Category: Beaded Cardigan


Woot! It’s a finished object!! The (beadless) beaded cardi has finally been blocked, seamed, buttoned, and done!


Here’s a full shot of it.

Full shot

And another.

Pattern: Beaded Cardigan from Debbie Bliss Special Knits
Yarn: A bit over 5 balls of Filatura Di Crosa “Zara” merino
Started October 2005, finished November 2005.

I stick pretty close to the pattern for this cardi. As I’ve said before, I love this cardi pattern. It’s easy and simple but not boring. The motif is interesting but doesn’t require too much thinking (good for TV knitting!). And the thing I like most about this pattern is that, because of the way the diamond purly bumps pattern is arranged, it’s very easy to see where you are in the pattern. When you make a mistake, you’re likely to catch it within the same row, so it’s easier to fix.

As for blocking, I ended up choosing the wet blocking method and it came out beautifully. Thanks to those who gave me their advice on blocking!!

But this project was not without its bonehead moments. After joining the front pieces to the back piece at the shoulders using fake grafting, I noticed that the join looked a bit sucky. At first I thought it would become more flat once I have done the neck band. So I proceeded and knitted the neck band, but as it turned out it still looked like that.

Sucky joins

I’m not a perfectionist, but sometimes a perfectionist bug kicks in. So I picked out the grafting, and tried to graft again, this time 2 rows away from the bound off edges. Still sucky. I picked it out again and tried with one side 1 row away from the bound off edge and the other side 3 rows away. Still sucky. At this point I gave up and grafted it back the way I did it the first time around. I’m hoping that another blocking will improve the situation. If I could do it again, I think I’d do kitchener instead. I did think about kitchener before, but I wasn’t confident enough with my kitchener skill (previous attempts had been a bit wonky). Oh well, coulda woulda shoulda.

I leave you now with this picture of the close up of the purly bumps pattern and the buttons.

Close up

The status so far

First, a dilemma

I’ve finished all the pieces of Beaded Cardi (actually finished that last sleeve last saturday), and here’s what it looks like right now:

Pre blocking

It is patiently waiting to be blocked. I do prefer to block before seaming, because it just makes the seaming so much easier when the pieces are nice and flat. It’s easier to match up the stitches, and what a great morale boost to see your knitting so professional-looking!

But right now I am stumped. I have a confession to make — I am a baby when it comes to blocking. I’ve only ever blocked one project, which was another cardigan for Annette (here’s a picture). I used Sirdar Snuggly yarn, which is 50% acrylic / 50% nylon in DK weight. I read Becky‘s mini-tutorial on steam blocking, and decided it was the way to go. It was easy and quick to do, and I’m very happy with the result. However with the (beadless) Beaded Cardi I’m not so sure… The fabric is a bit finer than the Snuggly cardi. I read in Knitty’s article on blocking that with merino fabric, especially fine gauge ones, it’s best to do the pin/spritz method (pin the pieces out, spritz each piece until damp, and wait to dry). But would that really make the pieces flat?

So I’m just wondering if anybody can share about their blocking methods, and whether they achieve the result you intended?

I am impatient by nature, especially now that it’s so close to finishing, I just want to finish it. (Not that I don’t enjoy working on the project, but I just can’t wait to see the end product, you know?) So I’ll probably end up steam blocking (since it’s probably the quickest). But I’d really love to hear your suggestions or any of your experience with blocking. I’d definitely consider it if there’s a better way! (Thanks in advance!)

And in the meantime…

… I have kept myself busy by starting another project (gasp!) because I have no self-control. It’s the Urban Necessity tam/beret from September MagKnits. I’m not making the gloves, just the beret. I’ve always wanted to knit myself a beret, and this pattern looks nice and simple, yet not too simple (there’s actually a snowflake pattern at the top, which you can’t really see from the picture on the website).

I’m making this with yarn from stash, Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in Dove colourway. It’s light grey-blue-purpley colour with brown and purple flecks. Does that sound weird? But it looks ok. Overall it looks just like light grey-blue, which is a colour I would definitely wear.

Here’s what it looks like at the moment:

Starting Urban beret

It has 1×1 ribbing, so it’s a perfect opportunity to try out tubular cast on! That article in Fall Knitty is really the clearest tutorial on tubular cast on that I’ve ever found on the web. Thanks, Knitty! 🙂 I quite like the way the cast-on edge of the ribbing looks, it definitely looks better than with the long-tail cast-on or knitted cast-on. And I hope it will be more comfortable to wear as well.


