Sunday, May 20, 2012

Out of my hands

Finally I have something finished to show you: a cardigan that has been in the works since November has left my hands and resides with its rightful owner. Just in time for summer...

My friend K had a stash of alpaca destined to become a cardigan but just did not seem to find herself picking up the needles and knitting it. I was looking for commissions, so we came to an agreement. The first step was to settle on a pattern. We found the perfect one, but it was not obtainable outside the US so I set off to 'unvent' it.

The body of the cardigan is simple stockinette with garter edges to keep them from rolling and long, set-in sleeves. There are two rows of two buttons closing the front. Usually I prefer to knit as much in the round and in one piece as possible, but as alpaca has a tendency to 'grow' I wanted to minimize that effect with seams on the sides and sleeves. Since the garment is going to be hanging practically open, I shaped the waist even more to compensate.

The gist of the cardigan is its asymmetrical lace collar. That proved to be the tricky part, knitting it to both curve around the neck and grow to the right width, but with some help with my little friends I figured I had a plan. It still didn't curve in the direction I anticipated.

I blocked it on the needles to make sure the length was still right. Then I sewed the collar on and blocked it again on the dress form to make sure it would sit right on the shoulders.

K picked the buttons up later; simple, grey and marbled ones. They don't show much from under the collar. On the whole I'm very pleased with how the garment turned out; it helped that K and me are roughly the same size, so I could double check the fit on myself as I went along.

In other news, we have some new neighbors. Not that we don't have their kin over every single year; they eat all our berries, muck about in the vegetable patch, shit everywhere and are generally a nuisance. But they sure are adorable when they are, indeed, new.

They are baby fieldfares and they look like they are making noises, but actually they are just half asleep with their beaks open. I guess they figure they'll wake up when someone vomits in their mouths. The nest is perched on some fence poles just under the rafters of our garage, on the eye-level of anyone taller than me. At least it's a better place for a nest than another couple had; they managed to build quite a massive structure right above my window before I buckled up and took it down. I felt like a horrible person for it. Hopefully they still had time to build another nest somewhere that was wider than two centimeters and not directly above two inquisitive cats.

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