Salut Manu

Sometimes you work at things for a long time and they just come out … meh. Like this cardigan. I started it at the beginning of December and finished it a couple of days ago. It was a technically challenging pattern for me. It took time and effort and staying power. And it came out just meh. Such is life.

What do I dislike about it? For starters, the sleeves are too long. I made them longer than indicated in the pattern after measuring my arms. When I was finished knitting, I handwashed the cardigan because it had been dragged on several train journeys and one hotel room, plus Oscar gave it some good old-fashioned kitty-lovin’. After the wash, the sleeves had turned enormous. Then, obviously, the two sides of the cardigan are asymmetrical. This might be solved by blocking it a second time. Thirdly, the stitched-on pockets are all wonky, but I really don’t want to open the seams again. It’d be extremely annoying because the yarn used for the seams is (obviously) the same as the cardigan itself. Lastly, I made a mistake and used the normal wrap-and-turn method instead of the Sunday short rows. I had hoped you wouldn’t notice it in the end, but you can, unfortunately. Individually, these faults aren’t that bad, but together they just make my Manu look sloppy.

On the bright side, I adore the yarn. It’s an alpaca and silk blend that feels amazing on the skin. So soft and warm! The colour is a deep navy, a favourite of mine anyway.

I also loved the process of knitting it. It was challenging in a fun way. I was never bored by all the stockinette, because I felt I learnt something new with every step. I had never done pleats in knitting before – now I have, which is so neat! I had also never done the i-cord bind-off, or the i-cord button holes. It took me quite a while to figure out the instructions there, but I do love the clean look of it!

Speaking of which, I have to note two things: There are instructions missing for the back short rows of page 6. It might be obvious that you have to resolve the short rows, but it still threw me for a loop because I wasn’t sure if it was on purpose that there wasn’t any note on that. I’m also still unsure where you’re supposed to start the i-cord bind-off. I browsed Ravelry projects for a while until I found someone who explained they had started it somewhere in the middle of the bottom edging and then did just that.


Pattern: Manu by Kate Davies (size 38)

Material: DROPS Baby Alpaca Silk (Sport, 70% alpaca/30% silk), #6935 Navy, 8 skeins

Photography: Philip

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