fourth edition

The Cardigan is Finally Finished: Bute

March 2014 057According to my notebook, I started knitting Bute in August 2012. I finally finished yesterday. It is a strange project: I certainly did not spend 18 months working on this cardigan and the result bears very little resemblance to what I had in my head when I started out.

First the facts:

Pattern: Bute by Lisa Richardson from Rowan Magazine 52.

Yarn: Rowan Colourspun and Rowan Felted Tweed (both the suggested yarns) in Scunner, Winterburn (Colourspun) + Clay, Watery, Bilberry, Carbon and Peony (Felted Tweed).

Needles: 3.25mm and 4mm.

Size: M.

Modifications: I started out by changing the colours. I do not suit the autumnal colours of the original nor do I like the blue/yellow feel of the men’s version (it’s a bit too Swedish flag, really). I went down a size having tried on a shop sample. Then I chopped off a repeat of the body. I omitted the reverse sticking stitch on the shoulders.

Verdict: I loved knitting this (except when I had to reknit the front due to my own sizing mistake). I loved putting it together. I am just not sure it suits me.

Firstly, I should have gone down to size S(!) despite being on-gauge. The garment is very generously sized and it is much too big on me. Look at how the sleeve billows around my lower arm in the photo. Part of the problem is that I have lost weight since I began knitting the cardigan, but I have not lost that much weight.

March 2014 061

I have had to chop off two inches on the shoulders – the original pattern has a mild drop-shoulder effect but the shoulders were halfway down my upper arms. I am so very glad I chopped off a repeat on the body as it would have been more like a coat than a cardigan. I hope no one will ask to look at the shoulder seams after my vaguely botched surgery session with first an overlocker (which seemed like a good idea at the time) and then a crochet hook.

The sleeves are superlong too – not quite to schematic and I wish I had twigged this beforehand so I could have added a thumb hole!

Secondly, I have since learned valuable lessons about knitting garments with shape. I am a pesky hourglass shape which means I need garments to nip in at my waist or I’ll drown. The Bute pattern is not to blame for my lack of self-awareness – it is just a shame that I feel a bit frumpy and enormous in the garment.

Thirdly, I do love how warm this is. I have not been cold once since I started wearing this. I may need to knit myself a fair-isle onesie in Rowan Felted Tweed (okay, maybe not) or maybe a pair of fair-isle socks (more likely). Luckily my mate Jem Weston has a pattern for a pair of very fetching fair-isle socks in the same magazines and I might make my remnants stretch for that. Hmmmm..

Lessons learned: if you try on a shop sample size XS and it’s almost perfect, disregard the voices in your head and go for size S (even if you haven’t been size S since primary school).

I really enjoyed knitting the “peerie” patterns and I can see myself using the stitch patterns in another project – but this time with waist-shaping.

And can I knit everything in Felted Tweed from now on? It is my new favourite yarn (fact: this is my sixth FT project in a row).

6 Thoughts on “The Cardigan is Finally Finished: Bute

  1. It’s beautiful :-) I love the colours and also love felted tweed! Speaking of shaping, have you seen:
    http://www.knitrowan.com/designs-and-patterns/books/knit-fit

    • Karie on March 8, 2014 at 9:55 am said:

      I have! It’s pretty good! I think I’m learning a lot about which Rowan designers suit my shape and who doesn’t. I’ve been very happy with all my Sarah Hatton knits. Kim Hargreaves is good in the shoulders for me too.

  2. That is a beautiful cardigan, I would love to try out some Felted Tweed sometime. Were you going by the xs/s/m/l sort of sizing or actual measurements?

    Alice Starmore’s main Fair Isle book has information on incorporating shaping into even quite big Fair Isle patterns.

    • Karie on March 8, 2014 at 9:56 am said:

      I went down a size and then chopped off length – but I should just have gone for size S, realistically. Lessons learned!

  3. That’s really pretty; I love your colors.
    I have issues with straight up and down sides, too. Perhaps you could do what I do to polo and t-shirts? draw a seam on the inside that nips in at the waist. Machine stitch (you could baste first, to check your fit), and cut away excess. I’d stitch twice, on a knit.

  4. GailD on March 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm said:

    I had the same thought as pdxknitterati: get out that overlock machine again! Take that lovelt Bute apart and use another cardigan whose shape you like to trace out a pattern on the pieces (including the sleeves). Cut it and sew it together again. Hey, it’s just steeking, right?

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