It was just me and the self timer on the camera and I had a race against the fading light so these are all the photos the blog is getting. The plain cardigan is finished, I decided against pockets as I don’t have the need for them that I did when I had a dog. (Those of you who are cat people may not be aware that you can identify a dog owner by the black plastic bags in every pocket of every coat and bag they own). It’s plain as plain except for the rib at each side. I could sell you this as a well thought out alternative to waist shaping but the truth is that it was simply so I didn’t need to bother with a stitch marker. The rib was a big flag that signalled that this was the point to decrease as my bust is smaller than my hips. The yarn is Forsell’s Touch of Silk, it’s made for machine knitting so is sold oiled on the cone. It softens up once you wash out the oil, you can skein and wash it before knitting or wait until the end and scour the finished item in very hot water and washing up liquid which is what I did. I bought a full kilo cone in this dark brown and a part cone in dark blue and I know now that there will be enough of the blue for a sweater without having to resort to stripes. It knits up nicely to four stitches to the inch on a 5mm needle, it would be fine on a smaller needle but I don’t think that I would like the fabric on anything much bigger.
After it was off the needles it seemed a bit gappy around the neck but I convinced myself that it would fill in with the collar. Had I sat and worked out the numbers at that point (ideally even earlier before I’d cast off) I would have seen that the neck was nearly 20″ around which is fine for a sweater where it has to clear your ears but somewhat large for a cardigan. I didn’t look at the stitch count for the final row and so decided that the width was an illusion caused by the lack of a collar. I knitted the collar, both front bands, washed it, dried it, put the buttons on and not surprisingly found that the neck was still gappy. I’ve poked at it for a couple of days, attempted to steam the neck into a more pleasing shape, poked at it some more and tried to muster up the enthusiasm to take off the bands and collar and fix it. In the end I went for plan B which was to run a piece of yarn around the neck and pull it up slightly. It is a quick and dirty fix but it is a fix and if at some future point I want to do the job properly (yeh, as if) then I can.
I usually have a three week delay while I dither over for buttons but this time I had the buttons long before I had the yarn. I’ve had them for months and I’ve been waiting for the right project to put them on. (I typed that and went to check exactly how long I’ve had the buttons for, maybe it was as long as a year? It’s actually three years, doesn’t time fly?) This project is as good as any other to put them on, I get to look at the ravens now rather than having them squirreled away waiting for the perfect project. If a better project comes along I can take them off this and put them on the new thing. I love them, they make me happy every time I pick up the cardigan and that shows that it was the right project to use them on.
I have nearly finished sewing in all the ends on the stripey socks, the birthday is weeks away and I’ve done a sock and a half so far. I ran out of black with a stripe and a toe to go but managed to find three part balls of black within four feet of my seat. I suspect there might be more if I actually went and looked. The coloured leftovers went straight into another pair of socks, the colours all work together because they all went into the same dye bath. I quite like them, the colours work well together and two of the four yarns are sparkly. I’m being daring here and I’ve started knitting on the basis that there is going to be “enough” yarn, usually I’d mark the middle of each ball of yarn so that I could be sure that I had enough for the second sock. If I run out it will be after the heel where it won’t be noticeable and I know what dye I used so I have the chance of transforming another oddment of grey sock yarn into a green that will blend in.