So when this lock-down happened, i already knew i was in trouble, but then Aldi starts to sell yarn in their magical middle aisle, so there was no hope…
On average, i probably leave a third of my monthly wage in that shop as it is, without them selling yarn. Well yes, most yarns there were, of course, not the most natural of fibres, however, there were some gems there like 100% linen and cotton mixes that were an absolute bargain. I also went for an acrylic, nylon and alpaca blend. A very soft and fluffy yarn consisting of three mohair-like strands held together. At 225 metres for 50 grams and being £4 per four pack, i just went mental and got 3 packs. I went for 2 packs (8 balls) of light blue and one pack (four balls) of cheeky pink. I had one clear idea what i wanted to make out of it – another Cumulus blouse, but with a twist – adding a bit of colour-work. I say only one idea, as at the time of purchase i only thought that would be enough yarn for one garment.
Although not the biggest fan of acrylics, i bought these for the practice. When i decide to experiment, it never really ends well. But the two finished objects i’m here to tell you about are actually quite successful for a change.
I did a little swatch (yes, can you imagine?!) as soon as i got home from the shop. I did it to compared it to my blue Cumulus blouse and determine weather or not i’d be able to use this yarn for it. The gauge was slightly bigger?, i’m still not an expert in that field. Basically, the stitches were bigger, so for that reason i decided to cast on one size smaller and hope that in the end it would be a good fit.
Initially i had such a crazy colour-work design in my mind, but the end result is a bit more down to earth, as i learnt how hard it is to do stranded colour-work with such a fluffy yarn. It was driving me up the wall, and not to mention, the static electricity i produced while knitting with that yarn. So that’s a clear drawback for not natural fibres.
It was knitting up quite quickly. I went for smaller parts first, like the sleeves, to keep getting that instant gratification that would push me to finish it quicker, also, i had no clue on yarn usage, so i had to finish important features first.
As this was my second time knitting the same pattern, i could fix all the problems i encountered the first time round. This time i managed to pick up a lot more stitches around the neckline, which meant i didn’t have any puckering around the sides and the V-neck is still a good size. I also learnt that i’ve been doing the i-cord bind-off slightly wrong, so i changed that too.
The colour-work on the sleeves is very subtle but i am very happy how it has turned out. The little, almost secret detail on the back might not be the neatest execution, but i’m happy that it’s there. For now it’s hard to say how it is going to behave in wear, but i hope it does ok.
I only thought of this second project because of how little yarn i was using on the colour-work for the Cumulus Blouse. That inspired me to venture even further past my comfort zone. I stumbled across this cardigan pattern on Instagram, obviously, and even though it calls for a totally different yarn, i thought i’d give it a shot.
Wrap Me Up Cardigan by Plummum requires multiple strands of mohair held together and knit with 8mm needles. It looks lovely with the frilled bottom as well as the plain one. Since i was knitting it in pink, i decided to go all out and do the fancy peplum.
I started knitting it according to the pattern on the 8mm needles, but i quickly realised i was making a fishing net, so i decided to go down a needle size. I was making the smallest size as i still thought my gauge would be loose enough to fit me. The thing with this yarn is that you can’t really undo it in big quantities, it knots and all the fluff disappears. The very first bit i undid and redid five times, as it turned out i have a mental block of some description when it comes to the provisional cast on.
I don’t have the right length of cables so it was quite hard to properly try it on during the make, so overall the result is not great, but it is a lot better than i thought at one point while still making it. I think i was about to finish the peplum and i was trying it on and realised i looked daft. The fabric wasn’t right, the size wasn’t right, nothing was right. I was disheartened, but i kept repeating to myself – it’s only 3 pounds, you can live with this…
Yes, the end result is very far from the original design and what i wanted to achieve, but it is still wearable and i have nothing against it. I even like it. For being so cheap and quick to knit it is a very successful project indeed.
Two garments down and i still have a full four-pack of blue yarn left. My plan is to make another Wrap Me Up Cardigan, however, this time i’d like to try and achieve the actual look of the pattern, which means i will need some additional yarn that i could hold together with this fluff. But that for later… much later ^^