Finished: Red Deco Cardigan

This cardigan was a year in the making. With a few months off to get to grips with motherhood (and also when the pattern threw up a new challenge), I was delighted to finally finish it.

The pattern is by Kate Davies. I have made her Manu cardigan previously and was really taken by the Art Deco-influenced style of this design. It was fairly straightforward to knit - a lot of stocking stitch, but I enjoy blocks of mindless knitting which don't require too much concentration, perfect for TV knitting. As I mentioned, the times I had a break with knitting were mainly when I had finished one section and needed to pay a bit more attention to the pattern to get my head around something new.
As with my Manu, I used the same yarn (New Lanark DK, in Cherry this time) and couldn't get gauge without going down to a smaller needle size, so I decided to knit for a 31" bust when mine is 34". This worked out fine.
 What a dorky photo!

I lengthened the body and arms by 2" - I integrated the body length increase into the waist decreases, adding 2 extra rows between decreases (5 instead of 3) and adding a few more rows after the decreases finish to make a total of about 20 extra rows. This worked well although it meant that the vertical pattern on the front didn't extend towards the waist as much as the pattern intends. I might change this if I knit it again. Here's my version on Ravelry

I wasn't a fan of the sleeve shape. Where the Manu sleeve is straight from shoulder to wrist, the Deco pattern has you decreasing down after picking up stitches around the armhole and the sleeve is ultimately wider. I decreased more stitches than the pattern required, using the width of the Manu cardigan as a guide. I prefer the more sleek, straighter shape, but the effect was not helped by my picking up too many stitches on the first armhole, so that there is excess fabric at the top of the sleeve. Blocking helped to make it look better but my sleeve tops are different sizes.

 Don't know why I'm standing at such a jaunty angle, but you can see the top of sleeve excess well, bleurgh

As directed by the pattern I sewed on grosgrain ribbon with snaps on top and then sewed the buttons on top of the button band. I hadn't tried this technique before so was happy to give it a go, although I'm not sure what the advantage of it is. I suppose it makes for a neater front of the cardigan, particularly when the cardigan is closely fitting, as this style is. I had to buy a couple of sets of clear plastic snaps as the first ones I bought (Hemline brand) were too obvious on the ribbon. The Prym set I bought looked better as their design was a bit more unobtrusive.
I was really happy to be able to use these buttons, that I got a couple of years ago in a charity shop button haul:
  
Aren't they delicious? The colour and style match the cardigan perfectly

I finished this cardigan a couple of months ago and I have been wearing it fairly frequently as it's a colour and style that fits well into my wardrobe. However I'm not completely delighted with it - I think it's the sleeve shape (plus my added mishap) that I'm not such a fan of. It feels a bit more bulky than I would like around the shoulders, which is my broadest area. This hasn't stopped me reaching for it though, and I think it will be useful in Autumn and Winter. This year I want to brighten up my cold weather wardrobe, so this the the perfect garment to add a splash of colour in dull weather.
With an unblogged needlecord skirt. Can you believe I actually ironed it before taking this photo? Doesn't look like it!

My next plan MIGHT be to make a jumper (sweater) for my husband if we can find a pattern he likes. If not, it'll be another jumper or cardigan for me. This Boreal jumper (also by Kate Davies) is blinkin' gorgeous:

I probably would get more use from a cardigan though. Or maybe I could branch out, designer-wise? I like something knitted in either DK or Aran, nothing finer as it takes too long. I'd love to know if you have any recommendations for patterns for me or my Current Husband. Speak up if you have any favourites you can recommend!

K x

24 comments:

  1. The cardi looks great! What you don't like is not really noticeable - usually just the maker knows :)
    I have never done grossgrain tape and snaps...must try this.
    Last year I knitted 2 sweaters and 1 cardigan (finished on Christmas Eve , in the evening) for Christmas for my daughter, my son and his fiance. All three different shapes (cardi was big, shawl collar, belt, one sweater had no neckline..I constructed a funnel neck by just knitting the neck back and front, the third was just a classic shape. All three had cables/Aran patterns, which I chose from my knitting patterns books, wrote them out which was a pain for the cardigan to get all matching cables looking well...and all 3 garments shared at least one kind of cable, as family trait ;))

    there are some generic sleeve calculations, neck calculations and ease calculations on the net (I know of them, but use them as I don't really follow patterns....there has been just ONE sweater that I knitted about 80% following a pattern - by Gudrun Johnson - Shetland Trader - beautiful patterns!), so why not try your hand at designing your own! A swatch in plain stocking stitch and a swatch in the pattern is a must!

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    1. Wow, your knitting projects sound really impressive and what productivity! You're right, I should really look into designing something my own. I will look into the calculations you mention, it sounds a bit scary but I'm sure it would be great to get something unique. I like Gudrun Johnson's patterns too, I've made her Aestlight shawl twice - one still to be blogged.

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  2. Yaay - you finished it! Looks great and a lovely colour. The buttons are perfect! I am still obsessed with andi satterlund patterns. I want to do an aiken but like you I think I'll get more wear from a cardie. So maybe a Miette or the new ones whose name escapes me. Or maybe kate davies owls!

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    1. I love the Owls too and that could be made into a cardigan without too much trouble I think. In fact, I'm sure the Boreal could too...

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  3. Looks like the perfect way to brighten up your winter wardrobe. I love hand knitted woollies - they are so much better quality than shop bought!

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    1. Thanks Philippa, I love a hand knitted cardigan too and they are always so warm , sometimes too hot, in fact

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  4. Love this design, the colour is very pretty, I have my eye on a Kate Davies design too! Please do a post if you find a suitable mens pattern, I'm on the hunt for one too, preferably something I can knit on the round which appears awkward to find... :)

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    1. Hmmm, you'd think one of the modern designers would have something suitable made in the round. I like the Jared Flood Cobblestone pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cobblestone-pullover

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  5. Oh wow, I would absolutely love to improve my knitting skills to the point where I could make a garment! This cardigan looks fab and please make that jumper!

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    1. The jumper is beautiful isn't it? I think I would have to knit it in similar colours too, if I made it. I love that rich turquoise

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  6. This is glorious! That cherry red is fab and love the art deco ridges on the front!

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    1. Thank you Becca, I do love the colour

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  7. Gorgeous! It's really lovely and I'm ever so impressed. Love the colour. Oooh yes, go for the jumper. I adore Kate Davies designs and I'm working hard on my knitting skills to be able to make her patterns.xx

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    1. She does have some great patterns - some are too complex for me though!

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  8. Beautiful ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  9. Gorgeous colour! This is really pretty.

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  10. I think the cardigan looks good, but you can easily redo the sleeves to your liking if they bug you. Especially easy if you knit them top down.

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    1. Thank you, I don't think they bug me enough to re-do them, It's a good idea, but my laziness and desire to make something new will win out!

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  11. Hi - hope you don't mind me butting in - your Deco looks great, but I think the issue with the sleeve caps may be that the New Lanark DK is a wee bit heavy for the pattern as written (it was designed in a 4 ply yarn). If you can be bothered, I'd redo the sleeve caps, picking up fewer sts.
    cheers, Kate

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    1. Thanks Kate. It's really the sleeve top where I picked up extra stitches that bothers me and I don't think I can face unpicking anything now it's finished and I've been wearing it.I'd thought that picking up those extra stitches would help make more room for my broad shoulders but that didn't work out. This is probably why I don't design knitwear! :)

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  12. Kate had posted about a trio of boreals that had been steeked and turned into cardigans

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    1. Thank you, I will check those out :)

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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say