Its finally finished! I feel like I’ve been knitting this cardigan (the Miette Cardigan, by Andi Satterlund) for ages, though Instagram shows me its only been six weeks. Which is actually not as bad as I thought, given that its the first thing I’ve ever knitted (other than a scarf, and that doesn’t really count). I took a photo of my progress each week, so here we go…
Week 1: I realise that I really don’t know what I’m doing, and spend a lot of time on youtube. Thank god for the internet! I also cast on, knit a few rows, cock it up, rip it off and start again about 5 times.
Week 2: Finally get more than 5 rows in! I also found the knit-a-long at this point, which was incredibly helpful. Starting to get a bit more confident with fixing my mistakes and following the pattern.
Week 3: Got past the sleeves! This week was satisfying, as I can see real progress, and the eyelet pattern down the front looks good.
Week 4: Finished the body! I couldn’t get the ribbing described in the pattern to work, so I just did standard k2p2 (look at me, using knitting abbreviations like I know what I’m talking about). I got very good at frogging during this last stretch of knitting, as I just kept messing up the eyelet pattern around the bottom. I must have ripped it back three or four times before i got it right. Much swearing involved!
Week 5: Sleeve number 1 finished! The sleeves made me a bit nervous, but I trucked on. Unfortunately, when I came to the instruction to switch to smaller needles to knit the ribbing, I realised that I had gone straight from the ribbing at the hem and cast the sleeves onto my 4.5mm needles instead of the 5.0mm needles I should have used. Bollocks. I waffled about what to do, and decided to just leave it as is and hope that they would stretch out a bit with blocking. I knitted the second sleeve the same way, I figured it would be less irritating to have two slightly tight sleeves than to have one tight and one normal!
Week 6: other sleeve, button bands and neck band and blocking. With the end in sight, the final knitting went pretty smoothly. I found the button bands and neck band really fun! Unfortunately I managed to miss the topmost buttonhole in the neck band, rather annoying. I probably wouldn’t ever wear it done right up anyway, so never mind…I tried the finished cardigan on, and it was a bit small! I was so gutted. I looked into blocking methods (again, thank you youtube!) and decided that wet blocking would give me the best chance of growing it a few centrimetres. Unfortunately, it was the most miserably cold and wet weekend, so it took almost 48 hours to dry completely! It was worth it though, it fits much better now, and the eyelet pattern has really opened up and looks pretty good.
I chose some cream buttons with striations on them, and decided to reinforce the button bands with a cream and blue chevron patterned ribbon. I found that I was getting a bit of gaping at the buttons, but the ribbon has stopped that!
I think it’ll be best with high waisted skirts and dresses, as it is pretty cropped! I lost length when I stretched it out blocking it, of course. I hope its not too Dolly Parton! I used 100% wool, so it’ll be good to wear in spring and autumn, when the weather is still a bit crisp.
All in all, I’m just really proud that I’ve managed to knit something wearable! I made little margin notes in the pattern as I was knitting, and one of them states ‘I don’t think knitting is for me’. I found parts of the process incredibly frustrating and slow, and I was terrified of making a mistake that I didn’t know how to fix. When I’m sewing I know I can fix pretty much any fixable error, but knitting seems a lot less forgiving! But then, its a very new skill I’m aquiring, and it took me ages to figure out how to fix my sewing as well. Perseverance is key! I’m already planning new projects, so I clearly haven’t been too scarred by the experience.