Thanks Brenda…

This post is brought to you courtesy of Brenda Dayne and her podcast, Cast On. Without her, I would never have created this most gorgeous garment.

I remember listening to episode 71 (I really had to search to find the right one!) walking home from the train after work. It was hot, so must have been in late January or sometime in February. Brenda was talking about this pattern, from Rowan 44, and it sounded fantastic. But I’d gotten my copy of Rowan 44 already and I couldn’t for the life of me remember it. When I got home, I immediately looked it up and wondered to myself how I could have overlooked it!

Well, there were a couple of reasons – the embroidery (which I’m generally not a fan of, on adult knitwear) and the sleeve length. Of course, someone on Ravelry had already solved both of those issues!

(Special thanks also to Bells who was my yarn mule, collecting the yarn for me from Cassidy’s in Canberra, to Margarita, my stylist and photographer and Lee for the lovely location!)

Pattern: Bruegel by Sarah Hatton, from Rowan 44. This is a gorgeous magazine, it’s Rowan’s 30th anniversary edition, and even if you never knit from it, it’s great eye candy! I do plan at least one more garment from it – a 4ply/fingering weight cardigan! Will be waiting a little while for that one! As for the pattern itself, it is excellent. Easy to follow, gorgeous cabling, and a new-to-me technique, smocked ribbing (which is a bit of a pain in the butt to do, but it is SO EFFECTIVE! I love it!).

I also love the collar and the edging on the collar/front pieces – 5 stitches of reverse stocking stitch – which of course curl, to give the appearance of a straight edge – it’s hard to describe but is a very neat solution to the stocking stitch curl problem without being clunky like a garter or moss/seed stitch edging can be.

Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic – the called-for yarn for the pattern. I cannot recommend this yarn highly enough. It’s a 70/26/4 lambswool/kid mohair/nylon blend, aran/10ply weight, and as light as a feather! Creates a beautiful fabric, warm without being heavy, with a light halo and beautiful stitch definition. Oh, and great yardage for an aran weight – 140m/153yds per 50g. I would absolutely use this yarn again. Oh, and I used just under 10 balls for the cardigan – slightly more than the pattern called for, due to my modifications.

Sticks: 4.5mm for the ribbed smocking, 5mm for everything else. I used KP Options (mostly because I thought metal sticks would be far easier to see with the dark yarn!).

What I learned: Smocked ribbing – basically you knit the ribbing (2x2x2 knit/purl/knit) onto a cable needle or dpn, wrap the yarn around the stitches on the cable needle/dpn twice, then slip the stitches on your right needle. It’s fiddly, but very cool! Also, when seaming the smocked ribbing, you can smock the edge ribs from each side edge as you seam, making it appear truly seamless. The pattern doesn’t give any instructions on this seaming detail, so I felt pretty darn clever that I worked it out myself!

Oh, and as you already know, I learnt it’s important to count correctly when splitting off the collar stitches from the front piece. Sigh…what was that about feeling clever…

Modifications: I omitted the embroidery – for me, the garment has enough lovely features without adding more. And I also omitted the sleeve turn up – in the original pattern, the sleeves end around the elbow, and the smocked ribbing part is turned up. It didn’t make sense to me to have an aran weight cardigan with elbow length sleeves, with double thickness around the arm, so I made the stocking stitch portion of the sleeves longer, and I did the smocking on the right side of the sleeve, rather than the wrong side (as you would if you were turning it up).

I’m much happier with this style of sleeve, which is about bracelet length!

Time: As my Tour de France 2009 project – I did all the knitting (well, except the reknitting of the right collar/top of front) during the tour – 4 July – 25 July – but then didn’t actually seam it until this week – so finished 25 August 2009.

I just love it! Now if only it would get cold enough again for me to wear it this year!


Filed under cable, FO 2009, TdF 2009

37 responses to “Thanks Brenda…

  1. hooray! This is just so good. You've worked hard and it shows. Everything about it, including the mods, is just perfect. I love the way you've made it your own.I think you'll get loads of wear out of this – NEXT WINTER! – and I agree totally on the yarn. I could knit with that kid classic again and again – and I will. So great. The details are perfect and it suits you very well. So great to see a proper full photo of you on your blog to!

  2. Love the sleeve detail! Beautiful and you could always use it as an excuse to travel somewhere cold?

  3. You could always pop 3 hours down the highway to Canberra. Guarantee you'd need it today – it feel freezing!!I think the cardigan is just smashing, and you look smashing in it. Nice work (as usual – you have yet to make anything I don't really love!)

  4. OH Rose Red it is AMAZING.I went and looked up the pattern and thought all your modifications turned the fussy overwrought original into a gorgeous garment – and it looks like it will get a lot of wear too.Love the smocking and the cablesAnd I agree the redo of the collar was worth it

  5. Hey RoseRed are you interested in being paid to knit me a cardi – as I lost a huge amount of my favourites to moths, I am in need of replemishment. I love this cardi – let me know if you are interested.

