The Ribbed Cardi of Evil, and other tales

Here is the tale of some lovely yarn, and a lovely pattern book, and what happened when they met me. Once upon a time, I decided to visit the Fabulous (with the capital F) Coldspring Mill (Jax – it is ALWAYS that cheap – I’d hate to think what would happen if they had a sale 😀 I know I’d just faint at the thought of it! You MUST go – it is your duty if you aren’t far from it… Our journey took about 45 mins there, and you can enjoy the lovely tearoom, scenery, biscuit and wool fat soap while you are there if you can resist visiting the wool section). I had a very nice Debbie Bliss pattern book – Cashmere Collection delivered, and it arrived the very day of my first trip to the Mill, and thinking that I may not get to visit again soon, I made a list of all the things I wanted to make from it, with the aim of getting the yarn at the fab prices. I saw the pattern as displayed below, and thought it would be a good option for work when the air conditioning is too high, as well as the nasty Yorkshire winters which chill you up no end. It just looks so cushy!
Pretty Debbie Bliss rib cardi
See? The model is happy. She is all warm and cosy in her lovely cashmere mix cardi. Mmmmm – she’s all snuggled into it. She’s hugging herself. She’s that happy in it.
I got the yarn for a bargain price. I started knitting. I knit and knit and knit till it was done. Then I seamed. I seamed and I seamed and I seamed. I wanted the seam to look almost invisible as it is in the pic in the book. That model just wouldn’t be happy if she had ugly side seams. Then I spent some time sewing the buttons on. Much quicker than seaming. MUCH quicker. It took 6 hours to seam up, and 20 mins to put buttons on. One button hole was slightly too big, which can’t be helped as it is made using yarn overs. It can be fixed with a little tweaking. No probs.
Then I tried it on. It is the demon cardi. Spawn of all evil, it is not a happiness inducing cardi. Why? The yarn is luscious. Super soft, super cosy, super warm. It is a dream to knit with, and a dream to wear. In fact, here I am, looking like a more rotund version of the happy model, in a slightly dusty mirror.
Happy side view
See how cushy the collar is. Mmmm cosy in the rubbish rainy weather. Cosy yum yum. See – you can’t see the seams, but trust me, they are perfect. Best seaming I’ve done. So what is wrong with this cardi?
The not so happy front view
Ahhhh. This is why there was only one pic, and from the side view at that. How many times have I read that you should not trust patterns where the pic is not fully displaying the garment, or is posed strangely? Why have I not learnt? The lesson here is that this cardi has no shaping. None. I may not be a svelt lady, but I do have a waist. And hips. The cardi is not stretched at all to fit. The ribbing at the base makes the st st section bulge out over the top to make me look several pounds heavier than I am. It doesn’t look too good. And it is bigger than I expected. I knit to gauge, but the ribbing stretches a bit too easily, and I even used 3 balls less than the pattern asked for. 3!!!! How is that, when I knit to gauge and to measurements? Didn’t they pattern test this sack of a cardi? It must be drowning that poor, model, with a gun to her head, with the photographer struggling to make the garment look good shouting ‘SMILE!!! Smile, damn you!’
It looks a bit better with the collar open. And it doesn’t look wrong as such, just bad. Poorly designed, but correctly knitted. Having said all this, I will wear it, but only at home, with the lights out and curtains drawn. And I’ll ask DB to take his contact lenses out, although he may just notice a large grey blur sat next to him instead of his girlfriend…
Anyway, in other words I’ve finished something! I’ve also finished a secret project that I don’t think I should post about yet. I’ve been pattern testing for someone, and I have pics, but it still needs some tweaking. Lovely pattern 😀 You’ll know when it is ready… I also received an email yesterday from Vogue Knitting about my bolero pattern query! How long did that take?!! Blimey…
I’ve also been thinking about what to knit next. Currently on the needles are:
The VK lace trim bolero (next to be finished I hope – only the sleeves and trim to make)
the Lace Leaf Pullover
two shrugs – one based on the one in Scarf Style, and I just cast on for the One Skein Wonder assuming it would be a quick knit
two scarves – the same that I’ve had going for months 😀
4 rows of Ash from Rowan 36 which will probably be frogged as it doesn’t appeal right now.
I need to get rid of some of these first I think 😀 Then I want to make a tank top to practice intarsia, using the fab bunny and crossbones chart by Chibbiwaki on Deviant Art and the Ann Budd pattern book.
Which reminds me… The new Rowan mag arrived… 😀 Yay! It is all gooood. There are also some silly things, but also some lovely ones, which is pretty much the same as normal! The Foggy Panda is still lovely looking, but I’ve worked out the cost of the yarn. It isn’t cheap. Nooooooooo siree. I’ll be holding back on it for some time. But I will be making it I think, one way or another, as a top or otherwise! But I’m definitely still enamoured with it. Time away will make me think about it more clearly. I quite fancy making some gloves and scarves from the mag too, but they all seem a bit too costly too – who can justify 7 balls of Kidsilk Spray for a scarf when they cost 7 quid each?! Plus more yarn to make stripes with on top of that? Only someone who gets yarn free from Rowan and is paid to design for them. And rich people, but how many really rich people knit? Apart from film stars, that is? And apart from the cost, I need to continue with some serious stash reduction, so can’t justify buying anymore yarn at the mo at all.
After all this meandering, it just means that I’ve got lots to finish still before I can make something else, or buy anymore stuff. And the finished object isn’t that lovely, but it will do the job. And leaves enough yarn left for a One Skein Wonder with long sleeves, if I can get gauge with it – mmmmmmmmmmm cashmerino shrug. mmmmmmm.
Anyway, I’ve written enough and it is time for dinner. Then I’ll try and get a bolero sleeve finished by the end of tonight.
PS – Lost is very good indeed. Just started showing it this side of the water. And the guy who plays the doctor? Woof woof! I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating biscuits 😀 Yay! Ok, that’s definitely enough now.

