trying to deal with, of course!

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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Knitting


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