Back to the future

Aran jumper back
Aran jumper back completed

Hmm, I think “Back to the Future” would be a great name for this project, given how I leapt back several decades to grab the pattern. Didn’t have to use a DeLorean, though, and I don’t think I have caused any major changes to history in my travels.

As you can see, the back is finished and I am really happy with it. The Novita 7 Brothers yarn is pleasant to work with and it is certainly giving good stitch definition. I am totally happy with the colour I chose as well. Sometimes a yarn colour can seem perfect until I start knitting it, then I find it bores me a little. This is good. I can see it becoming a staple item in my wardrobe, teamed with navy trousers or a navy skirt. (Ah, a navy skirt – at the moment I am obsessed by the idea of a really great navy skirt.)

The pattern is a delight to follow and I had it off by heart by the end of the first pattern repeat. There have been a few instances where I’ve crossed a cable incorrectly and had to backtrack a row or two, but no major hiccups. The only slightly difficult row is the one where you purl 5 together to form the bobble, but that is just once in each pattern repeat, so I wouldn’t say it was offputting.

I am currently a quarter of the way up the front and I have plans to be halfway to the beginning of the armhole shaping by the end of today. I also have plans to work on it a bit each evening. We shall have to see whether all these plans come to anything.

It feels wonderful to be back in the knitting routine after the hiatus through the tail end of last year. It is such a lovely hobby, allowing oodles of time to dream about how great life will be when you are wearing this garment that you’re working on and to generate wild ideas about navy blue skirts.

I hope your knitting, sewing, or other hobbies are bringing you pleasure through these early days of 2020.

Finally, progress on Gaudi

27-03-19-gaudi-a.jpg

It’s taken a lot of fiddling and more time than it should, but I am finally making noticeable progress on the Gaudi cardigan by Martin Storey for Rowan.

I hit a problem with this pattern as soon as I started working on the colourwork section and I think the problem is nothing more than the peculiarities of my own gauge, compounded by my personal preferences. I knit three-quarters of the way through the colourwork on the back at least four times, very possibly more, and each time I couldn’t make it work. The armhole would be plenty deep enough, yet I would still have at least 30 stitches remaining to decrease which would add another 2-3 inches to the depth of the armhole. The back returned to my knitting basket a number of times to rest between bouts of wanting to work on it.

I have finally settled on following the spirit of the pattern rather than the word; I worked out my method for decreasing the correct number of stitches without it resulting in a batwing sleeve, and I finally knit the whole colourwork portion of the back in less than a day. Of course, having knitted the colourwork so many times, I am now very familiar with how it goes and don’t have to consult the pattern at all.

On this final stab, I decided that life was too short to have an extra ball of yarn on the go and fiddle with knitting the edge in the pale colour as the pattern instructs, so I have gone for a strictly striped look right across. I really want to wear this cardigan and if that’s what it takes to get a cardi I like, then that’s what I’ll do.

I am currently working on the first sleeve, having decided that I’d like to get to the sleeves out of the way nice and early in the game. Sleeves are always larger than you think and there will be less knitting involved in the two fronts so it’s nice to keep them until last.

27-03-19 Gaudi b

I still adore this pattern, and I love the colours so much. Can’t wait to wear the finished object. The only thing that gives me pause for thought is the yarn. It’s nice enough to work with, but oh, it sheds so annoyingly. I am sure this is down to the 25% Alpaca content in the yarn, which was always going to be the element I was less than charmed by. I want to knit other designs from the “New Vintage Knits” book, but at this point I have to say I will probably look at knitting them in Shetland wools rather than the Rowan Felted Tweed. Of course, I haven’t finished the knitting and washed the garment yet – I may well discover at that point that Felted Tweed is just the bee’s knees! I am changeable like that.

How is your knitting going? Any garments being worked on?


Just as an aside, the coconut cake in my previous post was divine. Unfortunately, it was absolutely certainly not a diet option – my weight rocketed from the first mouthful. But it’s okay if I keep such things as occasional treats.