Saturday 16 January 2010

Eco wool cardigan

In my first year of knitting again, I made four lacy scarves (three in 4-ply, for Christmas presents) and the Gilda jumper I've described, and a pair of socks. (Knitting the socks wasn't entirely a happy experience. Maybe I'll write about it when I feel better about it.) So after that I felt that I needed to knit something straightforward and fast for a change. I chose Sirdar Eco wool, which is double knitting weight, 100% wool, undyed. It comes in five sheep colours, and two that are variegated (shades of brown or shades of grey). I chose the shades-of-grey, which is called Shale (though it doesn't look much like shale to me). It reminds me of sheep on the Pennine moors (a good thing, btw).

The yarn varies from pale grey to dark grey, and gives a nice sort of blurry stripy effect. The stripes occur at random, as far as I can see, and it's not possible to match them up, say from the left front to the right front. But I'm treating this as a feature not a bug, as we say in computing. However, it is important to match the colours when you start a new ball, I think, otherwise the changeover is very noticeable, but this has not been a problem. Only once have I had to wind quite a long length of wool off the new ball.

The recommended needles are 4mm, but I found I had to switch to 3.5 mm to get the right tension, which makes a rather firm fabric - it softens quite a bit after blocking though.

I was planning to knit a jumper orginally, but it's been so cold lately that I am wearing lots of layers with a big cardigan on top, so switched to a big cardigan instead (from the Sirdar Eco Wool DK Book, no. 336).

It's mainly stocking stitch, so quick to knit, as required. I am reading Wolf Hall (by Hilary Mantel, 650 pages) at the moment, so it's useful to have some knitting that I can do at the same time. I'm pleased with how it's turning out. I still need to decide what to do about the collar, though - there are two alternatives (bramble stitch and garter stitch), and I'm not sure I want to choose either.

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