Last summer I began knitting this cardigan, Ratana for the winter issue of The Twist Collective. First it traveled to Denver with me while I was recording my Craftsy classes, then it came back to Ireland. I planned on finishing it before traveling to Florida but the cardigan had it’s own ideas!
I love the idea of winter lace. Lace is so often used only for lighter weight shawls and summer tops but when it’s worked in a heavier weight yarn and combined with a more substantial stitch pattern it’s the perfect antidote to those long, cold winter days. This cardigan is based on a large snowflake stitch (which is more obvious when you see the stitch pattern in my original cream swatch below).
This dramatic lace pattern is the basis of the whole cardigan. It starts at the center of the neck with ribbing and lace and works down initially from there.
When this reaches the bottom of the yoke the sleeves are worked down in just lace. Now this is where my cardigan decided to have a disagreement with me. Anyone who had block lace knows how much it grows. So the sleeves looked like they were the perfect length but that was pre-blocking! When the cardigan was finished and fully blocked they grew and grew…… I’m just grateful that they were worked from the top down so it was a very simple job to correct the length! Let that be a lesson to you though when you’re knitting the sleeves, block as you go so you don’t have to rip like me!
This is what the lace looks like on the shoulder:
Once the sleeves were complete the remainder of the body was worked from the top down. One of my favorite parts of the cardigan is the waist shaping at the back. Take a look at how the ribbing flows in and out of the waist at the center of the back, ribbing is so much fun to work with.
Finally the cardigan is finished with a large ribbed edge and shawl collar. I left the cardigan without fastening as I really like closing cardigans with shawl pins. However as the ribbing is worked at the very end it would be a very simple job to just add buttonholes for yourself if you’d rather buttons.
I apologize for the terrible photos. They were taken in Florida before I mailed it on the beach while we were waiting for an approaching tropical storm. Not sure I’d have been so comfortable otherwise in Florida during July wearing wool! Just so you can see it in it’s full glory here’s one of the lovely photos take by Jane Heller for the Twist Collective.