Sometimes a knit comes along that’s both challenging and a bit boring. Cria, by Ysolda, manages to be both and thankfully, having taken some photos of it today I’m suitably inspired to continue on with renewed interest.
It all started out so promisingly. I’ve never made anything quite like it – I’ve done my fair share of top down garments but what Ysolda has done with this piece is, to the best of my knowledge, entirely unique. Here’s how it looks from the back.
The top of this cardigan is, as some of the best knits are, entirely an exercise in trust. A few sketched diagrams in the pattern, with a whole bunch of tables and numbers, seemed almost crazy and impossible the day I sat down to start it. But I kept on because, well, I want this cardigan and I have worked with Ysolda before and know to trust her. So trust I did and when I realised that starting out with two little rectangles of garter stitch was going to magically turn into the shoulders and neck of a cardigan, I started texting friends immediately saying ‘I don’t believe how she’s done this! It’s amazing!’
Yes, two little rectangles of garter stitch. About 2inches across. That’s right. Somehow these 2″ pieces become shoulders and you join them up and do a load of short row shaping (my personal knitting nemesis is a short row or fifty). And suddenly you have the beginning of what is obviously a cardigan, in a way it wasn’t before.
I watched the opening of the Olympics and kept on. I never watched much more of the Olympics after that. My love of sport watching being almost non-existent, I lost interest after the glamour and glitz and pop-history of the opening, but by then the top of the cardigan was done and I moved onto shaping the prettily puffed sleeves.
I thought a lot about Anne of Green Gables while making these sleeves.
They’re kind of puffed and if you know Anne of Green Gables even a little bit you’ll know she longed (in the movie at least – I can’t recall from the book) for deliciously puffed sleeves. I may have even put this on and said to Sean ‘Look! Puffed Sleeves!’. My Anne moment. He is forgiven for wondering what on earth I was talking about.
And because the sleeves are puffed, I have decided to keep them short. The pattern provides options for long or short and I think given we’re moving dangerously into spring (i.e. weather not suited to long sleeved cardigans as much) I think I’ll keep them short, doing the few rows of garter stitch Ysolda suggests, thus ensuring it’s a trans-seasonal piece. The yarn, by the way, is Berocco Ultra Alpaca Light in Redwood. Love it.
I’ll get there. Soon I hope. The long rows of stocking stitch are good for late night knitting and bus knitting but it’s getting rather big for the bus and I don’t always stay upright in the evening long enough to manage much.
And I seem to have caught another case of the hat knitting bug. Isn’t it always the way? In the middle of big projects, the desire to knit small, quick things is never, ever as intense as it is then.
And by the by, I’ve made another Mug Mat. Or Mug Rug. This one is for me and is now prettying my desk at work. I’m sick of the entirely utilitarian approach to my professional workspace. It’s just colourless and lifeless. A little bit of colour, somewhere to rest my tea cup and teapot, alleviates the dryness just a bit, even if at the end of the day it’s still just a desk.