Saturday, 12 September 2015

Monogamous Knitting: Eighties Does Forties

Ironically for a blog with a knitting-based title, there hasn't been much substance on the actual knitty side of things for a while, but that's all about to change with my next couple of posts.

Earlier this year I brought a stash of old Rowan knitting magazines from a charity shop, which I blogged about here and mentioned that I was thinking of knitting something from one of them. In the end I decided to knit the 'Sampler Cardigan' by Kim Hargreaves from Issue 4. I chose it because of the Fair Isle pattern and its 1940s vibe. Its not a surprise really to find a vintage-style pattern like this in the magazine, as Issue 4 dates from the 1980s - a decade which freely sought inspiration from 1940s fashions.

The pattern originally used Rowan Designer DK yarn which  is now discontinued, so I went for Rowan Felted Tweed DK instead as a close substitute. Also, I thought that the felted yarn fitted in with with the cardigan's vintage look.

I choose the below colours as they were a similar match to the original shades. However, there is a bit of minor deviation as I preferred a darker brown for the birds and two shades of red for the flowers.

175 Cinnamon (Fawn)  
160 Gilt (Gold) 
178 Seasalter (Blue) 
158 Pine (Green) 
154 Ginger (Rust) 
150 Rage 
186 Tawny 
145 Treacle (Brown)

I started knitting the cardie in March and found that it was quite an easy pattern and very straightforward to knit - apart from a discrepancy with the stitch count in the fronts. I was supposed to have 65 stitches when increasing after the ribbing but this didn't correspond with the chart, so I then changed it to 64, which worked for me.

For once I haven't been promiscuous with my projects; knitting a few rows here then dropping it to flirt with a fresh project that's caught my eye. No siree - I've been a monogamous knitter and have kept on the straight and narrow. This has paid off and after just over five months of monogamous knitting I finished the cardie this week and its now ready to wear.  

The only drawbacks I've found have been my choice of buttons as they were the only ones I had in my stash that suited it, but they're too small and easily unbutton. However, this is fine by me as I never button my cardies up.

The other things is the yarn. Its very tactile and great to knit with, but it sheds lots of alpaca strands. After wearing the cardie with dark-coloured clothes it looks like I've been battling with Blofeld's moggy from the James Bond films!


  1. The cardigan looks absolutely wonderful. I love knitting fairisle
    Julie xxx

  2. Your cardi is a beaut, you're so clever!

  3. Lovely cardigan and just finished in time for the winter.
    We used to have a Rowan wool shop in Oxford I remember my Mum being horrified at how expensive it was though she loved their patterns.

  4. I can't decide if I'm coveting your hair or cardie more! I really want to make a fair isle type knit and this one is perfect, yay you :)

  5. A gorgeous cardi fabulously modelled! xxx

  6. Oh that is a beauty and so are you! I love the those Eighties knitting patterns, especially Rowan and your colurs are

  7. That's a wonderful cardi, aren't you clever?! Love the autumnal colours, it definitely has a 1940s vibe going on. xxx

  8. This is lovely. I really like all the colours you chose - very earthy and autumnal. I also agree with Elise that your hair is looking fantastic in these photos!

    Hopefully one day I will manage to knit gorgeous fair isle like you. I'm currently dipping my toes into a bit of lace work and it's bending my brain a fair bit!


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