With at least three expected babies still on my ‘To Knit For’ list, I returned to the Pekapeka Design Studio for some inspiration. I have made several of Kelly Brooker’s Peurperium and Composite cardigans over the recent months and love the seam-free, simple designs. They knit up quickly and are simply beautiful!
Pattern: Thousands DK by Kelly Brooker of Pekapeka Design Studio
Source: Ravelry download
Price: $4.00 USD
Needle: 3.5mm & 4mm – I knit on circulars and used double-pointed needles for sleeves
The pattern is written for a variegated yarn as the contrast but instead I used scraps from my Rainbow Blanket changing colour after 2 rows. This lead to lots of ends needing weaving in. I tried to use this technique but found that the contrast colour was visible behind the grey when even a small amount of stretch was applied – as will occur when this cardi is wrapped around a little tummy – so instead I wove in my ends like this.
This technique for weaving in ends looks slightly awful from the wrong side but is secure and allows you to hide contrasting yarn in a way that duplicate stitch techniques will not. It also maintains the natural stretch of the fabric so your work won’t pull or pinch.
I use a tapestry needle to slide the end through middle of the wrong side purl loops splitting the yarn so that the contrast yarn stays completely on the wrong side of the work. I work vertically and loop back and forth for 3 or 4 legs to keep it secure.
I wasn’t sure I’d have enough yarn for the long sleeves, so when I got to that point I used my husband’s trusty kitchen scales to divide my remaining yarn in two with the idea I’d just keep knitting until I ran out for each sleeve – but then, realising this would result in half-length sleeves that would look like a knit gone wrong, I opted for a cute short-sleeve version.
The main issue with this pattern is that it took me a while to get my head around it. The instructions are in the form of charts which work well once you get the hang of them, but I found my sleep-deprived brain struggling a little so needed to have two pages visible to remind me of the direction of my increases while reading the colour work chart on another page. I had to annotate my pattern a fair bit too with reminders about which way to read the chart for right and wrong side rows (probably because I’m not used to using a chart) and I also found myself forgetting to add in buttonholes.
I have realised of late that my 15 years of knitting has been stuck fairly firmly in an 8 ply cashmere merino blend rut. Having discovered the gorgeous Sublime baby knit books among a pile of very dated and oft hideous patterns at my local knitting shop many moons ago, I had thought that Sublime knits were the only modern gorgeous knits out there. I almost exclusively knit Sublime yarn and Sublime patterns for the better part of a decade.
It is thanks to the wonders of Ravelry that I have been inspired to get out of this rut and try new things. So, so, so, so many beautiful, modern and vintage knits and so many knitters from across the world sharing their failures and successes. I have recently been inspired by variegated and gradient yarns and am itching to get my newly arrived skeins from Gradient onto my needles. I have also been inspired to get into lighter weight yarns and have bought up a stash of gorgeous sock yarn which I’m hoping to turn into some winter woolies for myself and W.
I’m even in the contemplation phase of my first major lace project. I knit a lace shawl in a fluffy yarn to wear to a friend’s winter wedding many years ago but at that stage had no idea about checking gauge or blocking. Needless to say, it was a mild to moderate disaster. I am looking forward to venturing into lace again with the years of experience and knowledge – and the expert advice of my fellows Ravelers – now in my toolkit.