Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The next cardigan - Rowan Summer Tweed

I always liked my Summer Tweed jacket, but six years later I finally decided that it was time for something less bright.  The yarn is one of my favourites, so I looked for a different colour.  Rowan no longer did the dark brown Chocolate shade and I thought the current one, Toast, too reddish.  So I went for the violet Loganberry shade.  Peter Jones didn't have enough, but the assistant helpfully ordered it for me from the John Lewis website.  It came, that is I collected it, the next day.  Ten balls, each individually wrapped, from two different dye lots.  That is not good.  I thought such a good idea - you can order any shade not in stock at the store, but it is no longer a good idea if they don't look out for dye lots.  Luckily Peter Jones had enough of one of my two dye lots in stock, so I could exchange, but it meant an extra trip to the store (all of a 20 minute walk away, and I always enjoy a look around...).

This was in February 2012.  I like starting my summer knitting early - because it takes me at least three months to finish a garment, and it is frustrating that knitting magazines don't have summer patterns until several months later.  This time I was looking for a top down pattern.  I searched the Rowan magazines for one I could adapt, but found nothing suitable.  I like cardigans with collars that button up to the neck, so no curved fronts, no shawl collars.  On Ravelry I found Heidi Kirrmaer's Simple Summer Tweed Top down, albeit for a v-neck sweater, but that I could change.

I found this picture with my three attempts.  I can't remember any more what was wrong with the first two.  I suspect they were either too large or two small.  I continued with the third, until it came time to go away in June.  I thought it was too large a project to take travelling.  I had continued knitting straight after doing the armholes, and when I came back and tried it on I decided that it would look better with increases to flare slightly over the hips.  It seemed too near to the end of summer then, so I put it away.

When I took it out again this spring I had the idea of making it longer in the back instead, so saving having to reknit the body.  And it worked.  I did just a few short rows in the back - you can hardly see them, but it feels much better.  Then I did a garter stitch collar, not very successfully, but I didn't want to spend more time on it then, so I just fastened the ends and that was that.  The buttons came from the button store, from this cardigan.  The colour is just right and the ridges echo the unevenness of the yarn.

I like the cardigan, and I have worn it a lot.  It is a very classic shape, not very elegant, nor a great piece of knitting, but it serves very well.  I will knit more with Summer Tweed, even if Rowan had discontinued it.  I have a very nice collection of shades, and I hope to be able to add more Chocolate.
The third cardigan, the one I started on holiday, is destined not to be completed.

Rowan Summer Tweed top down cardigan

pattern Heidi Kirrmaier

Started 22 February 2014, finished 28 July 2014

Shade Loganberry, 4.5 mm needles, 16 sts to 10 cm, 420 gr