I literally stumbled upon this Marion Cardigan KAL while reading another blog sidebar and thought why not? I had never been on a KAL before, the cardigan looked cute. It an Andi Sutterland design .The cropped waist appealed to me. BUT I wasnt willing to spend a lot of money on yarn for my first cardigan. So I searched online for a reasonably cheap yarn which led me to Red Heart Niki Aran in ruby. It is an acrylic wool mix which can be machine washed and dried (life is a lot easier for my garments if they can be machine washed; I have a beautiful Laura Ashley silk teadress that has been in laundry hamper for 6 months because it needs special care). Before getting into my rambles here are some pictures first OK?
Now on to the ten things I thought I knew I could do but well it turns out I was deluded.
1. Cast on for top down knitting. I did my usual thumb one (I now know to be called single cast on knitting method / the e-loop/ e-wrap/ backward loop cast on. which made it very loose and gapey! Plus it made it so difficult to pick up stitches for the neck band later.
2. Casting off – I did what I now know to be knitting 2 together till the end which, as it turns out, creates a tight inelastic finish. I cant pull up my sleeves without them cutting off my circulation.
3. Rib Cast off. Apparently there is more that one way to cast off!
4. Knitting in the back loop is not a good idea. I have some bagginess where I was knitting in the back loop cause I thought it was faster. (I was faster till I realised it was getting looser). It looks odd.
5. If you are going to use circular needles swatch using circulars. I used my DPNs and got the gauge right on there but when I knitted (and finished with the circulars) it was a different story altogether. (To be fair its such an improvement that I even swatched)!
6. When calculating how much yarn to buy REMEMBER that you will swatch and it will use up the yarn as well. My calculations were about 6.83 balls so I bought 7 balls of yarn; had to swatch twice and yep I ran out of yarn. I had to order more online but of course in order to avoid P&P I just had to buy more yarn for vague future projects….. cause you know, P&P is outrageous… and well you can never have too much yarn cause ..well…you never know when you have a yarn emergency and you are like “I need that yarn STAT!” (my husband didn’t buy that either).
7.You do not steam block ribbing! (I read this after I steamed the life out of mine.)
8. I still dont know how to pick up stitches. I just winged it because the only times I felt like giving up on this project was when I had to pick up the armhole and neck band stitches!
9. Wrap and turn doesn’t just mean that; wrap and turn. It means wrap turn knit/purl till you get back to wrap and pick up wrap. My first sleeve seam had holes! (I patched them as I weaved in the ends). I had watched YouTube videos but only up to where they turn. It honestly never occurred to me there would be more beyond just wrapping and turning.
10. Loosing count of where your sleeve increases are means you should go back to where you know for certain. In my case on my second sleeve (so close to finishing) got to the end and upon counting realised I had 10 too many stitches. But I was nearly done so I unraveled to just below elbow and knitted furiously decreasing every other row which leads me to a bonus..
11. Rapid decreases cannot be blocked out to look like normal decreases . If you look closely you can see one of the sleeves is funky 😐
12. A new ball of yarn is not just tied into a knot with the last one. By the time I tied the knot on the last ball of yarn I began to think that there might be another way. I googled it and lo and behold! I learnt how to add a new ball of yarn 😉 SO yeah the inside of my sweet little cardie has 6 knots and 12 yarns ends waving around like arms in a sea of ruby purls.
And yet in spite all this it looks good doesn’t it? Well I think so. I am also a keen gardener and in gardening you can buy seeds that have been awarded a RHS Award of Garden Merit which basically means you can the worst gardener ever and they will do relatively well. This pattern is an Award of Knitting Merit in my humble. I screwed up so many things and yet (I think) it still looks good. So yes I will make it again knowing better with the skills I have picked up (even bought the yarn for it already!). I loved nearly every bit of making it more so because I have learnt SOOOOO much during this project 😉
My Marion is not a great looking one but I love it. Its warm and its my first so yeah I love it.