I’m still working on Kiri, too. But now that the rows are getting very long, progress is indeed getting slower. I’m only up to 8 repeats. Boohoo…

Kiri, 8 repeats

And a trip to the frog pond

I started the Liesel lace scarf a while ago, with the variegated Lana “Moana” yarn. I like the pattern (love that drooping elm leaves pattern), I like the yarn (love the colourway and the way it drapes), but they’re just not meant for each other. You just can’t see the pattern very well in that yarn, and I think it would be a shame. Here’s what it looks like at last check:


Against the dark background of my couch you can sort of see the leaves pattern, if you squint maybe. But at other times you just can’t see it. So, off to the frog pond this one goes. I still want to make the scarf in the future, just not with this yarn.

Ok that’s all for now. Phew, what a long post!

Sleeve Island

I’m on Sleeve Island! I’ve got one sleeve down, and here pictured is the second sleeve.

Sleeve no. 2

I know why they call it Sleeve Island. The rows just keep getting longer and longer, and it feels like you’re stuck in an island, or a black hole. It feels like, no matter how long you knit, the sleeve is still not growing any longer. Sigh.

But thankfully this pattern has been very kind to me. It’s not all stockinette. And the purly diamonds pattern breaks the monotonousness a LOT. It has been a quick knit, that by the time boredom start to set in, I’m already on the last piece. Being on the last piece, the thrill of getting close to the finish line comes in. (Lets just pretend for the moment that there is no weaving of end nor seaming to speak of.) I just can’t wait to finish this! Must. Keep. Knitting.

Zara oh Zara

Belinda (hi Belinda!) asked me a question in the comments of my last entry.

you’ve got be thinking about Zara as a sub yarn for DB Baby cashmerino. Isn’t Zara a thicker ply than Baby cash? What size needles are you using to get gauge or have you adjusted your cast on stitches and number of rows…I would love to here from you, as most of the projects I love from DB she has used her Baby cashmerino.

Yes I do love Zara, I think it’s a pretty good substitute for DB Baby Cashmerino. I’ve never used DB baby cashmerino myself though, it’s just a bit pricey for me… Zara is slightly thicker than baby cashmerino (according to the label it’s 23 sts x 31 rows to 10x10cm), but I’m not particularly worried about gauge when it comes to baby clothes.. just as long as it’s not too small… 😀 Me, I live on the edge!! 😀 I’m using 3.25mm (US 3) needles as prescribed in the pattern, but I’m knitting the 18mo size (my daughter Annette would be around 2yo by the time she wears this I guess, seeing that the weather in Sydney is becoming hotter and hotter by the day). Halfway through knitting the back piece I compared it against one of Annette’s cardigans and it looks like it’s about the right size, so I’m happy 🙂

The yarn itself is very nice and soft, very nice to knit with. And although it’s a bit thicker than DB baby cashmerino, the resulting fabric knitted up with the 3.25mm needles look just right, not too tight or too thick, and not too loose either. I wouldn’t recommend using needles thicker than 3.25mm with this yarn though. I swatched with 4mm, and after washing the resulting fabric is just too loose and kind of see-through. But with 3.25mm needles it looks great. I’d definitely use this yarn again, especially for baby clothes. Have I mentioned that I love this yarn? 🙂

Beaded Cardigan Without Beads

In other news, (gee I must be on a roll! three posts in a day!), I have started a new project. It’s the Beaded Cardigan from Debbie Bliss Special Knits, using the Filatura Di Crosa Zara merino in light purple that I bought last month.

Except that I’m not going to add the beads, since it’s intended for a toddler who loves to poke around things and pull things apart (not to mention putting things in her mouth occasionally), I think beads won’t be a good idea. That, plus the fact that beading looks like a helluva hard work!!

This has been a very quick knit, so quick that I’ve finished the back and both left and right fronts before I get a chance to take photos and write a post about it!

Right front
Back piece Left front

That picture at the top is the right front, just before the neck shaping. I’ve finished that piece since then, I just haven’t taken another picture of it.

I really really really love knitting this. I love the seed stitch edgings, I love the purly bumps texture, I love the yarn, and I love how quick this is knitting up. Going to start the sleeves now!