I have finished the Vodka Lemonade cardigan! This is a gift for Leah, and tomorrow it will be put in the post. I took a few photos with me wearing it, but I hope to put up a post with modelled photos from Leah at some point.
The pattern is by Thea Colman, and despite the fact that dozens of her patterns have been in my favorites for years, this is the first one I’ve knit. It definitely won’t be the last. The pattern has some lovely details and all of the finishing is incorporated into the knitting – once you cast off the bottom hem, you are done! No picking up stitches and adding edging; the edges are all beautifully finished as you go along.
Leah spends a lot of her time in dresses, and this cardigan struck me as the perfect length and weight to wear over a dress. I’m a little worried about the yellow – it is not a colour I normally knit with, but it seemed to mix and match with many of the dresses she wears. Plus, in 2020 I think we all need a bit of sunshine however we can get it.
When I looked at the many Vodka Lemonade projects on Ravelry, one of the things I noticed was that lots of them looked too long to me. I wondered why knitters were adding length to what should be a slightly cropped cardi. I think that, if you are aiming for a cropped look like the one in the pattern photo, you should take care with the knitting and make sure that you start the lace pattern early enough. My finished cardigan measured 12″ from the armhole to the bottom hem, which is one inch less than called for in the pattern. I had intended to do three repeats of the lace, instead of two, and took Thea’s advice to leave an inch for each repeat. However, if you are hitting gauge the lace takes 1.5 inches per repeat, so you need to start the lace earlier. (Thus, I knitted two lace repeats instead of the three I intended.)
I knit this with John Arbon yarn, also a first for me. The yarn, Knit by Numbers, is a 100% merino wool DK weight yarn which comes in a wide range of colours. I completely love the yarn, a lovely, soft, DK-weight and am very impressed with how it plumped up and softened with a wash. Leah is sensitive to wool, she can wear it but finds most wool yarn itchy. I am very impressed with how non-itchy this yarn is, and have high hopes that it won’t pill as much as some other soft wools.
We are having a heat wave here so I am glad to have this off the needles. I am currently knitting swatches, which are small and therefore don’t mean having a pile of hot wool on your lap while you knit. And Doug is keeping me supplied with freshly squeezed lemonade, while I sit in the shade and knit. It’s not a bad way to spend a Sunday.
Really love the details, and your yarn shows them off so well. Enjoy your lemonade.
Thank you, Beth. It really is very thoughtfully designed.
That is a gorgeous cardigan! I love the finish and the details – it looks like a very elegant construction. Do you have plans to make one for yourself?
I have been thinking of making one for me – but not for a while. I don’t often reknit patterns, and need a bit of variety to keep things fresh.
I know what you mean 🙂
Don’t people knit cardigan’s longer to hide their bottoms?! I write as a larger lady myself who would love to wear neat cropped cardigans. This one almost persuades me I could.
This made me laugh, Deborah! Yes, I think people knit their cardigans longer to hide their bottoms. I think this strategy might work when paired with trousers, but I think a dress needs the shorter length cardigan so it doesn’t hide your waist. The dress itself should hide your bottom, if needed.
Cropped garments seem to be quite a test of nerve as a knitter, it’s so easy to think ‘I’ll just go a little bit longer to make sure’. That’s certainly my tendency, but I’ve been much happier when I’ve gone back and taken a few inches off the length.
Yes, it is hard to get it right, especially when knitting for someone who is thousands of miles away – it really comes down to a combination of trusting your tape measure and taking a wild guess.
Beautiful knit, and the yellow is lovely on you!
Thanks, Alissa. Funny, I have always avoided yellow since my obstetrician told me (when I was 30 weeks pregnant) to never wear yellow again. (This makes her sound mean, but actually she was a lovely person, and I really did look awful in that yellow maternity tee – I have photos that prove it!).
I love it!!
Wow! How very Pretty!
That is adorable! I am sure she will love it. I have looked at that pattern, but not jumped on it. Perhaps it should move up the queue!
Thanks, Sarah. You should try it. It has some very good features, particularly the edgings, which are finished as you go and look very professional.