Knitting Projects

Sirdar 9523 Cardigan Knitting Pattern Review…

I love that stage where you’ve finished one knitting project and are then ‘allowed’ to start dreaming about and looking around for your next one.  Although I’ll often have more than one sewing project on the go, I’m a strictly one project at a time girl when it comes to knitting.

So, I set about searching around online and came across this ‘vintage style’ Sirdar 9523 pattern from Love Crafts.  It was the lace pattern that attracted me to it initially, I do enjoy knitting a basic lace pattern and I liked the fact that this one only had lace on the two fronts so you do get a bit of a breather from counting and concentrating with the back and sleeves.

I’d had this Rowan Cotton Cashmere in Morning Sky in my stash for a while, I’d started a different project with it but, mid way through the back, I’d realised I didn’t really like it so I’d given up and left it. I liked the blue in the pattern image and thought this would suit well as the yarn was around the same weight and I had enough balls according to the pattern.

Since I wasn’t using the yarn that the pattern suggested, I made sure to knit a tension square or test swatch before diving in, of course you should do this anyway regardless of whether you’re using the suggested yarn or not.  Boring but necessary I’ve found out the hard way in the past…

My tension was pretty much bang on straight away luckily so I went for the smallest size in the pattern based on my bust measurement.

I started with the back as I always do and thoroughly enjoyed the stocking stitch knitting. Stocking stitch is really easy to do and when it came to the shaping that was pretty standard too so I was pleased to find that my back knit up really quickly.

So onto the lace.  I really enjoyed this lace pattern, the lace is on an eight row repeat with the even rows being purl so I found it pretty easy to pick up and soon found I could knit it quite easily with a couple of glances at the pattern every so often just to make sure I was in the right place.

I always find a lace pattern knits up quite fast because I always want to knit the eight rows at a time so my fronts also knit up pretty quickly too in the end.  I would say that, although the armhole and neck shaping isn’t too involved, I did get a little confused now and again about how to keep in with the lace pattern once decreasing stitches become involved.

I find the best way to manage this is just to write everything down, take note of how many stitches I’ve lost and where that brings me to in the pattern.  I did make a couple of small mistakes but managed to rectify them quickly.

So once the two fronts were knitted in all the lace, I was relieved to have a bit of a break from counting in the sleeves.  What is it with sleeves that just seems to drag on for ages??   It seemed to take me forever to get them done but I got there in the end a few nights of knitting in front of the tv helped.

One problem I did run into towards the end of this knit, was that I ran out of yarn somewhere towards the beginning of the second sleeve. So, I ordered a second ball and continued to knit on and further up the sleeve realised that I wasn’t going to have enough to finish my button bands and sew up either, so another ball needed to be purchased if I ever wanted to get this finished. I’ve realised since that, although I had the amount of yarn that the pattern suggested by grams, I hadn’t paid attention to the yardage and that was where I’d come up short. I’ll know for next time now and luckily I can’t notice any difference in the yarn dye lots since they weren’t the same.

Once all of your pieces are knitted up you then need to sew up the shoulder seams and pick up the stitches along the neck edge and knit a few rows of rib.  I enjoy rib knitting and find the look of it really satisfying – I’m a bit weird like that!   Following the neckband you then pick up stitches along both fronts, adding buttonholes on the right.  The buttonholes were pretty easy to make by casting off and casting on a couple of stitches along the band.

Once the bands are done it’s then just the sewing up.  Sewing up is another part of knitting that I tend to put off for ages!  For someone who loves sewing so much I really dislike sewing up knitted garments so this also took a little while but I made myself get on with it in the end and all in all it didn’t take too long.

I had originally though I would add blue buttons but came across these faux vintage style buttons in John Lewis and loved them.  I thought they would finish this ‘vintage style’ cardigan off perfectly and add a little something pretty to anotherwise very blue cardigan.  I really love them and I’m so glad I went for them in the end.

So, all in all, I absolutely loved this knit.  The pattern is very easy to follow, if you are a beginner wanting to try a lace pattern I would say this would be a very good one to try since the pattern isn’t too involved and is just an eight row repeat.  Since the pattern is only on the fronts you do get that break from counting and of course, if you like the style of the cardigan but don’t want to knit the lace, you could always knit it stocking stitch throughout.

I gave my cardigan a good steam once it was all done but I haven’t soak blocked it yet.  This is one area I’m not too confident in, I always feel as though I’m going to ruin my garment by soaking it but I have heard that this works miracles with lace knits so I’m keen to learn more about blocking and how I can use it to finish my garments properly.

I hope you like my finished cardigan – I’d love to know what you think and if you have any tips on blocking please do drop me a comment below!

Thanks for reading – until next time!

Sally xx

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