Reds & Greens

November is never a great time to take photos, blue-tinted light and all, so excuse the slight bluriness and blueness of these photos. I have been working on this Kim Hargreaves cardigan ever since Touching Elegance was published. It should not have taken me this long but a lot of things have conspired against me: other projects, a sudden lack of knitting mojo, stressful time at work, injury-prone hands..

Luckily I was able to devote some proper time to the cardigan during my holiday and the second front knitted up in less than four days. I found my homemade spreadsheet absolutely invaluable: all the increase and decreases which make for a slightly biased fabric and create a gently sloped front edge were just too much to keep straight in my head. I'm a visual learner and I think I'll make these spreadsheets a lot in the future unless I'm dealing with extremely basic shapes.

Whilst I was in Copenhagen, I decided to search for suitable buttons. The original pattern just calls for five buttons, but I had decided to incorporate a sixth buttonhole to help stabilise the fronts as I've knitted this cardigan with negative ease. I found the perfect buttons in a fabric shop and I'm very pleased by how I managed to find some in the same shade of red (it's not an easy shade of red to match - it is a coral-ish, slightly cool red). My original plan was to find some navy and white buttons to give the cardigan a nautical feel, but these buttons make it a much more versatile garment. Score!

Incidentally, this is the best piece of knitting advice I have ever been given (thanks Gran): Use the most expensive buttons you can afford. Cheap buttons will make even the most luxurious garment feel cheap whilst expensive buttons will make a simple garment look like a million.

I have also been knitting socks. Well, mini-socks to be precise.

I'm running a Christmas workshop later this week and have been playing around with scrap yarn in preparation. The grey sock is knitted in 4ply yarn and the red sock in aran-weight yarn. I plan on adding embellishments (beads, buttons, glittery yarn) and see where that takes me. I also need to tweak the 'heel' as I'm not very happy with how it looks.

I'm doing yet another Christmas workshop next week - that one is about crocheting Christmas ornaments and we'll be using a pattern which has been handed down my family. I have already done a few swatches for that one whilst in Denmark (we called it 'mother-daughter bonding over Christmas crafting') but I might do a few more. Just for kicks.

Finally, thank you so much for all your comments and Rav messages lately. I'm running way behind schedule in answering all of you but I will get there!