What Maya Knits – Larch Cardigan

Lets talk about WIP (work in progress) projects, those that eventually turn into UFOs (unfinished object), those that seem to take on a resentful personality of their own and just refuse to be completed. The worst ones are the ones that you’ve even managed to remove from your basket or project box, packed up and hidden away hopefully to never be seen again – but they will still be lurking at the back of your mind – and mocking you: You thought you were such a great knitter, but you will never ever be able to complete me – I will haunt you to the day you diiiiieeee! This blog post is about one of those.

I did the cast-on for my Larch in February 2013 (this was before I had my Instagram set up, and I had to check my Ravelry to see when I actually started the project). If you have a look at my Ravelry profile you’ll notice that this is actually the last project I listed there – that tells you how much this project has been haunting me over the years – so much that I’ve ended up ignoring my Ravelry projects just so I didn’t have to see it pop-up every time I visited the page. Why not just frog the whole thing, you might say. The reason I started this project to begin with is that I fell completely in love with the design when I first saw it, and I was equally in love with the yarn I chose to use. The Fyberspates Scrumptious 4Ply is my go-to yarn for so many project and the colour Jen’s Green is still my all time favourite green. The thing is, I never fell out of love with neither the design or the yarn – through the whole process I really wanted this specific cardigan in this specific colour. Then ‘life’ happened – and I never seemed able to finish my Larch.

I’ve had a look at my Instagram to try to trace the progress of my Larch, in March-14 I’m bragging about having finished the body, and that there are only sleeves and edging left to do, however I don’t seem to be casting on for that first sleeve until June-14 – and completing it in January-15…

Then it seems like I am sloooowly but steadily knitting on my cardigan, completing the sleeves, and as this post shows – I’ve started on the shawl collar in July-15. See this! I’ve started the shawl collar, and this is exactly where I left it and how far I’ve gotten when I picked it up again last Christmas (that’s one and a half year later) determined to finish this project. (I am now slightly embarrassed and cringing on my chair writing this blog post).

And that determination was what saved my Larch in the end. I dug out my project from that dark hidden corner at the back of the closet because it was mocking me, right, but I only had the shawl collar left to do. Now at this time I’d completely lost where I was in the pattern – I’ve actually lost the pattern – and had to look it up in my Ravelry library again. Not only that, but I had no idea what size it was I was making… I thought I’d figured it out – ripped out the collar and started again – just to find out I was completely wrong. Nothing less than three times did I rip it out and start over again until I finally got it right. – If I’d only finished it sooner…

Right, so all the knitting was finally done – just the seaming left to do, and I have to admit it took me another couple of weeks to build the courage to tackle this. Coming to tension – we always advice our customers in the shop that this is a very individual thing – and that it can differ from day to day according to your mood, your energy level, (how many glasses of wine you’ve had), and so on – and boy had my tension changed over the years… The body, the sleeves, armholes, edging – my tension was all over the place and nothing seems to fit together – but I made it work somehow. And that’s it – my Larch is finished. It has a whole range of beauty marks and weird stitches, and quite a few wonky seams – but it is finished at last – and I will LOVE (and use) it ’till the day I die!

Finished Larch

George’s Zooey Baby Sweater

I find working here at Knit With Attitude a terrible temptation. Not only is all the yarn stunning, Maya has a wonderful eye and great ethic when choosing the yarns she stocks. So when we started stocking Zooey by Juniper Moon, I just had to give it a go, and to add even more temptation we have just expanded the colour range to a total of nine different colours!

With what seems like summer coming to its peak these past weeks, I think there are still some good excuses to knit some summery garments as the heat mellows into autumn.

Zooey is the perfect yarn for those who like the idea of working with linen but find it too stiff. The yarn is a 60% cotton and 40% linen blend. Which gives you all the joys of both fibres. The cotton softening the linen and the linen strengthening the cotton. This creates a beautifully textured yarn, which has points of slightly thicker and thiner strands which would look gorgeous simply knit in stocking stitch. But as all my friends seem to be either expecting or giving birth right now I stuck with a simple baby cardigan from an old pattern I dug out of my stash. Zooey gets two thumbs up for being washable, so perfect for baby items and those who are worried with woollen aftercare. On the plus side, the more you wash the softer it will become, so on a woollen cycle in the machine at 30° it will reward you again and again.

This cardigan knit up super quick, as baby clothes do, but also because it’s in double knit. All the colours have great nautical names and I went for ‘Rigging’ a kind of coral pink colour. This pattern gives you an idea of the stitch definition and general texture you can achieve. With a slight scalloped and lace detail made by making stitches and decreasing in purl you can see that the detail is not lost, as the yarn has the strength to hold the pattern. I bet it would cable very well. Also there are panels of flat stocking stitch, mainly on the sleeve, which due to the nature of the yarn have a beautiful rustic chic feel which would also give adult garments a lovely finish.

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So the baby in question is not quite with us yet, she is due in September and I can’t wait to see her. Even more I can’t wait to see her in the cardigan, after all we knit things to be worn and see life brought to them. So if you are looking for a lovely DK yarn with a great colour range and a wonderful texture then choose Zooey.

What to do next?

Are you like me? You race through your project with breeze, then when you reach 2/3 done, it suddenly starts to go real slowly, that project seems to never finish! You start planning new projects to sink your teeth in, mentally you are already done with your project, you have moved on. The question is, do you start on the next one before finishing, just because you can’t help yourself? I’m the kind of knitter who ends up with ten to twelve UFOs (Unfinished Objects) while claiming that they are WIPs (Work in Progress), so the last year or so I’ve been on restriction, to make sure that I actually do finish what I’m working on. I’m only allowed to have two to three projects going on at the same time.

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Right now I’m working on a crochet jumper for myself which I realise will take for ever to complete, but as you can see my other project; a new jumper for my youngest one is nearly done, and then I will start a new project. Yay! I have an endless list of stuff I want to do, but right now I’m between two options.

 

This skull shawl is just screaming my name, I noticed it as soon as it was published on Ravelry back in May and decided that this was for me. I’ve seen several versions of it popping up here and there, some simplifying how to make the eyes of the skulls, but I still like the original best. Another something that really caught my eyes last week, were these amazing yoga balls.

 

I’m dying to make a cover for mine, it needs one for sure, and it would transform it from this thing that is always in the way being rolled around in the flat, to a new funky interior piece with it’s function intact. That’s like win win win!!! I just can’t make my mind up on these two, at least I have a few more rows to go on Little One’s jumper before I have to make my decision.