I love this cardigan. The pattern is Honeybee Cardigan by Laura Chau. I’ve been reading Laura’s blog for quite some time. This is the first pattern of hers I’ve put to yarn, though I have purchased and look forward to making this awesome cowl sometime in the future.
As I mentioned in a previous post I had some issues with the sizing. I think this is mostly about the yarn, the Ella Rae Lace Merino (color 136), and less about the pattern, but it might have been some of both. Ella Rae stretches and grows when blocked more than any other yarn I’ve used. It feels delightful to knit with, and comes in a lovely array of colors. You should beware drastic changes in color even in the same dye lot, and you may want to alternate rows with multiple balls of yarn to avoid stark color changes. I did not do this on this cardigan, though I reknit the sleeves a couple of times to get the colors to be close. I started out making them two at a time (who wouldn’t?) and ended up ripping one and using the same ball for both, pulling from the outside in both cases, because even the inside and outside of the ball had a pretty decent difference in color.
The pattern is well-written overall. I had a small issue understanding something in the shoulder area, but I wrote Laura and she got back to me swiftly with clarification. I made a very minor change to the left shoulder. One the front of the shoulder I purled an additional row to make the yarn end up in the middle of the shoulder and so that the total number of shoulder rows on the right and left sides would match. I realize this is complete gibberish if you’re not knitting the pattern, but if you are and you are persnickety about details like I am sometimes, you might appreciate knowing this. When you’re making the shoulders on one side of the front you’ll have an extra row on one side, and the opposite on the back. This isn’t something that I think I’ll ever notice on the pattern, but I did obsessively look at shoulders on Ravelry pages for awhile.
I made the 33 inch size, though my current bust is nowhere near that size. I’m tellin’ ya, this yarn really stretches. The lace pattern itself is pretty stretchy too. I did not purposely make the sleeves longer than the pattern calls for, but they grew to that during blocking, and I’m totally ok with that.
I’m pretty fond of this little bee.
I’ve been distracted by the growing colors of the Pinwheel Baby Blanket, so the Honeybee Cardigan has been lounging until today.
The lace is intuitive after one or two repeats, so this actually goes much faster that it would seem. I’m at the shoulder decreases. I put her down several times for less brainy projects, but I think I’m ready to get back to work.
I know this looks child-sized, but believe me, that lace stretches quite a bit. This is the second time I’ve knit this particular project. I started out with the 34.5 inch size, since the pattern recommends going below, rather than above, your chest measurement so the lace can shine. After I had knitted to the armpits and put it on yarn for a holder to start the sleeves, then started the sleeves. The sleeves seemed to be coming out to wide, so I decided to try on the chest piece. When I wrapped it around my chest, I realized it was going to be much too large when I added the button band. I was making gauge in the 34.5 size, yet it still seemed too big. After looking around on Ravelry, it seemed like I wasn’t the only one experiencing this. I ripped all, made the smallest size sleeves, and started the 33 inch size after I finished the sleeves.
I really didn’t mind. I’d much rather rip things out and make them right. I used this yarn (Ella Rae Lace Merino) for my Still Light Tunic and it GROWS, so erring on the slightly smaller side is for the best. I do try to learn…
The Pinwheel colors are captivating. I can’t wait until this is finished and I can post it. I’m about halfway through the 1200 yards I plan to use in just one week! I feel like a knitting goddess.
I don’t repeat a lot of knitting patterns, other than for the purpose of testing my own pattern making skills. Usually I quickly become enamored with something else and move on. Most of the time I find it hard to be monogamous to one pattern at a time, but don’t tell that to my drawer of UFOs… I often say that I will only have one man, so I might as well have as many knitting projects as I want. Liesl by Julie Weisenberger seemed worthy of making twice.
Here is my first version where I ham it up in some photos at 7am at my favorite local park. My new Liesl is also made from Euroflax Sportweight, this time in the color Aqua. I am constantly and predictably drawn to most things aqua, aquamarine, seafoam, and various shades of turquoise. I wanted to make things out of this color of Euroflax last year, but it was on back order.
Again, excuse the mannequin pics. I’m not sure why coordinating pictures for the blog has seemed so difficult lately, but I believe this will abate as my school duties wane for a couple of months. If you miss my dorky face, please click the link above.
This pattern is simple enough for a beginner, mindless enough for those of us that like to read and knit, and the finished product looks stunning on many different body types. This is a garment I have been wearing weekly in the warm months. Linen is also such a durable fiber that I can’t imagine it wearing out. It just seems to get softer and better with each turn in the washer and dryer.
Speaking of reading and knitting…I need a new stockinette or garter project. I’ve been devouring A Feast for Crows, but I find myself reading less as I am getting to the sleeve/shoulder decreases on my Honeybee Cardigan. I’m not enough of a badass to read and do lace at the same time. The lace on this cardigan is fun and intuitive after one or two repeats. I highly recommend it. I think a good, semi-mindless project could be this Four Corners Baby Blanket from Purl Bee. For some reason I’ve never done intarsia, but this seems like a good place to start. I love the clean and modern design. I think it would make an excellent adult blanket (upsized of course) too.