George, originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

Start: 18th September 2009
Finish: 05th October 2009
Needles: 4 mm / 80 cm Addi Turbos
Yarns: GGH "Cumba"; 42% new wool, 28% alpaca, 30% acrylic; colours #014 (anthracite), #020 (turquoise)
Pattern: "George" by Jane Ellison in the Queensland Collection Book 9
Size: XS
Modifications: No turned-cuffs for the sleeves. CO less sts than required and then increased the sts. Knitted the edge band in one piece instead of dividing it. Also changed the buttonholes from the right-front to the left-front.

Sorry about the long silence. The backlight on my laptop screen has decided to give up a month ago and I still haven't got a new laptop. Right now, I just make-do with tilting the screen back to an angle and shining two lamps onto the screen, which allows me to see what's going on, but is pretty straining on the eyes, since everything is quite dark. Anyway, having left my blog idle for such a long time is really making me restless. So, I thought that I should update anyway, since the photos are already there.

I really used my offline time very well. I mean, I couldn't get online at home and the only entertainment I had were books, TV, music and knitting. So I got very prolific with knitting and have some FOs to show and this here is the first one.

As the weather is turning cooler, I have been trying to get warm by putting on warmer garments at home instead of turning on the heater, just to save energy (and the costs that entail). I have been meaning to knit myself more cardigans and jackets, because I like the fact that I put them on and take them off easily without so much fuss that comes with jumpers. To my dismay however, the only jacket I have is the Janker I knitted three years ago. So, I set out to knit myself cardigans and jackets.

I can't exactly recall when and where I first saw Jane Ellison's Queenlands Collection Book 9, but I remember distinctly that I was mesmerised with the patterns in that book. I set out to get a copy of the book but couldn't find anyone who carried it in Europe. Online queries to shops in the USA who carry the book bore no fruits (i.e. they didn't even bother to answer) and so I didn't think much of it until recently.

This brilliant idea came to me out of nowhere. A friend of mine from Munich emigrated to New York a while ago and so I thought that I would ask her to find the book for me. As my luck would have it, she actually found an LYS who carried the book and bought it and sent it to me.

The cardigan "George" had caught my eyes ever since I have seen the preview of the book on the internet and since I have been seeing this kind of cardigan in shops everywhere, I have vowed to knit myself that cardigan. And there was the opportunity.

George, originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

I really love this cardigan. The simplicity of it is very appealing, whilst the contrasting stripe lends the cardigan a bit of zest without being too loud. This way, you can combine the cardigan with a lot of things: Dressing-up or more relaxed (although I have to admit that I really prefer the dressed-up look).

Knitting this cardigan was relatively uneventful....apart from some of the construction and instructions that got me a bit on a rage. Just like the instructions for "Alvin", I felt like tearing out my hairs at the vague, or sometimes incomplete instructions for "George". Moreover, there is this one huge faux-pas in the pattern, but first I would like the criticise the instructions.

Like in "Alvin", there was absolutely no mentioning of blocking the finished pieces before sewing them together.

Even though it is common sense, I still think that there should be mentioning in the pattern that you should knit 2 sleeves and 2 pocket linings. And talking about pocket linings, here was the first mistake in the pattern. Since the pattern gave you only one set of instruction for the pocket linings done in 2x1 ribbing, you would assume that you need to knit two identical pocket linings, right? No. That wasn't the case, which I found out later one when I was just about to attach the second pocket lining. You actually need to knit the pocket linings differently from each other, in order for them to fit the ribbing on each side of the left and right fronts. There was no mentioning of this at all in the pattern and I ended up having to frog and re-knitted one of the pocket linings.

George, originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

I also couldn't understand the logic behind the fact that the designer (or perhaps actually the pattern editor) has you picking up and knit the button and buttonhole band separately by picking up the stitches from the mid-neck down each side and then sew them up together at mid-neck once the whole thing was finished. It's easy enough to pick up and and knit the whole band in one go.

The biggest boo-boo I found in this pattern was the fact that the buttonholes were placed on the right-front of the cardigan. Sure, some people would say that it doesn’t matter, but for me, it does. Traditionally, men garments have buttonholes on the left-front, while women garments have buttonholes on the right-front! So the buttonholes placement in the pattern is absolutely wrong in the traditional sense. I seriously was quite appalled that the designer and the editor let this slip. Funnily enough two of three patterns in the book that have buttonholes have them placed on the right-front, while one pattern has the buttonholes placed correctly on the left-fromt. Personally, I think that this was just plain bad works, because it seems to me that they didn't take care proofing the patterns for correctness and consistencies.

George, originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

With all that having been said, I still really love how the cardigan turned out. I solved all the problems by knitting the band in one entirety and swapping the buttonhole placements from the right-front to the left-front. I also modified the sleeves by eliminating the turned cuffs and casting-on less stitches and increasing the stitches number at equal intervals to introduce arm shaping to the otherwise tube sleeves the pattern has you knit.

This pattern also introduced me to knitting pockets. I have never knitted pockets into garments before and I have to admit that I really liked how the pockets on this turned out.

As for the yarn, I love GGH Cumba. It's light, yet very warm. So, I guess that I will try and stash up on this yarn in the future.

So, that's all for now. There are a couple more FOs to show you in the future, so keep an eye on my blog. I won't let my broken laptop screen deter me from blogging! ;-p

Wishing you all a good weekend and a great start to the week!

Current Mood: Good....just trying to be positive about my computer and hopefully with finding a job soon.


New York Built's picture

I, too, have been enamored with this designer's No 9 collection. Quite a few here on MWN making some of them. I've learned to be wary of all designs, to read them carefully and to note what the pictures have been stylized to "hide" or augment.

"If I have a little extra money, I buy yarn, fiber books, and knitting supplies. I get food with what's left over."

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

How true, Mark. I remember a knitting book reviewer once saying to be wary of knitting design photos that look too posed. Often they were a way to hide ill fitting elements and mistakes. Thanks for the reminder to keep that in mind. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Knipper's picture

Great work. And thanks for sharing your adventure with this knitting project. I like that collection also and have thought about a few of them. When I first learned to knit, my teacher took my measurements and had me knit a sweater. It was ten years before I followed a pattern and it kept me busy trying to figure out the missing phrase or sentence. My mentor told me to follow my instincts and modify as needed, if necessary.

Your knitting is constantly inspirational. Look forward to seeing more.

mrossnyc's picture

Good work! When I knit Carey from the same book, I also knit the band in one piece rather than picking up stitches and knitting half of it only to join it later. I also added sleeve shaping rather than the tubes, but it still didn't come out quite right. Thanks for another detailed post, it helps to know what you did step by step.