Happy New Year folks!

Can you believe it’s already 2017? When did THAT happen?! I feel like Christmas just waved as it was zooming past in the back of a high speed vehicle!! Can we do it again please?! But seriously I needed A LOT more time in the lead up to the festive season for many reasons but most appropriately, because I really wanted to wear this month’s Minerva make on Christmas day… that did not happen. In fact I come to you today with an unfinished item or a very nearly finished cardigan...

The photos today are taken by my wonderful husband, Stephen at around 10pm in our local Phone Box as I really needed to get the pictures done and this blog written tonight… I will explain more later! Hobbes was with me and this bright red cardigan showed up really magenta pink for some reason but it really is red!

So firstly, this knit took a long long LONG time… I casted it on in October and was encouraged by how quickly the bodice pieces took to knit up - I made the front two bodices over 2 weeks and then the back piece took longer (and I had a gap inbetween when life took over and I didn’t get much ‘knit time’) so I finished it in the back of the tour van early December and instead decided to turn my attention to knitting up some Christmas presents that I had planned. I got cocky and thought - I could easily knit up the two sleeves and finish the cardigan after Christmas ready to photograph and blog on the first week of January with plenty of time… WRONG! The sleeves take forever… I have been on a manic speed knitting rampage to finish this make all week - I have actually knitted non stop for the last 4 days and it took 2 whole days to knit up one sleeve! I stayed up till 3am last night because I was not going to bed till I had finished the 2nd sleeve!! So I am exhausted and my hands hurt and even though it’s still not finished I’m past my deadline, in dire need of a break and I had to go out and get some piccies of what could pass as a finished make from far away!

So this, above, is the unfinished bit… I still need to add the rib border to both sides of the front, add buttons and buttonholes and it needs blocking badly but I hope you will understand that I did the best I could and I will definitely show it off on my vlog and instagram when it’s really really done! I used the loose ends to tie together so that you can see the detail as that cable is amazing. I am very proud of this make actually, I have only just realised that - it’s definitely my most challenging knit yet but the pattern is great! When my hands have recovered and I have more time I really want to make one in yellow like my scarf in the pictures!

The cable pattern runs all the way down the two fronts and yes, all the way down the center of both sleeves and even at the end I had to keep checking the pattern instructions to knit it right as definitely too complicated to remember all 28 lines! I think it’s really effective and totally worth all the effort!

Sooooo I might have cheated on some bits too… bad Gabby! After spending an hour stitching together the one sleeve and side seam using the blanket stitch I put the half cardigan on to see how it fit for the first time and DISASTER… It really didn’t! The arm was HUGE for some reason and really baggy in the middle, which to be honest, may be the fault of the 2am knitting session!

So I did something I hadn’t even thought about doing before and I’m sure will be frowned upon… I got the sewing machine out!!!!! I pinned the sleeve to where the seam should be and I sewed that baby up using a wide zig zag stitch in under a minute!! Of course, then it fit well, was sewn together really strong and took such a small amount of time so… I sewed up the rest up like that too! I admit, it felt like a breath of fresh air after hours and hours of slow making and I can’t even pretend to be sorry about that!!

The yarn is fabulous - it’s the Cherry colourway in King Cole’s Cottonsoft DK Yarn and it’s 100% cotton so it feels different to everything I have knitted with before but I’m a convert. It’s not fluffy and doesn’t split which is refreshing after using wool that leaves fluff everywhere. Also it’s incredibly soft and gentle to wear next to the skin which sadly I can’t do with wool at all. I only used just over 3 skeins as supposed to the suggested 5 so I have lots left for accessories to go with this cardie!!

The Knitting Pattern is King Cole 3541 DK. This is the second King Cole knitting pattern I have used and apart from the crazy sleeves, which honestly could have been my deranged self’s fault, I had no problems with it and I did some hacks to make it more ‘me’ this time! I combined the round neck bodice with the long sleeves from the v neck version and shortened the bodices by 15 rows as I wanted it to sit on my waist and that was definitely a good decision as I wouldn’t want it any longer (not just because then it would have taken even longer to make!) I also used 3.50mm needles instead of 3.25mm for the ribbing as I simply don’t have the latter and think it made no difference in the long run.

OK now I MUST sleep and I will finish this beauty off over the weekend! A huge thanks to the lovely folk of Minerva for another great make that I can’t wait to wear constantly and to you all for reading about it!

Happy New Knit!