On My Needles: Wallis Pleated Cardigan
It’s been quite a long time since I’ve shown my current knitting project with you guys! But that doesn’t mean I’ve been knitting up a storm (during my lunch breaks and daily commute).
I bought the Knit Vintage book earlier this year and have been lusting over several of the patterns in it.
But this Wallis Pleated cardigan won over the rest and I knew I had to knit it up for this fall.
I’m making mine up in a bright red since I have a major shortage of red in my current wardrobe. I have plenty of hot pink as well as maroon, but no true reds save this skirt.
I knit up the left front of the cardigan first and decided to use my tried and true cascade yarn: 70% wool, 30% silk yarn. The silk content in the yarn give it a lovely drape is suited particularly to a design like this with the bust pleats.
Well… I did something bold and didn’t swatch. Bad…bad Liz!
Generally I have an 8 sts per inch with this yarn. But I have forgotten that this is my knit in the round gauge. I am knitting this cardigan flat and as a result my gauge is completely off. After knitting up the entire front half, I found that it’s very much not going to fit. I have a 7.25 sts per inch gauge, and the front feels a good 3 inches too wide. (The bobby pin in the picture above is where the actual side seam should be.)
I was counting on having that 8 sts per inch gauge, and if that were the case, it probably would have fit. So I have to frog it back to the ribbing section and rework it. But it’s not that bad… at least it’s only 1/4 of the cardigan and not the whole thing.
Since I didn’t feel like frogging, I decided to move on to the bodice back.
*Scissors are there to hold the top from curling down.
I got a decent ways up the back when this piece too, had to be put on a yarn holder since I’m not certain how long I am making this cardigan (given the front piece has to be re-knit).
What do I do? I decided to start on the right bodice front (instead of frogging the left bodice front.)
So at this point in time, I have a too-large bodice left, 1/2 the bodice back, and about 1/3 of the bodice right pieces completed.
I like to keep moving forward on my knitting. I kept working until I had to sit down and re-figure out my math again.
I’m somewhat confident that this second bodice piece will work out, but I’m not going to frog the original front bodice section until I know this new one will fit. No sense in knitting it up wrong twice, now is there?!
Don’t you love my reasoning??? :)
All I can say is that once I finish a correct front bodice, this cardigan is going to go fast, now that all of the ribbing sections are done!
My mini book review:
Unfortunately, my bias against knitting from books holds true. What do I mean by this? Well, the garments themselves look nice, but the pattern directions leave much to be desired. I’ve been left to figure out how many rows to knit in between each pattern section, some stitch counts do not match up like they are stated; overall basic details are left out that make working on this cardigan a challenge, even for me as an intermediate knitter.
I do have to say, there are some great knitting books out there from some lovely designers/knitters that use technology to their advantage and want to give excellent customer service to their peeps. But this book isn’t one of them.
I don’t want to turn this post into a rant, but this book has been published and released…. and that’s about it. Most of the patterns haven’t been posted on Ravelry, which to me is a basic promotion for ones’ book. Luckily there is a page up for this book yet the authors are ‘hands off’ and don’t chime in to help with any knitting issues (which I posted about over a month ago). To me, this is all basic customer service.
On the surface, the patterns are nice, but the styling is not vintage for a pro-vintage pattern book and in some cases the yarn selection is not a good match for the pattern:
This fair isle was knit with alpaca. Never would I knit fair isle in alpaca… it just looks flimsy and structure-less; those white stitches between the color just look ‘barely there’. This jumper would have looked so much nicer in an actual yarn made for fair isle designs!
I’m fine working from this pattern book since the designs are cute, like this Hedy Tyrolean cardigan:
But I wouldn’t advice you to buy this book unless you’re an intermediate/advanced knitter and can figure things out on your own.
I’ve been left to figure things out on my own and since this is a new book, there aren’t tons of folks who’ve knit these patterns to share their errata on Ravelry or on their on personal websites. If you’re wanting to delve into some vintage knits I highly suggest some of the stitchcraft freebies I have posted. But book-wise, I love the A Stitch In Time series by Susan Crawford.