Tagged cables

Of Hallows and Horcruxes

I wrote a while back about my eldest being a big Harry Potter fan, and that I’d found a fantastic pattern for the sweater Hermione wears in Deathly Hallows Part I… the post is here, if you want to refresh your memory. I bought the recommended yarn from Knit Picks and it sat for a couple of months, until I decided it was time to knit the sweater.

This sweater was certainly an adventure. First of all, to be fair, the designer, while she has several patterns on Ravelry, only has the one garment pattern. Of her 13 patterns, 10 are crochet patterns. This should have been a warning that this wasn’t going to be smooth sailing. I was smart, and went through other projects and read the notes, and felt an impending sense of doom. So many comments about things that were wrong, or needed to be modified! It was discouraging, and I hadn’t even cast on yet! I’m not so easily dissuaded though. I did my gauge swatch, measured the kid, and started knitting. I figured I’d use the experience of other knitters who’d already made one to make the process easier.

Problem 1: The yoke is designed badly. The original sweater from the movie was apparently purchased at H&M, and is seamed, rather than having a yoke. Knitting in one piece is easier though, so I can see why the designer chose to make it this way. Also, nobody is going to tell you that you’re sweater is wrong because it is a yoke rather than being seamed.

The problem here is that the increases are weird the way they’re written, which skews the colourwork pattern. Many knitters who have made this cardigan used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s method. This preserved the colourwork pattern.

Problem 2: The yarn requirements were way off. I’d only knitted the hood and had not quite finished the body, and only had 2.5 balls of yarn left. I knew there was no way I would be able to knit pockets and two sleeves with that much yarn, so I had to hunt for more, because Knit Picks was sold out. I eventually found someone who was destashing two skeins.

Problem 3: Lots of people complained that the sleeves were too big. I had to decrease them considerably. I also chose to knit them in the round, inside out, because I didn’t want to have to seam them and I also didn’t fancy purling them.

DSC_4837 The sweater, in the end, turned out nicely, and the kid is happy with it (though it was too warm to wear by the time it was finished). I did have a request for another one from my best friend, but I told her I’d never knit this sweater again. I didn’t keep detailed notes, and didn’t want to have to fight my way through it a second time. I’d be happy to knit her something else though!

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The cabled button band was knit as the sweater was knit. The whole thing, aside from the pockets, is one piece. I had expected to have to pick up stitches, but the only picked up stitches were at the underarms.

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I do quite like the pointy hood. Hopefully the kid gets a lot of wear out of this sweater. And there’s already dibs on it if/when they decide they’re not into it anymore… My best friend wants it when the kiddo is done with it!

My Ravelry page is here.

Owligan

A while back, while attempting to use up stash, I came across Kate Davies’ Owligan pattern. I was looking to use up some Knit Picks Swish bulky, and this pattern was suggested by Ravelry. Sadly, the yarn wasn’t quite bulky enough, nor did I have sufficient yardage, but the pattern was perfect in every way. Fast knit, since the gauge is so chunky. No fussy fitting. Perfect for fall weather. Owls. How could I just queue it?

Since I didn’t have any suitable yarn, I ran out right away to buy some. So much for stashbusting! I went to Urban Yarns, a shop I’d never visited before, so it was a fun adventure. I was so pleased with myself too, because I only bought yarn for my cardigan.

The yarn I chose was Cascade Eco+, in the Turtle colourway. It’s a beautiful, neutral heathered green, perfect for Autumn. The cardigan calls for a bulky 12 ply yarn, which is what Eco+ is, but the lady at Urban Yarns looked up the suggested yarns and told me I’d be best off holding the Eco+ doubled. I swatched on size 13 needles and got perfect gauge the first time. This isn’t the softest yarn, but it does soften quite a lot after blocking.

I started this sweater in July, because doesn’t everyone love having a lap full of chunky wool in the heat of summer? No? I must have been crazy then. It took a month to finish, which is longer than I thought it would take, but in the meantime, I knit a couple of other things and finished my rainbow shawl, as well as doing some traveling, so I didn’t work on this constantly. I probably could have finished it in two weeks if I’d focused on it. My sister in law was rather disgusted with me, because I visited her and while visiting, I cast on a sleeve, which I had nearly finished by the time I said good bye to her. If you’re looking for a fast, easy, fun, satisfying knit, this cardigan definitely fits the bill.

DSC_4356The pattern suggests button eyes for the owls, but I prefer them without. I liked the rustic look of the sweater, so I chose wood buttons from Dressew. The sweater construction is interesting, and not difficult. It’s knit from the bottom up – you knit up to the underarm, set the body aside, knit the sleeves (flat or in the round, I chose flat), attach them to the body, then you knit the yoke. The cables are simple enough, just left and right crosses, so there are no difficult stitches to learn. I knit the yoke in an evening.

DSC_4371-001I made two minor modifications to the pattern. I didn’t want a long cardigan, so I shortened it. This meant that I had to figure out the button band myself, because the number of stitches the pattern said to pick up would have been far too many. The other modification I made was to add short row bust shaping. Because of the large gauge, it ended up being only two short rows on each side, but the sweater doesn’t ride up in front, so I call that a success.

This photo doesn’t accurately show the colour of the sweater, but the closeup of the yoke does. I probably could have made the sleeves an inch shorter, but I’m not fussed about that (the sweater is meant to be worn with the cuffs folded up). I’m very pleased with my new sweater, and it’s getting a lot of use so far. I’d love to knit another, but with a different cable motif next time. My Ravelry project page is here.