Tuesday, 28 April 2015

KNIT: MY VERDANT CARAMEL

A labour of love.


Verdant: green deliciousness.


I started knitting this gorgeous "blanket" style cardigan last June!

The Caramel (Ravelry link) by Isabell Kraemer is an easy knit worked from the top down. It's seamless, but a faux side seam is created by a change in the stitch at the side seams and also on the inner arm. I kept to the pattern to create the side seams but omitted it on the inside arm. Simply a personal preference to finish this century. Faffing about with faux seams on the inner arm, that wouldn't be visible, was a slowing step I wasn't prepared to take.


I was doing quite well with this at the start, but I should've paid heed to the many, many others who commented on how very hard it was to keep going with the vast quantity, the miles, of stockinette stitch. I managed to get to splitting the sleeves pretty quickly. I added a few extra non-increase rows  to deepen the raglan seam. I prefer me a bit of armhole breathing space.

Then you find yourself with close to 300 stitches on the needles. And juggling two skeins of yarn, switching every two rows.

Kill. Me. Now.

Every mind-numbing row was taking close to half an hour and with a row gauge of 32 rows per 10cm you do the math. It was freaking torturous. I put this baby to bed last year in about July and only recently pulled her out again when the weather started to freshen.

The saving grace was the utterly divine yarn. Malbrigo Arroyo how I adore you. Your incredible softness, your springy perfect ply.


And your colour! Fresco Y Seco the perfect green, with undertones of emerald, grass and even gold. Sigh. Given the hand-dyed nature of the yarn no two balls are alike, not even from the same dyelot. And as such, it's recommended to knit from two skeins to avoid any weird colour changes.

I'm glad I finally pulled on my big girl pants and stuck it out. Because seriously, I freakin' adore this thing. A-dore. Open and drapey, or closed with a brooch, she's seriously the bomb.


And I'm so proud of the consistency of my tension and stitches given the huge intervening break.


I'd have liked an extra inch of length in the sleeves to cope with the inevitable creep up that plagues me, but I was literally weighing my yarn as I knit the sleeves. I needed to ensure I finished the first sleeve at the halfway weight of the remaining yarn to guarantee I got a second sleeve out of it. Gah! I ended up with 5g of yarn remaining to get to this length. Phew...

Because this...


Happy days

26 comments:

  1. I love it - looks gorgeous!!! the yarn is a dream and the pattern is perfect for it ! I'm glad you stuck to it and finished it ... rows and rows of stockinette can be frankly boring ;) - but the result totally justifies the effort!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so perfectly divine, and you'll forget the stockinette marathon in time (I imagine, ... oh please say it's so!). One day I'll graduate to Malabrigio, those colour graduations are simply too, too divine, and such neat stitches, it's been so worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a fab colour - I think the blank canvas of all that stocking stitch really shows off the yarn. Worth it in the end!

    ReplyDelete
  4. So good! Loveliest of lovely colours. And a pretty timeless design. It will be so warm and comfy for winter too. I have a purple merino wool cardi like this, and I literally wear it everyday in Winter - it really shouldn't be leaving the house anymore, but it still does on occasion. Did I tell you I gave miss Seven some bamboo knitting needles for her birthday. My never used fancy needles were a bit tricky, but she can work her way up to them ;-). My plan is now to teach her to knit so she can do the knitting for me. I might put this on my list.... bwahaha....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gorgeous!! Oh, that color is divine... well done!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Stunning! The colour and the shape are just perfect. The long haul of stockinette was definitely worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm so happy it turned out so well Sasha! I'd have been devastated if I didn't have enough yarn left to complete the sleeves and it was soooooo close!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Marathon already forgotten and my next cardigan about to be cast on! And given it's also seamless and one piece (though not a wrap front) I suspect there will be some cursing in my future again :) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you Liz and I agree. This yarn deserves a simple stitch to let it shine :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love it! Create your own team of crafters! Perfect gift I say. And I suspect this cardigan will also rarely come off this winter. Let's hope the yarn holds up!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It really has turned out to be a great shape. Before wet blocking it wasn't so drapey. It's amazing what a bath and slow dry will do for extra fine merino!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Jillian that is a most beautiful colour on you. Congratulations for sticking it out.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ohh, it's done! So lovely on you and well worth the wait! Now to get back to my dratted Miette... O_o

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's lush and gorgeous. Such even tension! It's definitely hard work doing a cardi seamless. I recently started a cardi in pieces which I think, combined with combination knitting, will be less tortuous.... The colour is so beautiful on you! Hope you didn't get washed away in the recent crazy weather up there!

    ReplyDelete
  15. so nice! I myself am a lover of anything green and am very jealous of this one...I thinks me might have to check out the pattern - might be a good one for the train. And who doesn't love a cardi?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks so much Anna! I really wanted to knit something quickly after this one, maybe a chunky knit. But I've just woken up to myself - I'd roast! It's back to the drawing board for another plan in 8ply/DK.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Go Miette! I expect to see it on you at CBR Frocktails. Yeeha!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh thanks so much Sarah! I wore it yesterday and a friend was admiring it and noted she thought it was a machine knit it was so even. I wasn't sure how I felt about that! Given it was set aside for about 6 or months I did well not to entirely stuff up the tension. What cardigan are you knitting? I was about to start a chunky knit to get a quick win and then woke up to myself. I'd roast in a bulky yarn. Sigh, where to now...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Steff, I am such a fan of green, especially in knits. I don't really wear green otherwise I just realised! This is a great one for the train - knit it flat on circulars and you won't poke anyone with your needles :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's a Jo sharp pattern, the wide collar cardigan. But I've literally about 3 projects on the go so I'm trying to finish off 2 before I crack on with the cardigan. And my arms being a bastardo again so I have to pace myself!

    ReplyDelete
  21. www.tresbienensemble.com2 May 2015 at 07:01

    This is BEAUTIFUL! It's easy for me to say, since I wasn't the one knitting it, but I think it was totally worth the time it took! It's exquisite. And, you chose a really perfect color yarn to work with!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Now that's a serious collar! Nice! Enjoy it x

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks so much Michelle! It was worth it. And now I understand quality yarn. I wore it all day and it didn't stretch, warp or pill. Heaven :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. It turned out so beautifully! Kudos on sticking it out despite the frustration!

    ReplyDelete
  25. And thank you, Gail, for being my expert knitter friend and calming my nerves. It came down to the wire, but I did it!

    ReplyDelete

A comment? For moi? Why, thank you!