Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Friday, 30 October 2015

Winter Happy Cardigan

finished my cockatoo brae cardigan (by the multi talented Kate Davies) the night before last. It is currently blocking, with the buttons attached, but I decided to wait until it was dry before seeing in the ribbon covering the cut stitches. 

It took me a full month to knit and I enjoyed every second of it. I began with the sleeves, using bamboo dpn's, and they knit up very quickly and easily. I always find it quite amusing to try the sleeve in progress on as I go to make sure all is well. I have never been disappointed with Kate's pattern's, they always fit marvellously well. 

Putting the sleeves aside, the body was a great relaxing TV knit. The waist and bust shaping made it interesting and I was focused on the increments rather than knowing there was acres left to go! I do love psychological knitting, tricking your brain into motion. 

I couldn't wait to get to the yoke, the fair isle portion, the fun part. I wasn't sure my colours would work, I am a novice when it comes to blending and contrasting colours. Sometimes I think I choose too strong a palette. In this design though, Kate had chosen strong vibrant colours so I felt safe enough trying to do similar.

There was magic crackling and zinging in the air when I attached the sleeves and grafted the underarms (I did this as soon as I was able after a few rows, to neaten everything up and make sure there were no holes or loose stitches). There were a few lengthy rows with all those stitches to contend with, but once the decreasing started I got into the rhythm again and motored on.

It moved rather quickly after that, I finished the neckline and jumped straight into cutting my cardigan front. I stabilised my edges first with crochet and took out my sharpest scissors. Best not hesitate or think when cutting those threads, slowly does it, snip, snip, one at a time. I didn't exhale until the last thread halved and my cardi opened up without a murmur. Phew, it worked.

I bought some really cute Rico buttons but was gravely disappointed in them. I sewed them on and put my cardigan in the machine in the 20 degree wool wash. I have done this before and there is very little agitation, so I know it is safe for the wool. As for the buttons, though they were wooden, the surface paint cracked and one slightly chipped. I am very annoyed, buttons on a garment of course will be washed, why make them incapable of withstanding a gentle cycle? I may have to undo them and change them out, but not today. There were no washing instructions/warnings on the packaging. So annoyed :(

I loved the yoke cardigan concept and make up, I want to knit more! The end result fits so well, it looks so tailored and neat. This pattern and many more are in Kate's book titled Yokes and can be purchased from her website. I have several more of her patterns in mind to do, Bluebells, Foxglove and Epistrophy just to start me off. 

So I am very much in love with my finished cardigan, I plan to get lots of wear out of it and I'm sure it'll still look as good next year and the year after!

I'm off now to daydream of possible colour combinations for the next one and cast on for my next project, matching fair isle handwarmers and cowl. The handwarmers are by Hazel Tindall from the Shetland Woolweek Annual 2015 (Scallafield Handwarmers), using her colourway.

Until next time!

Happy knitting 



  1. Lovely! And a pity about those buttons. I remember reading once that before washing a garment, one should remove all buttons and trim, sew the openings closed, and then handwash. That sounded like overkill, or a leftover from the days when ladies had a maid whose sole job was to take care of the wardrobe. Maybe it wasn't?

    1. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a maid like that? Why would you ever bother sewing a button on if you knew you had to take it off every time you needed to wash the garment? I'm baffled. We are not dealing with ladies in delicate silks anymore, this is a wool garment with buttons! I doubt the buttons would have survived a handwash either, so I am annoyed that it didn't state that they were decorative only on the packaging. I wouldn't have bought them then. Anyway, I'll search for some nicer ones and change them out when I have time.

  2. Your colours are smashing! And a matching ribbon to boot.

    1. I really lucked out with the ribbon, it really does match well! Heehee :)

  3. Lovely cardigan! I'm always surprised that the steeking takes so much courage. I've done it myself, it's been done for ages and still I thought (even after i've done everything right): now it goes wrong. And then, it doesn't.
    The ribbon for the buttons is só cute! Helps with spacing too. hahaha.
    A shame to hear about the buttons, but they look quite well on the plain coloured body.
    Wear it proud!