My first cardigan!

I finally did it! I finished my first knitted piece of clothing! You see, I’ve been knitting hats, scarves, shawls, socks and whathaveyou for years now, but I’ve never been brave enough to tackle a cardigan or sweater. What if I made it too small? Too big? What if I made a mistake in the beginning and discovered it only in the end? What if I didn’t like the project after all and ended up with a gazillion skeins of unused yarn from the project? So many potential problems!

In the wonderful year of 2011 I decided I’d stop being a chicken and cast on for this little number. It seemed simple enough! A little rib pattern, a lot of stockinette stitch, no big deal; I’d be able to concentrate on the shaping! You’re so smart, I thought, and that should have been a big fat warning sign, because every time I congratulate myself on being a smart person, everything goes wrong. In this case, it was about 50% inexperience and 50% the fact that I didn’t understand how the pattern was written. Reading patterns means you have to start thinking like the person who wrote it, and sometimes there are two minds perfectly aligned, and sometimes you just end up confused and angry.

After many attempts, followed by the inevitable frogging of said attempt, I threw the project in a corner and didn’t touch it again until this summer. It was my The One Who Got Away project. I didn’t like that, and in the spirit of finishing what you start I picked it up again. And voilà! I did it. The ribbing in the left front is bigger than on the back and the right sleeve looks different than the left, but I did it. And nobody will ever notice these little imperfections, very much thanks to my choice of black yarn.

The pattern is Kim Hargreave’s Jen from the Precious collection. The yarn is Wolle Rödel Siena (100% merino), which I didn’t like until the very end when I steamed all pieces very gently, and now it’s soft and gorgeous. But my favourite thing about this projects are the buttons! I’ve no idea where I got them from and for which project, but they’re perfect for this one! Despite all the frustration and anger this cardi caused (or maybe because of it), I like the end result very much.

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