For the past fortnight I have been travelling. I am used to travelling but usually I travel for work, not pleasure. I had a lovely time and I'll be sharing stories from that journey soon. Suffice to say that my batteries have been recharged. I spend so much time working on things that I cannot show you until they have been published. However, I do work on the occasional design by other people. My Bute cardigan is nearly done, but unfortunately I made a major mistake when I cast on for the fronts. The Small and Medium sizes are practically identical up to a certain point and, yes, my brain chose the wrong increase. As a result one front is size Small and the other is size Medium. I will have to reknit the wrong size front (which would be the smaller of the two, of course) but luckily I have enough yarn for that.
So I cast on for another project and it is one I work on when I do any public knitting or have any in-between time.
This is the Orkney cardigan from Rowan 52. I have changed the pattern quite a bit - though not any essential parts!
Instead of knitting it flat, I worked the body in the round with steeks (including the neckline and the armholes) as I didn't see the need to knit a traditional fair-isle cardigan flat and then seam it. So much extra work for no good reason! I added 9 stitches for the front steek and 7 stitches elsewhere. First I secured the steek with crochet stitches but I didn't like the bulkiness (particularly around the armholes) so I redid the edges using the zigzag on a sewing machine - much better.
I also changed the colour scheme significantly.
The original cardigan uses 13 colours in Rowan Felted Tweed DK and is rather bright when you see it in real life. The Rowan photos show it as being rather muted, but you have yellows next to purples with turquoise is another of the dominant colours. I just wanted to take the colour scheme somewhere else and turn it more autumnal. I did a coloured in version of the fair-isle chart before I changed colours around so I could see which colours were dominant where - I really recommend doing this if you are planning on recolouring any big fair-isle project. In the end I substituted the Camel (beige) with Phantom (brown). I used Ancient (a blueish khaki green) instead of Bilberry (purple) and Rage (red) instead of Watery (turquoise). I am generally using fewer colours as well as they tend towards the cool green-brown-red end of the scale.
Interestingly the sleeves use the same patterns as the body but the colours are changed around. The change in colours make a huge difference and people have been astonished when I point out the patterning is identical. I'm trying to impose a certain order on my colour scheme by using Rage on the sleeves whenever I've used Ancient (and vice versa) and Camel where I've previously used Celadon, but I'm not sticking to any substitution rules, really. Whatever looks nice. The sleeve looks a bit brighter than the body and I've used less green than I had anticipated, but I like how it looks.
Ravelry users reported that the fit was on the snug side, so I have gone up a needle size and also a size up from my usual Rowan size (which is Medium) - the lower part of the sleeve is still snug and I think the body will be a tight fit, but we'll see what happens when I block the cardigan. Felted Tweed DK likes to loosen up during blocking.
And I am already thinking about buttons. All of the buttons have been purchased from Textile Garden over the last year or so. I am somewhat partial to the lower left set but I do have some plain coconut shell buttons I could also use. First, though, I need to finish the two sleeves and the bands, block the lot, and ease in the sleeves. I am in no hurry with this cardigan so there will be plenty of time to decide upon buttons. Maybe even purchase some more?
I think I'll have enough yarn left to do another colourwork cardigan - maybe one emphasising slightly richer colours?