I knit one really big project for Christmas, and it was Bláithín by Kate Davies for one of my aunts. She reads my blog so I haven’t mentioned it here, but if you follow me on twitter, this is the sweater I’ve been talking about.
Earlier this year, my uncle asked me to knit my aunt a sweater. The only thing he said about the appearance of the sweater is that it should have flowers on it and be a cardigan. Well, okay. I sat down with my sketch book and came up with a couple design ideas, but they were my style, not my aunts so I scrapped that plan and turned to Ravelry. There are surprisingly few floral cardigans, but there were a few contenders. I kept coming back to Bláithín and decided to make it.
I used Berroco Blackstone Tweed and 4.5mm needles. It wasn’t a bad knit, but there were a few things that bothered me. The yardage requirements for the yoke were way off. I only made it halfway through the yoke with the recommended quantity of yarn for the grey background color. That made me pretty cranky because I was on a roll one night, and I thought I’d be able to finish the body up until I ran out of yarn. Less obnoxiously, the sleeve measurements on the schematic were wrong. That through me off for a bit because I was comparing my work to the schematic late one night, and I couldn’t figure out if the pattern was wrong or if the schematic was wrong. The next morning when I was thinking a little more logically, I compared the measurements to the CYC standards and figured out that the pattern itself was just fine.
There were also a few things I really liked about this pattern. This was my first time working steeks, and I loved how neat Kate’s steek sandwich method is. I’m not entirely sure if they were the best choice for a cardigan that’s this drapey because they’re quite bulky and structural, but they have a lot of potential. I also was surprised by how much I liked the i-cord bind off. I thought it would be miserable and take forever, but it went quickly and turned out great. Kate had a slightly different i-cord method from what I remember seeing before. I think it’s technically backwards, but it makes a much nicer i-cord edge than I have made using other methods, and it’s a lot more pleasant to knit.
It was an interesting knit, and I think my aunt likes her sweater. You can read my more detailed notes on my Ravelry project page.