Category: Buttercup Cardigan

I ♥ Buttercup

When I first looked at the pattern, I loved it and wanted to make it. When I was working on it, I loved how the heart motifs kept it interesting but still simple enough to do. Towards the end, though, it started to get rather blah… But now that it’s done and I see Annette wearing it, I’m in love all over again. Here’s why…

Annette at play

Annette at play

Going out for a walk

Going downstairs to go for a walk

Having a rest on the grass

Buttons close-up

Close-up of the buttons

Oh, and I ♥ Annette too!

Pattern: “Design F” in Sirdar Book 282 — The Snuggly Book of Baby & Toddler Knits
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton, just under 7 balls.
Needles: 3.25mm for most of it, 2.5mm for the button bands.

Modifications: I used a different yarn and smaller needles than recommended in the pattern, but I still made the 2 year old size because based on my gauge and the pattern’s measurements it looked like it would still fit Annette (Annette is quite small for her age). And it does! The other change that I made was to make the sleeve cuffs a bit wider than in pattern, because I don’t tend to like tight cuffs. Other than that, I pretty much followed the pattern the way it was written.

A word about the construction. I wrote before about the button bands. The pattern says that the button bands were to be knitted on smaller needles separately from the front pieces, and then seamed. Meg suggested that constructing it that way would add some stability to the structure of the garment. And, having done it and seeing the result, I totally agree. I really like the way the button bands look sturdier (I guess due to tighter gauge with the smaller needles), and they do seem to make the fronts more stable and not floppy.

The other new thing in the construction, for me, was that the collar was knitted separately too and then seamed to the main body and to the top of the button bands. I guess this is because of the shape of the collar (kind of like sailor’s collar). Attaching the collar was a killer! Seaming the collar around the neck was allright, but I was stuck at attaching the collar to the top of the button bands. You see, the collar is moss stitch (seed stitch) and the button bands are also moss stitch, and I don’t know how to make a smooth graft between the tops of moss stitch together 🙁 I searched the internet and books, but couldn’t find anything. So I just used kitchener stitch. It didn’t make as smooth a join as I like, but it will do I guess. (If you look closely at the buttons close-up above, you might be able to notice some wonkiness. So, don’t look to closely! 🙂 ) If you know a good way to graft moss stitch, let me know, okay? I’m not going to redo this one, but probably would be good to know for the future.

This close

Almost a Buttercup

Buttercup is almost done… Just need to sew on the buttons, and another round of blocking. I’ve already blocked the pieces before seaming, but I like to block one more time as a whole. FO coming soon!

Ups and Downs

Sorry for the lack of posts in the past week. There has been some knitting, and a sick toddler. Annette doesn’t get sick very often at all, but when she does, she’s really miserable. She’s got the flu now, the poor thing… I can hear her coughing many times during the night, and in the morning she wakes up much earlier than usual, with a piercing scream too. Oh dear…

On the knitting front, the back on Buttercup is done, and now I’m progressing along the first front piece.

Halfway first front

You see the 6 stitches hanging on the ‘stitch holder’? They will become the moss-stitch buttonhole band, to be knitted after the front piece itself is done, and then seamed to the front piece. A matching button band will similarly be done this way on the other front piece. This is the first time I encountered such construction. My initial reaction was, Why?? Why can’t I just knit the button bands at the same time as the front pieces and avoid extra seaming? Granted, with Buttercup the pattern says to make the button bands using a needle size smaller. So… maybe that’s why? Because the gauge for the button bands is different from the main body? Or is there any other reason for this? Better garment structure?? Well I decided to follow as per pattern, extra seaming and all, entrusting my sanity to the infinite wisdom of the pattern designer… hehee… well, the patterns in this book haven’t let me down so far… And I do want to learn how this construction would turn out.

I’ve also got yarn for my mum’s cardigan. I wanted a cotton blend, so that it can get some wear even on warm climate. And what do you know, I found Rowan’s All Seasons Cotton on sale at Jannette’s Rare Yarns. Well, the discontinued shades anyway. I bought some of the Purr shade, it’s a light mauve/purple colour, which is just what my mum wanted. Great!

Rowan All Seasons Cotton

As for the pattern, mum said these two are her favourites (I emailed her the pics of Jess, Shelagh, and several cardi patterns from Garnstudio/Drops Design):

Choices

Left: Jess, by Anna Bell. Right: Pattern 71-1 from Garnstudio/Drops Design.

Mum’s first preference is Jess. So I quickly swatched, but the result was… ugh… The fabric just doesn’t look right, the drape doesn’t look right. It’s just way to drapey (probably just what you get when you substitute cotton instead of wool), and you can’t see the basketweave pattern very well. I don’t think this would work…

Swatches

(Actually, I have swatched with the recommended yarn for this pattern (Elle Pure New Wool). I have some leftover balls from a previous project, which I bought a long time ago at Lincraft. I got gauge, and I loved the way the basketweave pattern looked. I totally would have used this yarn to make Jess, except that when I went to Lincraft I found that they have discontinued it, and now have none left!! Grrrr… And I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else so far… sobs.. I loved that yarn, it was very soft, versatile, nice colours, and very affordable too. Ok, end of rant.)

