When I wrote my knitting update last week, I was in a state of indecision about my Rimini cardigan, but apparently all I needed to do was admit out loud that I wasn’t entirely loving it because I found I just couldn’t cast it aside even briefly. So I went ahead and knit the front bands and collar rather than working on the second sleeve. This decision was helped by a happy outcome to my rummage through my button box. As soon as I tipped out the buttons I spotted the perfect one, and it turned out I had the exact number I needed.
These buttons were recovered from a cardigan I knit in 2015 which proved to be a short-lived member of my wardrobe team due to a bad yarn choice on my part. I knit the main body in Shetland Wool which is perfectly fine and lovely; then I used a hand-dyed silk blend sock wool for the bands and collar and that, too, was a lovely yarn. The problem was that over time they did not play nicely together, with the silky yarn stretching out as it is prone to do and resulting in increasingly wavy bands. You live and learn. That cardigan, interestingly, was another one I knitted using the Rimini pattern, but I omitted the openwork panels and just made it plain stocking stitch. I still like the idea of using a hand-dyed yarn as a feature on an otherwise plain top, I just need to make sure I use more compatible yarns.
So, having found the buttons I made my decision about which shade of the wool I was going to use for the trims. I plumped for the mid-shade, partly because I had plenty of that one left, but mainly because it was, well, the mid-shade. It was a relatively quick matter to do the bands which are knitted separately and then attached. I must admit it took me a couple of days to persuade myself to attach them, but it was quicker and easier than I feared it would be when I got around to it. During that break I sneaked a little bit of cheating in and cast on for the Frankensocks – just a little light relief on a Saturday night, no-one would begrudge me that, surely.
After my brief wander, it was back to Rimini again. One of the reasons I like to knit garments in fine yarns is that they always piece together much more neatly than bulkier knits. Picking up and knitting the collar was also easy and I’ve knitted 10cm of the 12cm called for in the pattern. However, I’m now at the point where I’m worried there might not be enough of this shade of wool for the sleeve, so I’m leaving the collar stitches parked on a circular needle in order to work the sleeve and then I can see if I have enough left to finish the collar. If I don’t, I can either bind off the collar as it is now (it looks reasonable at this length) or ‘tip’ it with a centimetre or so of one of the other shades.
I wanted to leave as little work to do on the cardigan as possible at this point, so I have also gone ahead and set in the first sleeve. When I piece together a cardigan, I first work the shoulder seams and then knit any bands, collars etc. Then I attach the sleeves flat. I do this by setting the sleeve crown into the armhole shaping first and then I work the entire seam from the hem of the garment to the cuff of the sleeve. This is just less fiddly than working the side seam and the sleeve seam whilst they are separate pieces and then having to attach the sleeve head into the circular opening in the body. I “tack” the pieces together with loops of a contrasting yarn before I do the permanent seam. My plan of action now is to finish dealing with all the yarn ends at the seams I’ve completed and to get the buttons attached. Then it will be full steam ahead with the second sleeve and the final bit of work on the collar. This will definitely be a finished object before the end of June (I hope that’s not one of those jinx statements like “This is going to be the best Christmas ever.”)
So I’ll leave you now in the hope that you’re enjoying your various projects. I love to see what you are all knitting as I amble around the blogosphere and internet.