Perhaps you remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned I was playing around with the Malabrigo Rios I’ve had laying around for years now. Well, I finished the cardigan I was knitting with it! Which also means that I’ve successfully completed a second sweater for myself, and this one actually fit on the first try!
The pattern is: Katrina Ballerina Lace Layering Cardigan by Nicole Feller Johnson. Photos below, then my thoughts on knitting it.
(Sorry about the poor photo quality on the last two photos. SO just hasn’t yet mastered the art of not mashing your finger down on the shutter button so hard that it makes the camera shake, yet.)
The Malabrigo yarn was absolutely lovely to work with. I chose the short-sleeved cardigan because I thought I’d run out of yarn (I only had three skeins and all the patterns I was seeing called for 4 at a minimum), but I ended up with nearly a full skein leftover, even after adding a few extra rows to make the lace begin where I wanted it to. This means I get to do another project — the Evenstar gloves by Audrey M. It seems perhaps a bit silly to some of you to undertake a summer cardigan and follow it up with a pair of mittens, but as it’s mid-April and where I live there’s snow on the ground and the current temperature is 17F (-8C), I wonder if I shouldn’t perhaps have started with gloves and moved on to making the sweater sometime in May or June. I did wear it the other day though, because I finished it (really it just took me two weeks to buy buttons and then sew them on because I’m a procrastinator about such things) and I was damn well going to wear it. You can see my creative solution to the short sleeve sweater in winter problem in those photos.
The pattern itself is also lovely. It was a breeze to knit, being just several rows of stockinette stitch while you work the raglan increases for the sleeves and then moving in to a simple two row lace repeat over and over until you get the right length. The most difficult part was getting the arrow points in the lace at the bottom, but that could be because I was trying to do it while we had a friend over to watch Frozen and I had to try to count and it just wasn’t happening for me. Once the film ended and everyone was out of the flat, I managed them just fine. It’s not a free pattern, but it’s only $7US, so it’s very manageable. It’s also incredibly well written. The instructions are laid out in sections with adorable ballet terms and they’re clear and easy to follow no matter what size you’re making. I would take the advice of the pattern and size it up one if you’re planning to wear the sweater over anything substantial. I made a size M and, as I think you can see from the photos I’m a rather petite person and it fits me well.
In summary: I adore Malabrigo Rios (while I was wearing the sweater yesterday I kept squishing the end of it in my hand because the yarn was so lovely) and hope I can find some again and create something else lovely, and this pattern is a dream to knit, fits like a charm, and is really the perfect pattern for a summer layering cardigan. I have dreams of making several more in different colours and perhaps seeing what it would do if I moved on to a cotton/linen yarn (more on Knit Picks CotLin in my next post) to make it even lighter for the hot summer months.