So I told mum about the situation, and she’s ok with that. She’s happy with the Drops cardi pattern as well, so I’ll go ahead with that. Hopefully better luck with this one…

All is well

For those wondering about how the ruffle on Buttercup turns out, I am so pleased to report that all is well! Looks like it will fit Annette just right, although it might grow a bit after blocking, which is still okay. This is how it looks like at the moment, almost getting to the armhole shaping.

Buttercup -- halfway through the back piece

As you can see, the ruffle turns out quite nicely. I love how it turns out, actually. The ‘gathering’ row is very cleverly written. I don’t know if you can see it very well here, but the ruffle is a bit more bunched up around the sides (where the heart leaf motif panel is), and less so around the center. And I love that heart leaf motif too. The DB wool cotton yarn sure makes a great stitch definition here.

Heart leaf pattern on Buttercup

I think it will look better after blocking.

And I have another FO! Remember when I talked about knitting Rabbit? Well she is now done, and has been gifted to the birthday girl (Annette’s friend).

Rabbit

Pattern: Rabbit, one of the Lovable Toys from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
Yarn: Sullivan’s Baby Touch 4 ply, in cream (for body) and pink (for inner ears). Unfortunately I don’t have any fluffy pink yarn on hand for the ears.

This was a quick and enjoyable knit… I think if I didn’t have to look after a toddler, cook, eat, or sleep, perhaps I could have made it in six to eight hours too. And the end result is so cute, I almost couldn’t give it away.

Miles and miles (and miles)

… of knitting… Or, at least, it felt like it, on Buttercup. I’ve been working on the moss stitch (seed stitch) ruffle for a week now (well, in between knitting on the garter cuff mittens and the rabbit), but all I have is a measly 5 cm (2 inches). Four more centimeters to go before being gathered. Here’s the progress so far, on my madly-curling circulars.

Buttercup progress

That’s 177 stitches each row, measuring to about 80 cm wide (31.5 inches). And that’s just for the back. That sounds awfully wide for a 2 year old size, doesn’t it? True, it will be gathered later. But I kept wondering whether it would be gathered enough. I don’t mind the cardi turning out a little too big for Annette, but I hope I won’t have to wait say, until she’s 10 years old before it would fit her. I kept checking and rechecking the pattern and my gauge, and yes, they seem to be on track. I have knitted another cardi from this pattern booklet before (in my pre-blogging days). I followed the pattern to the dot back then, and it turned out wonderfully. So I hope I can trust this pattern as well.

The garter cuff mitten is progressing along well. One mitten is done, and I’m halfway through the second one.

One garter cuff mitten done

In other news, I have two more cardigan projects in the pipeline (!!) I called my parents last sunday to wish my dad a happy birthday (my parents live in Indonesia), and my mum said that she saw my knitting blog. I told her about it a while ago, and even though she’s not internet savvy, she managed to find it. My mum is so sweet, she’s always so supportive of whatever I choose to do. I knitted her a scarf for her birthday last year (one of my first FOs, just a simple 2×2 rib scarf), and even though the weather is permanently hot over there (average temperature for the city she lives in is 30+ degrees Celcius, or almost 90 deg fahrenheit, all year round) she wears it a lot. She’s not a knitter herself (I don’t know anybody who knit in Indonesia, it’s always very hot and humid there), and she’s amazed that a young person like me would be interested in knitting. She doesn’t mean it in the you’re-such-an-old-lady kind of sense, she really means it as a compliment that young people can knit too.

Anyway, she saw my FO picture of Sesame, and she asked if I can knit her a cardigan too. I so didn’t expect that but I was so excited that she actually wanted me to knit her something! Of course I can knit her a cardigan! Her specification was that it should be a cardigan with buttons at the front, the colour should be subdued, not bright, preferably light purple, and that it should have collars, and not too plain. By “not too plain” she’s thinking of some colourwork, probably a touch of fair-isle like what I did with Sesame. I’m thinking fair-isle (especially in woolen yarn) would make the cardigan too warm for Indonesia’s climate, so I might suggest textures instead. So I’ve been scouring for cardigan patterns this last couple of days. Two possible candidates so far are Jess by Anna Bell (which I had been planning to knit for myself), and Shelagh by Elizabeth Morrison. I’m still looking around for more patterns, and then I’ll get mum to pick one.

And while I was talking to my mum on the phone, my sister who was staying at my mum’s place overheard the conversation, and she said she wants a cardigan for her little boy too. Boy oh boy, I’ll be busy won’t I.