I have a bee in my bonnet/musings on the theme of a cardigan…

I want a wrap cardie for class (“I want never gets”, yeah yeah ;)) I’ve decided. Simple, I hear you cry. Buy one. Ahh, but here is where the problem begins. I look at these cardigans and go ‘pah, I could knit one AND IT WOULD BE BETTER THAN THAT’.

This is the big downside of being able to knit. Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig. I have, quite literally, shot myself in the foot for buying knitwear EVER AGAIN.

To wit, internal shopping monologue (knitwear edition): Ooh that’s nice. You could knit that. That’s really pretty. You could knit that. I really like the design of that. That’s a bog standard C4R cable, you can do that. That’s a really pretty… RAGLAN, you can do that. Now see this it’s really… basic lace, you can do that.

Seriously. I cannot buy knitwear anymore. This is why all my cardigans (a) are old and (b) have holes in them.

So this cardigan wanting thing is turning out to be a bit of a problem – not least because I haven’t knitted an actual garment in a couple of years (short attention span FTW, I need ‘instant gratification’ knits – socks, gloves, blanket squares). And my history of knitting garments is… brief but chequered. I’m wearing one today – a slightly wonky blue cardigan where I misread the pattern on one side. Faiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiltastic. There was also the greyish wrap cardigan whose sleeves were vastly too big to begin with and I dread to think how it will fit now. And we shall not mention The Accursed Dahlia Sweater, possibly ever.

But, y’know, says my brain: wrap cardie, c’mahhhhhhhhhhhhhn, how hard can it be?

And then, says my brain, DESIGN YOUR OWN PATTERN.

Excusez-moi, say le what? Design? Moi?

Y’know, patterns for legwarmers and gloves and basic sock recipes are one thing. A cardigan is an entirely different kettle of fish. There is shaping and things to be had in a cardigan pattern. Waist shaping and sleeve shaping and making sure your number of stitches match up back/front/sleeves (unless I do a raglan top down but they get hefty and then I knacker my wrists, hmm). I mean I get the theory but I’m not so sure I can put it into practice… like pirouettes. And second position. And coupé renversé.

Of course, there’s a different part of my mind literally fizzing at the possibilities this can open up. Yarn, pattern design, colour… fo’ sho’ maybe I should just bite ye olde bullet and go for it, surprise myself, or something. Who knows?

Instinctively I decided I wanted this knitted in a Crofter (like my amazing thigh high legwarmers) but matching the stripes is going to end in disaster, so not Crofter. Which is sad because Crofter yarn is amazing but better suited to things such as gloves and legwarmers. So I’m thinking either a solid single colour – in which case it’s going to need a pattern of some description (something nice and fiendishly cabley) because acres of stockinette, mes amies, is dull. Orrrrr, I could do two colours and stripe – probably a narrow stripe to avoid having a million ends to sew in BUT that does have a tendency to do funny things to the edges making seaming a bit tricky (or maybe that’s just if you’re me and have a serious hatred of seaming anyway).

Knitting is a world of possibility, that’s what I like about it. Bit of yarn and two basic stitches and you can do anything, or so it seems. I remember learning and Mutti being all ‘well once you can knit and purl you can do anything’ and me being all ‘pah, AS IF’ then slowly but surely it all starting to make sense and me going ‘well, waddya know, she was right’*. But, just like ballet, there’s always something new to learn – unlike ballet, however, it’s a damn sight easier to master knitting.

Cables are a little like ronde de jambes: keeping the background supportive and still whilst you swoop your cable about. Lace is a tricky allegro – lots of bits to remember and a big hole if you get it wrong. Bobbles are pirouettes… simply because I don’t like them. Colourwork is adage: slow, steady, intense concentration and a super smug feeling of satisfaction when you get it right. Plain garter or stockinette is a plié or a tendu, the basic building blocks.

I will knit my cardigan, probably in a nice gentle grey sort of shade**. I can tell you right now it won’t be ‘ballet pink’ *shudder*There is a colour designed to make me feel nauseous if ever there was one. Essentially, I am seeing this as an excuse for a yarn splurge as a result of paying in the contents of my ‘saving up to quit my job’ tin to la banque. But in the interim, I have my current Fiendish Colourwork Project of Doom to finish – I had seven bobbins*** on the go at one point…

…incidentally, I was just now casually making a cuppae tay when one of my colleagues wandered into the kitchen seeking guidance with her current knitting pattern. At some point I have become staff knitting guru, which is kind of ace really. Although I do worry that they seem to expect me to know everything because what if I don’t. It’s like when I realise people are watching me in class… WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT****?!

*Disclaimer: my Mutti is always right.

**That way it shouldn’t clash too tragically with any of my legwarmers.

***Isn’t bobbin a brilliant word?

****Unless you are watching to know how to not do it… that’s my theory an’ imma stick’n to it 🙂



Filed under knitting on pointe

2 responses to “I have a bee in my bonnet/musings on the theme of a cardigan…

  1. Liz

    I too have that problem with buying knitwear. I did succumb to a cardigan recently on the grounds that it was reduced to £10 and there was no way I could possibly buy the yarn to knit it for that amount, plus I needed it the very next day and I couldn’t knit a whole cardigan that fast either (although I have seen a jumper pattern claiming to take 3 hours – I am very sceptical about that).

    • See, that three hour jumper pattern has me all intrigued. It must be massively chunky or something? Or is it three hours knitting and nothing else (which just wouldn’t happen here because of my super short attention span)? I feel the need to go and find this pattern and attempt it IMMEDIATELY at the expense of everything else… hmmm!!!!

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