6 thoughts on “The Ribbed Cardi of Evil, and other tales”

  1. Thanks for that Bryony, guess we’re just gonna have to take a day trip out to the mill then. Reckon it’ll take around an hour from where we are….teashop will be lovely 🙂
    And the doctor in Lost? Took me ages to place him, used to play the big brother in Party of Five. And yes, he is really gorgeous 🙂
    Think I’ll get off and do some crochet (I crochet rather than knit – is that allowed? 😉 )

  2. Shame about the cardi as looks a lovely yarn but wrong pattern. I think it is the Simply Marilyn effect again; pinned or sellotaped to the model and only showing one side. I think a longer length with less ribbing might be a way to go so there is less to stretch out or flatten, if you see what I mean. You do knit very evenly, I am impressed as it looks lovely ,also if you did it again what about doing it in one piece up to the arm shaping to avoid side seams?

  3. I think the cardi is lovely — albeit the little lie from the book… (I loath when they do that!!!) How does it look when it’s not buttoned up at all?? I bet you could easily wear it out that way!
    Your OSW will be very fast — I finished on already in fact. I did it as pattern up to the seed stitch portion… At that portion, I knit the sleeves in the round to avoid the need of seaming. Highly reccomended! The one I’m making now will be much bigger (longer) with long sleeves and ruffley bits about the cuffs. We’ll have to compair and share when this fun is done!
    And…your package should be nearly there! Hee hee! Cheers!

  4. Jax – Matthew Fox looks much better now he’s matured a bit 😀 Woof! When are you planning your Coldspring visit?
    Judith – I think Debbie Bliss doesn’t realise that women sometimes have breasts and aren’t waifs… Thanks for being so nice about the neatness of my knitting tho 🙂 I’m not clever enough at this yet to convert patterns to be seamless, although I can manage a sleeve without increases 😉 If I were to knit it again, I’d stick in some decreases after the ribbing at the base, and only do about 8 stitches of ribbing in the centre for the button holes. It isn’t a hard pattern, so it would be quite easy to alter it a bit, but I just wish Debbie Bliss would shape a bit more and make more stuff for women with curves… Too many of her patterns don’t go about 36-38 busts :/ I tried on a jumper a bit like Marilyn in the Monsoon sale this weekend, and I reckon I can use Marilyn to play around and make something a bit more flattering, so that I don’t have to find a pattern to knit my yarn in. The collar looked quite nice, and worked well with a close fitting body, so I might be able to play a little and work something out (perhaps with more decreases at the waist, a size the same as my bust, and no cable bulking the front up). Can’t do too much harm to try anyway!
    SP – You really are a naughty tease 😀 I’m all excited about surprise goodness! I’ve got about 25 rows left on my increases for the back of OSW, and I love it 😀 The cardi still looks a little frumpy unbuttoned, but not as bad. It still hides my waist, but at least you can see I’m a woman rather than an overweight man with a feminine face and tiny hands 😀

  5. Hi – I see you’ve mentioned Coldspring Mill which I’ve just heard about – can you tell me a bit more about what its like there and if its worth a trip e.g. what yarns they sell and how discounted they are – thanks so much

  6. Hi. My name is Brenda and I love to knit too and I seen your cardi from evil sweater and was wanting the instructions to make it. I love the way it looks. It looks so comfy. But anyway, can you help me? Thanks, Brenda

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