Vodka Lemonade

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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

 

Knitters, check your dye lots!

I had planned to write a Pattern Radar post this week, but I realise that those posts rely heavily on using Ravelry links. Given the situation with Ravelry at the moment, I’ve decided to postpone the post for awhile. (For those who are wondering what this is about, there are serious accessibility issues for some users on Ravelry following an upgrade; I find it very sad and hope they resolve the problem soon.)

Pattern Radar posts take a very long time to write (you can find them by clicking on the Pattern Radar tag on the right margin). Ditching my plans to write one this weekend means lots of extra time for knitting! I am working exclusively on the Vodka Lemonade cardigan now, as it is a gift for Leah and I want to be able to pop it in the post this week. I am getting close:

This design is by Thea Colman, and is the first of her designs I’ve knit. I thought it would be super fast since it is in DK weight yarn, but for some reason it seems to be taking forever. I only need a few more days to get it done, but my mind is wandering to other projects, and I’m finding it hard to be monogamous. The yarn is from John Arbon Textiles, also a first, and it seems lovely and soft. However, I have a major beef. I ordered 5 skeins of the yarn for this project, and one of them was not from the same dye lot as the others.

I am furious at myself for not checking the ball bands, and pretty mad at the yarn store for sending me odd dye lots. Its hard for me to get a photo today to show this because of the light, but to me the odd skein is very apparent – I started it about 5 inches down from the collar and it finishes just at the sleeve separation.

I am trying to overcome my perfectionist tendencies and to remember that a hand-knitted sweater is supposed to have character. We all believe that, right? (There is another, very small, mistake in this sweater which stands out like a strobe light to me, but I figure if I don’t mention it, maybe it’s not there.)

I thought you might like this photo which Emma sent me of a tree near her apartment:

The back garden beckons! Have a good weekend, and don’t forget to check your dye lots!