I have been a knitter since my mum taught me as a teenager, but I was shown the flat knitting style and always knit with yarns that the local wool shop stocked. Not that there was anything really wrong with that, but it was only when I started following blogs (mainly for sewing tips) that I realised there is a whole spectrum of scrumptious yarns out there that don't involve a high percentage of acrylic and my interest in knitting started again.
I also realised there were other styles like 'knitting on the round', knitting with double pointed needles and also a magnificent haven of knitterly wonderment called ravelry! So last year I started with a lovely wee hat, knit on the round, the Snoflinga hat, by Wiksten. It was a lovely hat to start using circular needles with (yarn is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter) and was closely followed by the eternity scarf.
Anyway, I wanted to try a garment knit on the round and thought the best bet was to keep it 'simple', that is, no cables or fancy stitches and no colour work. So I chose the Winthrop cardigan. So what about it then? Well the basic stitches were simple enough, but there were two techniques I hadn't bargained for, these were the 'wrap and turn' which is basically shaping a garment and the other is attaching an i-cord.
For the 'wrap and turn' which frankly I hadn't a clue about I used this fantastic tutorial by Amanda Berry. I did a trial run separately to get an idea of what was going on and this really helped. Once I had done the tutorial I was able to work it on the cardigan with no problem. Sometimes it's worth taking that bit of extra time to get it right.
The other hurdle (in my head) was the icord, which again I did not have a clue about. For this I used the wonderful i-cord tutorial by purlbee. Again I took it slowly and did a wee trial run. Again it was worth taking the time to do this and it worked out fine on the actual cardigan.
The above photo is attaching the i-cord, sorry it is really hard to photograph.
The yarn I used is the beautiful Soft Donegal from thisisknit.ie. It is called 'navy' but to me it is more like royal blue with flecks of red and turquoise. It is 100% merino, lovely and warm, but not heavy, which is a 2-ply which can be used as a heavy dk or a light aran. I will definitely be using this yarn again.
The other thing I was determined to do with this project was 'blocking'. I got some help from the hubbie and his staple gun and we made the blocking board. (see last post) and diligently pinned it out.
Again, I had never done this process before.... ever, but, of course, it really made a difference. After I had it pinned out to the dimensions according to the size on the pattern, I used my iron and went over the cardigan holding the iron about an inch above it, sometimes using the jet steam. I then left the whole thing for 2 days until it all seemed dry. It made the i-cord sit better and with more shape and just finished the garment better.
So there it is... finished. A 'simple' edge to edge cardigan. I love it's shaping, the lovely edging, the yarn. I mostly love the fact that it was a real learning experience for me and I think I am hooked with this style of knitting and will be trying more. Not really wanting to say anything negative, but there is one thing that I'm not too sure about.... the sleeves are really wide. It is the style of them, but not sure.
Overall though I really like it and it was lovely wearing it today almost as a jacket.
Now, what next for the needles?!