Sunday, 3 November 2013

Fairisle cardigan plans

I thrifted this fairisle cardigan from a vintage fair in Edinburgh a few years back and have worn it TO DEATH.  It's such a lovely teal blue colour and I love the colourwork that runs around the yoke.  I've always had a soft spot for fairisle but have never actually knitted anything of the style for myself.


There were always issues with this cardi though, and now that it's died a death (to be resurrected as a cushion cover I think), it's time to knit the perfect one for myself.  This one actually started out too big, it was clearly a handknit and had several major design flaws that I tried to rectify in my own, ham-fisted way.

I started off by trying to shrink it in the wash, which made the wool fluff up really nicely (it was a bit loose previously, I think the original craftsperson had too loose tension) but failed to fix the box-like waist.  So I sewed in some darts....


Good from the outside...


Not so good from the inside.

On top of this, felting it caused a few holes to form


And some stitching to come loose around the neckline.


The buttons were also too small for the buttonholes, meaning it came open a lot.  I put up with all this for years though, how great was my love for this cardigan.  I love wearing vintage handknits, knowing that someone at some point in time put a huge amount of love and work into this piece of clothing, which ultimately ended up in a charity shop or vintage sale.  Maybe it was an unloved gift or cleared from the home of someone who passed away.  Maybe it was knitted for that person but didn't fit, or they didn't have anything to go with it.  Whatever the reason, I love feeling like I've rescued it, cleaned it up, fixed up the damage (although in this case caused some of my own...) and given it a new lease of life.

Teal cardigan, I salute you.

I've got a few knitting projects queued up at the moment but a fairisle cardigan has just made it onto the list as a replacement is desperately needed.  Here are a few I'm contemplating, via my Ravelry and Pintrest (feel free to add me on either, Craftandthrift on both!).

Strokkur by Ysolda Teague.  I love the look of Icelandic sweaters and this one has a nice neckline that's not too high and choking.  Plus I've only knitted one Ysola pattern so far and it was a nice, easy knit, nicely designed.

Continuing the Ysolda theme, Chikadee has also caught my eye.  I like that it's a cardigan, I need more of them in my wardrobe since a couple are on their way out and I don't have any winter approprate ones besides the aforementioned Coraline.  I'm a bit worried that the birds might be a bit twee though.

Another Icelandic knit on Ravelry, Aftur is a genuine Icelandic pattern, written in Finnish, Icelandic and English.  Seems to have got good reviews on Ravelry and if 247 people have managed it then hopefully I can too!

The last one I'm contemplating is Paper Dolls by Kate Davies.  Having completed 2 owls sweaters (here and here) and another one in the works for me, I'm a big fan of Kate.  Again though, bit worried the dolls might be a bit on the twee side.

This is my first time using Pinterest's new widget builder as well and can I just say, I HATE IT.  WAY more difficult to use that the last one (which you could adjust the width as well, meaning you didn't end up with these stupid little pins floating around in the middle of nowhere).  Bring back the old embed function Pinterest!

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