August 26, 2011
How this happened is a bit of a mystery, but somehow it’s late August. Here in Scotland that definitely means sweater weather with enough of a chill in the air that I was motivated to dig out some old jumpers and get them back into my wardrobe. They just needed a little attention. These days I end up displaying samples of my designs at various events so I try not to wear them, they get worn enough being tried on by lots of different people! Back when I started designing, however, patterns were almost a by-product of making garments for myself, so I did wear them. Those older sweaters were all a little worse for wear though.
This is one of the Liesl cardigans shown in the original pattern photos.
It looks very slightly felted, but I can live with that. Shaving the pills and picking the biggest ones off made a huge difference. I really recommend an electric garment shaver, it’s one of my favourite “knitting” tools, although I don’t recommend it for very fine fabrics.
I learned very quickly that the electric shaver wasn’t going to work on this.
This cardigan was my first prototype for Laika, it’s not knit from the current pattern, but it looks more or less the same. It’s the softest thing in the world, knit from Posh Yarn Sophia: a laceweight, 2 ply cashmere. But all of the qualities that make wearing it like being snuggled in a delicate cloud also mean it doesn’t wear terribly well at all. Usually I prefer the shaver to the roughly textured de-fuzzing tools, but after the delicate fabric got sucked into the shaver and resulted in a hole to darn, I resorted to a sweater stone. It worked really well on this fabric.
There were a few other holes that needed to be darned. The original leftovers have long since been de-stashed, but luckily I found a pretty good match. Really, if someone is close enough to see that it isn’t perfect, they’re way too close to be in a position to complain about it. So happy to be able to wear this again.
Coraline is knit from one of the most surprisingly hardwearing yarns I’ve ever used, John Arbon is something of a spinning genius. In fact it’s so hardwearing that the buttons and buttonloops died first.
Of course, I couldn’t find a spare button to replace the missing one so I went with replacing them all. Fortunately my button collection has increased rather dramatically since I made this sweater and I think I prefer the new ones.
Darning with mis-matched yarn and having to change all of the buttons for the lack of one was an excellent reminder that it’s a good idea to save a little bit of yarn and a spare button when you finish a garment.
If the sweater is a gift, it might be nice to make a little tag like this and include some basic care directions alongwith the button and yarn.
Now to track down the missing button from my Vine Yoke Cardigan, I’m sure I put it somewhere safe!
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