I finally finished my Cockatoo Brae cardigan, just in time for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Kate Davies’ design was wonderful and Jamieson & Smith’s 2-ply jumper weight wool very easy to knit.
The most difficult thing in knitting the cardi was to decide on the colours. Whilst I knew I didn’t want the main colour to be grey, I didn’t know what colours I did want! Luckily, my tutor, Katy Birchall at the Edinburgh Contemporary Crafts machine knitting class at Abbeymount Techbase introduced me to keeping an art/design book at the beginning of the year.
Taking inspiration from Scottish seascapes and from the annual January exhibition of JMW Turner’s watercolours at the National Galleries Scotland in Edinburgh, I decided upon a teal blue body, with a paler blue yoke background and graded grey to mustard yellow to lemon yellow to off white fair isle pattern.
Luckily, this time I remembered to knit the yoke in a larger needle size to the main body. This has allowed the fair isle colour work to sit neatly beside the teal body.
Finally, I didn’t quite manage to knit the “short rows” as well as I would have liked. I tried to follow the pattern’s instructions but I failed! Luckily, it’s barely noticeable though this is definitely an area to improve upon!
I have at last finished Kate Davies Designs wonderful Epistrophy cardigan. The pattern can be found in her recent book of patterns, “Yokes”. The pattern suggested using Toft Ulysses DK, a luxurious British wool but I wanted to use a “stickier” i.e. a hairier, coarser wool which would be easier to steek. So, I chose Blacker Yarns gorgeous Gotland DK. It’s a beautiful, soft wool from the Gotland sheep but has enough coarseness to be easy to steek.
After knitting a tension swatch, I decided on 3.75mm needles for the body work, and 3.5mm for the ribs. I’ve selected a few photos showing the steeking process. The first photo shows me crocheting a leg of the middle stitch to its neighbouring leg. After a double chain up each side of the middle stitch, I cut up the centre to form a cardigan from a jumper. Not for the faint hearted! Finally, the two front bands were knitted and buttons attached.
Reviewing the project, I would firstly say that I probably knitted too large a size: overestimated how much I’d eaten over Christmas! Secondly, I should have increased a needle size when knitting the colourwork yoke section. If I knitted the cardi again, I would increase my needles to a size 4mm for just the patterned section. But, otherwise, a very satisfying knit using a great pattern and beautiful Gotland wool.