Cardigan Lady…

Way way back, long before Christmas my favourite (well, *only* if we’re honest) niece professed a love of the colour purple. She’s 3 and in the same breath she also smiled beguilingly and called me ‘The Cardigan Lady’. I believe that is a sort of ‘Sarah & Duck‘ reference but as my CBeebies days are now over – phew – I can’t be sure. Anyway, it was enough to induce me to rashly commit to knitting a purple cardigan forthwith…

Fast forward to Christmas and I had to admit defeat. Our busiest season work-wise and the pressure of the festive season generally got the better of me and I managed to avoid the subject of purple cardigans successfully when we saw my sister and niece and gifts were exchanged…

I did actually have a small purple cardigan on the needles though…

I knew that my sister had really loved the ‘Leonie‘ that I’d knit a couple of years ago so I’d chosen some lovely ‘Damson’ Pendle 4ply from Eden Cottage Yarn and cast on the size to fit my 3 year old niece. It was going well, if slower than I’d anticipated due to the general work craziness… until I got to the sleeves. Moving from body to sleeves coincided with running out of yarn, so I’d duly grabbed another skein and spent a few evenings making progress down the first sleeve. I’d loved the fit of these ‘short row’ set in sleeves but I’d forgotten how fiddly the back-and-forth knitting had been with the little lace eyelet pattern to keep in order as well… and when I started to have doubts about the colour matching it all came to a head. Moving into bright light confirmed my worst fear, the second skein of Damson I’d grabbed in a rush one afternoon at the office was from an entirely different dye lot to the first! Significantly lighter it was a complete no-no. Hurumph!! A silly error that had me ripping back the naughty sleeve and having a rethink. You see the other thing that was bothering me was the size… I’d cast this on for a 3 year old back in the autumn and this 3 year old was edging ever closer to being a 4 year old, as children are prone to do 😉 As the Pendle is a skimpy 4ply I was already knitting a little under gauge thinking it would be fine but I’d been kidding myself – this cardigan wasn’t going to fit a soon-to-be four year old. I hurumphed some more (quite significantly more) and frogged the entire cardigan.

Back to the drawing board (well, hours browsing Ravelry for an alternative pattern actually…) I’m not really inclined to knit anything more than once so the idea of casting on this cardigan for the third time had me running for the gin hills…

I found a lovely little vintage-style cardigan that I felt sure would go down a treat – ‘Cricket‘ by Melissa Schaschwary – and felt sure it would work in the Eden Cottage Pendle I’d recently re-wound 😉 so I set off and positively whizzed through the simple raglan design in no time. It was all going swimmingly and by the end of April I had just got the pocket seams to sew up, buttons to sew on and ends to weave in. Which was great timing as we were looking forward to a visit from my sister and family over the May Day bank holiday weekend (they live in Yorkshire so we don’t see them nearly as often as we’d all like).

At this point I blocked it… and it all went pear-shaped again!!  It grew quite alarmingly and although I’d purposely knit the light 4 ply yarn to a DK gauge for a Spring cardigan it now seemed too open, too loosely knit and I wasn’t happy with it at all. So, slightly (!) grumpily I put it to one side thinking ‘oh, well, this is clearly not meant to be…’ and contemplated distraction techniques that would work on a purple cardigan obsessed almost 4 year old…

But when she arrived, with a cheeky smile and a shy question, ‘Did you knit me a cardigan Aunty Anj?’ I had to admit that I’d almost finished knitting a purple cardigan but wasn’t sure if it would fit. There was only one way to find out… She popped it on, ends dangling, pockets flapping and buttonless and declared that she loved it! Well, I took that to be a resounding endorsement and got straight on with button sewing, pocketing finishing and the weaving in of ends and she proceeded to model it absolutely perfectly…

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Little lilac ‘fish-eye’ buttons gave it a lovely vintage feel and some scraps of lilac striped Opal sock yarn made ‘surprise’ pocket linings – not really visible in these photos, I didn’t think to take a special ‘pocket-shot’ 😉

So, by the skin of my teeth my ‘Cardigan Lady’ moniker is intact… phew!

All details of pattern and yarn can be seen here on Ravelry.

2 thoughts on “Cardigan Lady…

  1. Ooh this is a beautiful cardigan. I love the rich colour. I should really knit something like this for my eldest daughter (I crocheted a cardigan for my youngest back in January). Regarding the ‘Sarah and Duck’ reference – there’s a ‘scarf lady’ who has an amazing yarn stash! Jean

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