Yesterday I picked up my entries from the Sydney Royal Easter Show Arts & Crafts Competition. I entered two projects: a cardigan for me that had been hibernating 90% done for over a year, and a hipster vest requested by the Snook at Christmas. I’m really happy with how both of them turned out. (I didn’t win any ribbons this year, but I’ve given up trying to understand the judging criteria. That way lies madness.) Anyway, the details…

Blackberry Cardigan

Blackberry CardiganThis is a cardigan I started knitting for myself back in 2013 but never finished. I love knitting cables, and I wanted something warm and snuggly to wear in winter (and in my freezing cold office). The wool is Filatura di Crosa Zara merino wool, which I’d previously bought from Reecie in a destash. I’d knitted a couple things out of it previously, and I knew that it would give great stitch definition yet be soft enough to wear directly on my skin. I hate sewing up, so I knitted the body in one piece up to the arm holes. Then I split the piece and worked the back and two fronts separately up to the shoulders before joining them with a three-needle bind-off. I also knitted each sleeve in the round up to the sleeve cap, which I knitted flat. At that point, I lost my knitting mojo and the pieces sat in my craft room for well over a year. When I unearthed them, I realised there wasn’t a great deal left to do. I picked up and the knitted the giant shawl collar (which goes all the way around and includes the button holes for the front), then blocked all the pieces before sewing them together. I found the buttons at Sew Make Create. I’m really, really pleased how it turned out. I’m wearing it right now, in fact! (More details over at Ravelry.)

Argyll Vest

Argyll VestOver Christmas we were having lunch at a cafe in Newtown when the Snook asked if I’d knit him a “hipster sweater vest.” He so rarely asks for knitted things, I got really excited and pulled up Ravelry that minute on my iPhone to start searching for patterns. When I saw katarina’s Argyll Vest, we both knew it was the perfect one. Happily I had the pattern book it’s from already in my collection! We walked straight up to The Granny Square and picked out the wool on the spot. We selected three different “heathered” colours of Morris Empire 4-ply. The only pattern mod I made was to make the body a bit longer, because Rodd has a very long torso. Since the neckline is meant to start at the top of a diamond, I had to decide ahead of time how much length I was going to add (so I could add it on at the bottom above the ribbing). And of course, you can’t knit intarsia in the round so I had to knit the front and back separately. I love the neat geometry of intarsia and had a lot of fun seeing the diamonds emerge. The diagonal lines – which I learned are called rakers – were embroidered on with Swiss darning. Then I just had to block it, sew it up, and knitting on the bands. He really likes it! I think it’s going to get a lot of wear this winter. (More details over at Ravelry.)