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Knitting the Blues

Outfit 4 - Knitting the Blues

Colour. I have to confess to usually grabbing the boldest, brightest, most gloriously rich colours first. I can't help it. They are irresistible. Striking, deep jewel tones sing beautiful songs and before I know it, they're leaping into my basket and coming home with me. My Stash is overflowing with shiny jewels.

But then, I look around and I realise that I love other colours too. Not pastels so much ... maybe because they don't really suit me? But earthy tones, from sludgy browns and fawns, to silvers and charcoal, and mucky avocado and rust. I love them and I'm resolving to use them more often. And, I'm going to start in May, with Outfit 5 ;)

Outfit 4 - Knitting the Blues

In the meantime, I'm wallowing in the vivid blue yarn that I dyed myself for Outfit 4. The scrummy blue tones (look at those stripes! I told you my batches weren't exactly the same!) are soothing and relaxing. I haven't knitted so much blue for myself for ages and I'm loving it.

Shall I tell you a little about my cardigan? Why yes, I think I will :)

Outfit 4 - Knitting the Blues

I'm knitting Amy Christoffer's Bailey cardigan for Outfit 4. It's generously sized with simple lines, perfect for lounging about which is exactly what I plan to do in it.

However, I have fiddled with the pattern a bit, to make it work better for my shape. Most knitting patterns are written with standard sizes in mind and I, like most people, am not a standard size. My bust, waist and hips actually fall into three different sizes, and when I choose a cardigan that fits my bust, it's invariably far too big for my narrow hips. In the case of this cardy, it was going to be a whopping 5 1/2 inches bigger than my hips. A bit more ease than I was after. So, before casting on the first stitch, I pulled out the calculator and rewrote the instructions to suit me. First, I worked out how many stitches to cast on in order to achieve 3" of ease around the hips. Then, I calculated that I'd need to decrease 2 stitches on either side, every 4", four times as I knit up the body, in order to reduce the hip width to that needed at the bust. I also decided to lengthen the body by a few inches to make it extra cosy and took that into account in my calculations too.

Outfit 4 - Knitting the Blues

The next thing I've done is re-interpret the pattern at the top, for the fronts and back. My row gauge doesn't match that required by the pattern so knitting for X rows was unlikely to work out well. It'd end up too long. Instead, I worked out how many inches X rows was using the pattern's required row gauge and simply knitted to that many inches.

Finally, I've gone right off the map with the sleeves. The pattern calls for bottom up, set in shaped sleeve caps. Given that my row gauge is off and also that I'm playing chicken with my yardage (I'm alternating skeins and I'm getting dangerously close to the end of one colour) I decided that I would do something quite different. I've cast on the number of stitches called for at the armpits around the armholes, then knit short row sleeve caps from the top down. I'm switching sides, alternating skeins and crossing my fingers that I'll get two long sleeves with not too many large blocks of a single shade ...

So far it seems to be going okay. I like the fit, I absolutely love the icord bind off all the way around the front and neck edges, and the whole thing is soft and cosy. I'm hoping that in a few days it'll be blocking.