Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Handspun Yoke Cardigan

I have practically finished my handspun yoke cardigan, after much spinning, knitting, tinkering with the pattern, and more knitting. I still have to weave in ends and find buttons, but it's the weather is too warm for such a cosy cardigan right now - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
I made several modifications to the pattern; to suit my tastes & chosen yarns;

Sleeves; the sleeves in the pattern are straight. This would mean that the sleeve would be very loose around the wrist, which I like the look of, but find impratical. The pattern called for 54 stitches to be cast-on; I cast on 46 stitches, then knit for 2 1/2 inches and increased by 2 stitches x 4 times. This meant that I increased to the recommended 54 stitches when the sleeve was 10 inches long. I then continued to knit straight, as recommended, and added an extra half inch length.

Yoke;
The pattern suggests knitting the main, commercial yarn at a slightly loose tension, and knitting very slightly thicker handspun yarn, in 3 contrast colours to the same tension. The commerical yarn I choose - Drops Nepal - was slightly thicker than the recommended yarn, and makes a nice full fabric at the pattern's recommended tension.
My handspun yarns were very obviously variegated, and a little too bright together. I decided to leave out the textured yoke section in favour of stocking and garter stitch rows, and to use just 2 contrasting colours in handspun yarn.


The handspun yarn also proved to be a little too bulky knit on the same needles as the commercial yarn; my first attempt at the yoke looked puckering, lumpy and uneven, especially along decrease rows. I ripped out the first yoke attempt (and was amused by the other half's horrified reaction) and got out the graph paper & colouring pencils for better planning.


For a better fit I started knitting with the contrast colour about an inch higher than directed in the pattern and I decreased over 6 rows instead of 3.
I knit the handspun yarn using smaller needles, giving a stiffer, less lumpy fabric.
I am happy with the results. It's a thick, cosy cardigan that will be loved when the weather next turns cold (which could be the entire summer season here in Ireland).




Pattern; King of Confidence, by Weaverknits
Yarn; Drops Nepal in charcoal grey, from the Constant Knitter
Fibre; Mixed batts from Laura Hogan, bluefaced leicester from Craftspun, Humbug Jacob from the World of Wool, Merino roving from The Yarn Room, Ashford wool Dyes from The Yarn Room
Needles; 4.5 mm for commercial yarn, 3.5 mm for handspun.

8 comments:

  1. Wow! That turned out really nicely. I love that grey and it really sets off the handspun. Well done on working out the modifications at the yoke. It's looks like it's really cosy to wear. You've done two big garment projects now!

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  2. Great job... I love it. I got about four inches into the body and abandoned it for malabrigo :D Get your hair cut? It's lubberly.

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  3. Thanks ladies!
    Yep, another proper garment - cue smug face.
    Aileen; no haircut - this is what happens when I tie up freshly washed hair and leave it for the day.

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  4. What a fabulous way to use some handspun in a legitimate wearable object, and it turned out fantastic too :D

    p.s. extra points for pic of yarn in authentic mum-style mixing bowl.

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  5. that looks fabulous...I may have plans for my handspun now

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  6. Thanks R, J & D
    I love my mixing bowl too! :)

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  7. Hi - -I'm knitting the KofC now. Your sweater is lovely. Thanks for posting your mods. I'm hearting your rav project!

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