I've managed to achieve something quite rare for me - I've finished a knitting project in time to wear it while it's still seasonally appropriate! Please tell me I'm not the only one who usually struggles to do that?! I gave myself a self-imposed deadline of the end of June to finish knitting it, which admittedly I didn't quite meet, but early July is close enough for me.
This cardigan is called Clementine and it was designed by Sarah Hatton for issue 99 of Knit Today. I only buy knitting magazines if there's something on the cover that catches my eye, and this pattern did exactly that (plus there was also a picture of a jumper covered in intarsia stars which I'm definitely keeping in mind for a future project).
It's designed to be worn with a small amount of positive ease, but I like cardigans to be slightly more fitted. Thankfully for me I fell between two sizes, so I just went with the smaller one and the fit turned out pretty much exactly how I wanted.
The cardigan is knit using cotton yarn, which obviously makes it summer-appropriate, but unfortunately I don't have a great track record of knitting with 100% cotton (the last time I tried it, my Mum helpfully told me that the baby hat that I'd knitted would make a good dish cloth!). Because of that I went with a cotton blend and used King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK in Fuchsia.
On the subject of the colour, I'm sorry if it's hurting your eyeballs here - on my laptop it looks the pretty fuchsia shade that it actually is, but I've just looked at the photos on another screen which is showing the cardigan as a particularly garish neon pink for some reason. Odd.
Anyway, the yarn was nice to knit with. I found it a little bit prone to splitting when casting on, but other than that it was fine and the finished cardigan feels lovely to wear. And my Mum hasn't said it could be a dish cloth so I'm calling that a success!
The cardigan is knit in sections and them seamed, which at the moment is my preferred method. I like the idea of cardigans knit seamlessly on circular needles, but the only time I've tried it (my Cria cardigan), I kept getting really sore wrists so I think maybe there's something about the way I hold circular needles that my wrists don't like. Does anyone else have that problem? I'll give it another try at some point (if nothing else, I need a Chickadee cardigan still!), but at the moment I'm sticking to what I know works.
This was my first time knitting any kind of lace pattern, and I was pleasantly surprised by how straightforward it was. I'd always imagined that it would be really complicated but it was easy to get the hang of.
I did end up having to knit most of my first front piece twice because I dropped some stitches in the lace section, and they managed to unravel so far down that I couldn't tell quite what was going on anymore so decided it would be best just to frog it and start that section again. I think it actually may have been a blessing in disguise because the lace panel came out neater second time around anyway. Practice makes perfect after all!
I'm really pleased with this cardigan - both in terms of how it looks and, possibly more importantly, because of the fact that I finished it in time to actually wear it this summer. I'm now trying to decide what to knit next - I inherited all my Granny's old knitting patterns recently and there are some nice cardigans I'd like to try, but part of me thinks I should be good and finish the socks I started and got bored of before this cardigan. Which would you choose?