Sunday, February 06, 2011

Tarted-up Camber

A while back, I had a round of meetings requiring lots of flying. And to a knitter such as me (i.e., easily distracted), being on an airplane = uninterrupted knitting time. Still, a very small voice warned that maybe a cardigan in cobweb-weight yarn knit at 8sts/in on 2.5mm needles might not have been the best choice. But that small voice was completely drowned out by the louder, more excited one yelling, And you know what'd be even better?! BEADS!

Tarted-up Camber
Yarn: Cashmere/viscose blend in Champagne from Colourmart, 150g cone, with plenty left over
Needles: 2.5mm Addi turbos
Pattern: Jessamyn Leib's Camber Cardigan

Notes: Well, where do I start? This was my first top-down knit and I knit it pretty much as written except for two major changes and a some minor ones.

The first major change: crazy decision to do this in thread-like yarn instead of the more sensible fingering weight it called for. But I really wanted to use this yarn. I worked backwards with my gauge to figure out what size I should knit that would make the cardi come out to my measurements. This worked fine- the only problem this created was that the neckline isn't wide enough to go around my neck. Not really a problem for me, as I don't ever intend to wear it buttoned all the way up.

I've only put in closures up to about boob height, because I never button cardis all the way up, anyway.

Second: Uhh...I added beads, because what's more fun than wrestling with a bunch of teeny beads on a bumpy flight? Nothing!

I had some bronze-ish beads I wanted to use. To make things easier on myself, they were too small for crochet hooks, and I didn't thread them on first because I had no idea when I started knitting where I'd want to put the beads or how many I'd need. So I did a weird maneuvre with the bead and a needle threader. Fiddly, but effective.

The minor changes were things like hemmed edges rather than rolling, bracelet-length sleeves rather than elbow length, and hook-and-eye closure rather than i-cord buttonholes.

I sewed the hooks and eyes to pieces of beautiful velvet ribbon (bought at Loop) and then very carefully sewed the ribbon to the inside of the fronts- I was really afraid the sewing would pull the fine yarn and you'd be able to see it. Happily, this didn't happen, but the fear of it kept me from finishing it. I'd actually finished the knitting months ago, but only now managed to put in the closures.

The pattern is easy to follow. (Too easy! Jesh made it so you can calculate your numbers for your size and gauge, which made working backwards with my particular gauge to get the numbers required a bit more work.) The design itself is beautifully simple. I've always loved those great vintage heavily sequinned and beaded cardigans but knew I can't really carry them off in my life. I satisfied my need for bling with the beads and the lace yoke provides more interest without going into over-the-top mode.

The result is gorgeous; I love it. However, never again a full garment at this gauge!


Averil said...

That is stunning! Really beautiful. Well wear.

Liz said...

"what's more fun than wrestling with a bunch of teeny beads on a bumpy flight? Nothing!"

but wrestling with tiny beads on a bumpy bus is almost as much fun.

Worth it though - the finished cardi looks fantastic.

Anonymous said...

That's lovely! The beads were a great choice.

Jesh said...

oh, wow!

this is absolutely stunning, and it's such an honor to see a pattern of mine receive such beautiful treatment.

Sinéad said...

Absolutely gorgeous! What a labour of love. The beads make it really special.