  6. Utterly perfect – utterly gorgeousIt really is lovely and I wants me one – sigh – another one for the list – looks so gorgeous and springlike there too!

  7. Wow, this is stunning. No wonder your post is so gushing. I adore the colour and the cabling is beautifully done. You did a great job

  8. so so beautiful. suits you so well and those details are just right, elegant and classy and very clever. i love that reverse stocking stitch edging, great solution to a perennial problem. nice work!

  9. That Margarita stylist and location manager Lee are a hot team – look at you!Love the cardi, great job.

  10. I think it will be 'Thanks RoseRed' from now on. I'm sure this wonderful version of the jacket will make others consider making it. I think it is just perfect – yarn, colour, cut – all great.

  11. tis loverly, and know, damn you and brenda, and helen, and margarita and lee, I want one too. Here's hoping it will be cold in a couple of weekends – please bring to 'camp'.

  12. jp

    Awesome, Awesome, Awesome.How fantastic do you look in that wonderful knit. The fit and the cut are just stunning and the removal of the embroidery shows of the underlying features so well.

  13. Wow your version looks great!I can't believe what a good pattern was hiding behind the embroidery. I love that smocked rib – definitely one of my top 5 Desert Island stitch patterns!

  14. I can not believe that it is the same cardigan from Rowan 44 – yours looks amazing, and your styling team should work for Rowan.Love it, love it, and I have 14 balls of Kid Classic in the stash. I also love how it is not raglan!

  15. It is FABULOUS. FABULOUS. I can totally see how you would have skipped over the pattern with the embroidery on it – I can't imagine ANYONE would be able to skip by a pattern with yours on it. So beautiful, so elegant. I happen to have a bag of Rowan kid classic ready to go for my next sweater, (same designer as yours, btw) and am glad to hear it is nice, too. Good job, RoseRed! It's awesome!

  16. Oh love your version of it – totally with you on omitting the embroidery and the sleeves as you have them are gorgeous – great, great cardigan – you deserve to be feeling very clever indeed. I want to go smock me some ribbing right now!

  17. Wow, that's a very classy look! I love the phrase "yarn mule". And is it just my monitor? Look, it's not red!

  18. kim

    I love this sweater! From the color to the yarn to the modifications. Perfection! Really, really nice. I saw it on Ravelry this morning and favorited it immediately. Don't you just love Brenda? I could listen to her voice all day. My problem is that I try to listen to her podcasts at bedtime, and she lulls me to sleep….

  19. wow that is so gorgeous – what a wonderful project

  20. Breathtaking! It's beautiful and timeless – I love it!Making a mental note to get a closer look at Rowan 44 🙂

  21. That is so lovely! Well done.

  22. Well that just totally rocks! Bravo!

  23. amy

    It's beautiful! Very well done. Enjoy wearing it! (Shall I wish a cold front come your way?!)

  24. Absolutely stunning! I'll have to track down the pattern and see what the embroidery does. It's really a classic that you'll get a ton of wear out of.

  25. gorgeous! The smocking is my favourite part, I love the texture.

  26. it's stunning, and so very, very YOU! I cannot believe it didn't not jump off the page at you upon first glance, but I'm happy you two finally found each other ;)the smocked ribbing is a beautiful feature too.perfect, perfect, perfect!

  27. Oh it's so lovely. Glad it has worked out for you so well. Love the sleeve detail, gorgeous.

  28. What a great sweater and all the cable design is exquisite. You are really in the finish mode these days or a really fast knitter!

  29. This is gorgeous. I love the cables and the sleeves and I really love it!! I think it looks perfect for everyday wear. I also think that you should give it to me as we are going into Autumn soon….!!

  30. I know that episode!! I only listened to it the other day :)congrats on a lovely cardi – the cables and particularly the smocked ribbing – such lovely details!

  31. sue

    It is truly gorgeous. Perhaps a visit to Melbourne where it has been very cold lately would be perfect for wearing that cardi.

  32. I love the design on that sweater, but I must say I'd prefer it with a little more shape. It may just be the way it is displayed on the model, but it looks like it would just hang limply on my skinny little frame.

  33. It's fabulous! I love the design and it looks just wonderful on you.

  34. Ann

    The cardi looks fantastic on you. You have done a great job & the smocking is lovely!

  35. Gorgeous, gorgeous, GORGEOUS! I'm with you on the embroidery – good decision leaving it off. The smocking sounds horribly complicated, but it's always great to learn a new skill huh?

  36. Come to Blayney – its cold and overcast AGAIN today – then we could wear our new cardis together!Utterly beautiful, completely you. I would have skipped over that frou-frou embroidered nonsense, too.Love (1000)

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