The Whirlwind Holiday Knit (Well, Sort Of)

Just before Christmas I resolved to cast on a new cardigan. I had the pattern, the wool, just not a terrific amount of time and rather a few bits on the needles already. “Never mind” I thought, “this’ll be a super quick knit that flies off the needles”. In my head I imagined that it’d be finished by new year’s eve.

Yeah, right. Sometimes I wonder about myself and my crazy plans.

The Whirlwind Holiday Knit (Well, Sort Of)
The Whirlwind Holiday Knit (Well, Sort Of)

Anyway, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see I cast it on about a week and a bit ago and I’ve been dragging it all over New Zealand with me as we’ve spent time with family and friends.

I’m knitting Epistrophy, a Kate Davies pattern from her beautiful new book Yokes.  I’ve bought the book and it was the first cardigan in the collection that caught my eye; a DK weight bottom up cardigan, knitted in the round, sleeves joined at the bottom of the armholes and some simple colourwork around the yoke. Once I get to the top I’ll be slicing it down the middle to turn it into a cardigan. I haven’t tried steeking before and although once upon a time I was terrified of the prospect of taking scissors to my knitting, now I’m feeling rather excited to try it!

The Whirlwind Holiday Knit (Well, Sort Of)

The yarn I’m using it absolutely gorgeous. I am totally in love and you’ll be seeing more of this yarn from me I’m sure. It’s Vanitas DK from Outlaw Yarn; a blend of 90% Alpaca & 10% Merino in the “Bone” colourway which is a soft, creamy colour with definite rose pink undertones. I’m teaming it with a delicious, almost liquorice toned grey (“Ebony”) for the colour work at the yoke.

I am so impressed with how soft this yarn is. The alpaca gives it a lovely halo and it’s also beautifully plump. It’s a hand-wash only yarn and gives me the impression that it might pill over time, although so far my knitting isn’t showing any signs of pilling at all. Vanitas comes all balled up and ready to go in nice hefty 100g skeins which is much more preferable to dragging around a gazillion 50g balls and it’s just lovely to knit with.

The Whirlwind Holiday Knit (Well, Sort Of)
Despite all the festivities and parties, I have been knitting pretty fast when I can and in fact I should be further along than I am. Rather frustratingly I discovered (when I thought I was finished with the body) that I was four stitches short … Then, I simply could not find those stitches. I hunted and hunted and counted and double checked the maths in the pattern and was totally stumped. In desperation I put the body down and started my sleeves thinking it was more than likely a screamingly obvious mistake and I’d come back to it later when I wasn’t surrounded by holiday antics. 

It was a pretty obvious mistake and I realised it while I was knitting the first sleeve. The first set of decreases for both the body and sleeve happen immediately upon moving on from the ribbing. I’d forgotten that and instead of counting my decreases from there, I’d been counting from the next decrease, five rows up. Bingo – there was my mistake. Four too many decreases.

It did cross my mind that I could just leave it, pop in another row of increases at the top and call it quits but I couldn’t. The extra decreases meant that the waist would not only be nipped in further but also higher. Keeping them would probably create a funny, not quite right look about the shaping and I didn’t fancy that. So I ripped back. Inches and inches. 

Now both sleeves are done and I’ve raced back up the body and am only a few rows from the top again. But, look at my tensioning?! It’s gone all squoo-wiff and loose. Totally yuck. 

I’m a bit miffed but am I so disappointed that I’ll knit the top of the body again? Argh! I’m not sure … It should block out. Right?! (Gah! I might knit it again …)

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