'Horology' by Kate Davies and other knitting projects
Posted on November 30 2021
Photographs copyright KDD&Co
There are some benefits to dark nights and miserable weather: I can sit and knit without feeling any guilt at all which is just as well, as I have about 3 projects currently on the go and a list of future projects which will take several years to complete!
Over the summer, one of my favourite projects was the 'Horology' cardigan by Kate Davies. I rarely knit cardigans because it always seems a bit of a pain doing one front, then the other and finally the edgings. Moreover, in my view, most designers seem to 'opt out' in their pattern writing telling you to 'reverse the shapings' when it comes to knitting your second front. Kate's pattern is a cardigan knitted from the top down and therefore, the back and both fronts are knitted in one go. This was my first attempt at a 'top down' pattern and it did take me a while to get used to knitting the sleeves in the round but once completed there was barely any sewing up to do which is a huge benefit of this method. In addition, whereas normally I inevitably have to shorten the sleeves, this style of knitting makes it so easy to get the sleeves the correct length, first time.
Kate Davies' Horology cardigan knitted in Rowan Summerlite DK
Detail of back showing twisted cable pattern
I did make some alterations to Kate's pattern. I knitted my sweater in a Rowan Summerlite DK and this meant, due to the different tension, I needed to go up a couple of sizes to get the correct fit. Kate finishes the fronts of the cardigan with a cable which would work for a wool yarn because you could block it out to get a proper edge for the finishing. However, I was using a cotton yarn which would not have blocked so successfully and so I decided to work an extra 3 stitches in stocking stitch on both sides of the front to enable me to neatly pick up stitches for the ribbed edging. One particular design detail that I love of this pattern (aside from the twisted cable pattern) is the I-cord bind off and buttonhole band. I would now always use this type of finish to any future project as it is such a neat way to edge a cardigan. For more information on this type of finishing I would recommend this video by Carol Feller.
I-cord edging and button hole band
I also worked a 'false' seam down either side of the cardigan by doing one stitch in reverse stocking stitch from the middle of the armhole. In other words, in the same position where you would normally join the fronts to the back of a sweater or cardigan if you were working bottom up. I did the same with the sleeves, knitting a false seam with a one stitch reverse stocking stitch and then decreasing either side of it as I knitted the sleeve in the round from the armhole down. This created the same effect as if you were knitting the sleeve flat.
The cardigan was a favourite for the summer and so I have decided to make a 'winter' version in Softyak, one of my favourite Rowan yarns which comes in a fabulous selection of colours. If you haven't tried a 'top down' pattern before I would thoroughly recommend and as a result of knitting this design, I will now be adding more cardigans to my rather long list of projects in the pipeline! Kate Davies has a great selection to choose from.
My son finally received his handknitted sweater after 3 years of waiting of which I will write more in my next newsletter...suffice to say, I have never ripped out a knitted garment as frequently. If this garment had been my first knitting project, I may never have taken up my needles again!
I have tried, unsuccessfully, to clear out some clutter this year. Whilst sorting out, I came across a Debbie Abrahams' Mystery Knitted Blanket which I had sent for in 2016 (prior to setting up The Knitter's Yarn). I had only made about a quarter of the project and so I was determined to finish it this year. I have written a separate blog post on blankets for those of you who are interested but here is a photo of the completed item. There was a big sigh of relief when the last edge of the blanket was finished and stitches cast off.
Debbie Abraham's 2016 Mystery Blanket
When the daughter of a close friend gave birth to a little boy at the end of last week, despite the fact that I had several months notice in which to knit something, the day after the baby was born I started to make a hat and bootees. The pattern for the hat is by Mrs Moon and the bootees are by Stella Ackroyd. The set took one ball of each colour in Mrs Moon's Pudding yarn. After some of the lengthy, on-going projects of recent months, it was very satisfying to knit something up so quickly.
Hat and Bootees knitted in Mrs Moon 'Pudding'
(Darjeeling and Sugared Almond)
I travelled by train down to London last month which was the first time I had been 'down south' for over a year. I needed a small project for the journey and so I decided on another shawl/wrap knitted in a different colour way using the beautiful mYak yarns. As mentioned in an earlier newsletter, I love this pattern by Isabel Kramer and have adapted it to make a smaller version which, as someone vertically challenged, I find easier to wear.
In addition, because many knitters wear lovely jewellery to show off their handknits, I have also included the mini Swag-bag on the 'Offers' page. Swag-bag was designed many years ago by myself and Gay, the friend whose daughter had the baby. We had four daughters between us and we were both avid collectors of costume jewellery. Since launching our product, many companies have used elements of our design. However, we still believe the quality of our product surpasses the competition. Swag-bag enables you to hang your jewellery so that it is tangle-free, easily accessible and clearly visible. Available at a very special price it would make a great Christmas gift.
I have frequently mentioned 'Knit for Nowt' a charitable service based in Yorkshire. It appeals to knitters for knitted, crocheted, or sewn hand puppets and "worry monsters", which are used by therapists to help children suffering from abuse, neglect, bereavement or other serious problems. There is a huge need for these. They are donated to Social Work teams and Children's therapists right across the UK. I received their newsletter yesterday and they currently have 764 therapist waiting for items. I do have some spare wool which I collected when I was able to visit a local Care Home to run a charitable knitting group. Since Covid these sessions have clearly stopped and I would be happy to send this spare wool to any of you who would be happy to supply items for the 'Knit for Nowt' charity. You can contact me via the website.
Finally, for all those Patricia Roberts' fans, Patricia's daughter, Amy has recently posted in the Ravelry forum that she will be putting together an exhibition of her mother's work next year. I will keep you updated but Amy is 'keen to reach out to the group as I would love to include some texts of memories you may have had of her and your experiences buying sweaters, knitting your first pattern etc. Many of the memories I can see shared I would love to be able to have some to include in the display'.
I hope this newsletter finds you all fit and well with preparations well underway for next month's big event. Needless to say, it will be a last minute sprint for me and as my daughter is determined to have a vegetarian Christmas this year, if any of you have festive recipes you would be happy to share, then they will be very gratefully received.