Eight months after starting (with lots of breaks) I have finally completed my Basic Bella cardigan!
The pattern was Basic Black by Glenna C on Ravelry (also available here) and is a simple v-neck cardigan with waist-shaping. I chose this pattern to be the knitting equivalent of a basic cardigan block (ie. work out what changes I have to make to a standard cardigan before I try knitting any complicated lace/cables/patterns).
The changes I made were adding 10cm or so to the length (after the ribbing and before the waist-shaping) so it would sit well with jeans and trousers. This is the perfect length for me, as I find other cardigans I own always creep up when I move, leaving me with a cold bit of my back. I also lengthened the sleeves, making up the pattern as I went along to get a nice narrow cuff and lower arm. I think it is pretty good, for an improvised sleeve.
When sewing I always need to do a Full Bust Adjustment, and I think that is what I need to do when knitting, but how? The size across the bust is great here, but the cardigan is a little big around the waist and hips (I took it in as much as I could while sewing it up) and the shoulders are also a little wide. On the next cardigan I will do a smaller size in the hips/waist, and am wondering if knitting a smaller size back would also work… any tips/ideas/reading about this?
The pattern had basic instructions and at first was a bit confusing (work decreases for neckline and at same time work shoulder shaping). Once I worked out what I was supposed to be doing, the instructions actually helped me understand the process better -there was no mindlessly following instructions, but actually having to think about how the cardigan is shaped and constructed, which made it easier to work out where/how to adapt the pattern.
The yarn I used was Debbie Bliss Bella (85% cotton, 10% silk and 5% cashmere – it glided beautifully on my steel needles) in shade 16008 which is apparently called Crimson. I say apparently because some people have called this red, some people have called it deep pink. Whatever colour it was, I struggled to find buttons that would match this shade. In the end I chose these stripy buttons, as the white broke up the colour and didn’t make the difference so obvious – from the front they look great, but the back of the button clashes a bit. It reminds me of this optical illusion where the grey looks different depending on the background.
Most of this cardigan has been knitted as I travelled to and from work, so it has taken a long time to make (not including the long break when I was crocheting crazily to finish my blanket and making Christmas gifts). I spent most of the bank holiday weekend knitting the sleeves (both at the same time) and probably spent 3 full days doing the sleeves and finishing the cardigan. The yarn was purchased last year in the sales but obviously I blogged about the costs of all the other purchases and not this one. I think the yarn cost approx £40 and the buttons cost a couple of pounds, so total cost was under £45.
Before I get started on a cosy winter cardigan, here is a sneak peak of my current sewing project…