Isla's Olivia CardiganWednesday, February 03, 2016
Another stash-busting project done! This time, a rainbow Olivia Cardigan from the pattern by Nikki Van De Car. I'm making good progress on my yarn stash, one by one picking out the yarns that have been saved for a rainy day and turning them into something else more practical.
This yarn was another find from Thimbles on my last holiday to Cape Town. It lost its yarn label on the way home but I suspect it has a high acrylic content so I steam-blocked the bejeebers out of it and that worked brilliantly. It took 100 grams for the entire cardigan (with a tiny amount left to spare). I love it that baby and toddler garments take so little, and that they finish so quickly. Such a great sense of triumph at the end.
So. This pattern. I think the yoke/sleeve construction is sheer genius (although why you don't pick up the stitches for the underarm as you knit I have no idea - definitely going to do that next time instead of sewing up afterwards!). Easy, quick, simple. Stands up to baby antics as she clambers over toys and under tables to test the cardigan's mettle.
The lace, well that's another story entirely. I've knit a lot of lace and used a lot of charts. I've done lace scarves, cardigans, jumpers, and blankets. So why oh why couldn't I get Van Der Car's lace pattern to work?! Each time I progressed to the next row, my stitch count was out. I counted and recounted my stitches before and after each row. I marked off each lace repeat with stitch markers. Maybe I'm just a visual person and I need a chart. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be. Either way, after my third (third!) attempt at the lace pattern, I ripped it right back, chucked it out, and replaced the entire body with the lace repeat from the Hey, Teach! cardigan which I love. Done, and done.
With this size (18-24m), I had to do a band of five plain stitches on either side of the button band to get the lace repeat to fit neatly. I quite like the way it looks.
The Olivia Cardigan pattern comes from the book What to Knit: The Toddler Years which I got out of the library. Of course, as luck would have it, someone requested the book so I had to get the whole cardigan done and cast off before returning it in two weeks. I knit the 18-24 month size so it worked up really quickly and I made it just in time, casting off the night before the book was due back.
This cardigan's neckline is much too big for Isla, but that's not surprising as it is the next size up for her. I didn't want to knit her actual size in case I didn't get it finished in time; there's nothing more disappointing than making something that ends up taking longer than expected and being far too small to be any good. I speak from experience.
She likes the buttons. Priorities.