Toasty Cardigan and the Rocky Start

The stashbusting cardigan parade was off to a good start with the Toasty Cardigan from Rowan until I realised I’d made an error. If you cut the number of ribbing rows in half to save yarn, then blindly follow the instructions to "knit until back is 22cm long," you haven’t actually saved any yarn. I have 800yds of 55/45 wool/hemp sportweight yarn, the pattern needs up to 822yds for my size and I was concerned about making it through the button bands. I ripped back to 18.5cm and started the armholes at 19cm. And then disaster struck.

My friend Leah had an excellent idea to make what would have been an emergency into a feature (not a bug, an actual feature). The sleeve ribbing, button bands, and neckband could be done in a similar colour and fibre combination, leaving more of the main colour for the stocking stitch parts. But if I was going to make the contrast ribbing work properly, it would look better if all the ribbing was in the same colour, so I ripped out an almost completed back piece. After two nearly-but-not-quite matches, I’m using Peace Fleece DK Sport in Kamchatka Sea Moss as my emergency backup yarn. It’s the closest match to a long-discontinued hand-dyed yarn I’m likely to find, both in colour and texture and I think this looks quite good.

Toasty Cardigan back piece.

And hello to the Metric System! It’s so good to be back in your embrace, if only for one pattern, even if I did have to go hunting for a tape measure that starts with centimetres instead of inches. An English pattern, with metric measurements, and I got gauge with the suggested needles, which is still shocking to me. I’m always knitting far too tight for American patterns and have to go up a needle size or three, are Brits naturally more uptight knitters than Americans?


  1. *Love* the colors! About the only time I can get gauge with the recommended needle size is with European yarns – the rest of the time I almost always have to go down a couple of needle sizes, being, apparently a loose knitter 😉

  2. I love the colors, too! Nice choice on the accent color.
    I learned the metric system in grade school, because the USA was going to go metric any time, now. That was 50 years ago…
    A couple of years ago, I knit a sweater where the pattern was in metric. I used a metric measuring tape and checked constantly, since I couldn’t wrap my brain around the numbers. As far as I was concerned “Work even for 14 cm” could have meant anywhere between a couple of inches and 3 or 4 miles…

  3. are Brits naturally more uptight knitters than Americans?
    Brits are naturally more uptight *everything* than Americans.

    Except on Friday nights, when most of us are just more tight than the Americans… (Well, fair’s fair, it’s still only the afternoon for them! =;o} )

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