Earlier this year when I was feeling flimsy, I decided to unpick and reknit three cardigans which had been languishing in my wardrobe for ages because I didn't like them. I bought three new patterns and set to work. I wound all the wool from each section into one ball so I would know if I had sufficient yarn to complete it. I soon found with the one in the photo above, that I would not have nearly enough to finish it and had used all the yarn from the back of the original garment by the time I reached the armhole shaping. I searched several woolshops before finding something of similar weight and a suitable colour to blend with my first choice. I think I succeeded - the colours are closer than they appear in my photo. I like it anyway and it's as warm as a coat - possibly a sign that we'll have a mild winter this year and there'll be no cause to wear it! It was expensive the first time round and cost even more to find yarn to finish it, so I shall want my money's worth from it.
The second pattern was more co-operative and knitted up nicely, except that it fitted my daughter better than me - at least it went to a good home. I started work on pattern No.3 and all went well until I came to make the second front. I just couldn't get it right even after three attempts and much checking of the pattern. So, I unpicked it all AGAIN and knitted it up to the same pattern as the one I gave my daughter but in a larger size - you can see it in the pic above and I am wearing it now. It is fairly light so very useful and inspite of being a cheapish yarn, it looks quite nice and after all that messing about I have certainly had good knitting value out of it.
All of this brings to mind a cardy I made years ago - shown above - using the freeform knitting and crochet technique sometimes known as scrumbling. This is a great way to use up all those oddments - even short lengths - of wool and even embroidery threads. The idea comes from Jan Messent's book 'Wool 'n Magic' and advises that a template be made using heavy duty interfacing, so that the work can be pinned onto it to see how the shape is progressing. From memory, you start with knitting and cast on no more than 7 or 8 stitches, knit a square, cast off all but the last stitch then pick up and knit down one side and knit a few more rows. Cast off again, change yarn and start to crochet. It's a bit daunting at first but soon becomes great fun and the idea is to change yarns, colours, stitches and techniques as often as possible. I added a knitted dark navy welt, cuffs and collar to finish my jacket and because it is so colourful it goes with almost anything.
I found it really difficult to photograph these cardies. Lying them flat on the table or hanging them on coat hangers made them look awful and trying to be model and photographer made them fold and distort just where I wanted them to lie flat and smooth, but you get some idea of what they look like.
I am in thinking mode at present and nothing creative is emerging yet. Other bloggers are so prolific and seem to have lovely things to share every week. Perhaps I should make cards or ATCs to post here, but that would divert my thoughts from my next project.
Halfway through loading these pics, Explorer stopped working. As I had saved them as I went along I am hoping that I've only got one of each and not doubled up on the two that I had managed to load. I shall soon find out - fingers crossed.