I’m feeling tremendously happy as my North Sea Ramona cardigan is all finished, it’s washed and blocked and while I’d like to say it’s all tucked away now for when it gets cold and the weather turns, it is in fact sitting on top of my sewing basket, along with things to darn……the cardigan doesn’t need darning but I was a bit over enthusiastic when I was increasing the sleeves and so they now hang down somewhat longer than needed. I’ll need to just rip out the ribbed cuffs and perhaps an inch or too of the sleeve before working them shorter, not the end of the word by any means and I’m happy to tinker so it’s how I want it.
Apart from the sleeves, I’m really pleased with how the cardigan turned out, it’s not a colour I’d normally wear but I had the yarn already (I’d bought it some years back now at my local Salvation Army for 10 pence a ball….it’s 100% wool and it says it’s British though I’m slowly learning this might not mean it’s 100% British wool…..) and funds were a bit low to go buy more. The buttons were from my favourte source for haberdasheries (Jenny’s stall in St Gregory’s Antique Market in Norwich)….there was one button left over so I’ve sewn that to the wool swatch I knitted to check my gauge and tension, hopefully this is a “safe place” and I’ll know where it is if one should happen to drop off.
I’ve really enjoyed knitting the cardigan, it’s slowly increased what I feel comfortable knitting and has taught me lots of new things, it’s also given me the chance to put into practise techniques I’ve been slowly learning these past months……the construction of the cardigan is very similar to the way the yellow shawl I knitted was worked, those increases either side of a stitch had me remembering the time I spent with Bernard in the morning quietly knitting while it was still dark outside and the household still slept……
The colour of the wool…all grey brown with blue flecks isn’t the prettiest combination in the world, however it more than a little reminds me of trips to the beach …even as a grown up visits to the dentist would often combine a walk along the sea front (it could be windy and blustery, right raw*, but we’d still bundle up and get a breath of sea air)……even more than memories of Southwold though are the Summer holiday bicycle rides to Walberswich and Dunwich I’d make with my friend Joyce…..there’s be a cream tea and coke in a glass bottle (with a paper straw) at Walberswick, Dunwich would tempt us with the biggest fish and chip lunches…..
Dunwich is so pebbly that one year when the storms had been bad the beach got washed away…..we all bundled up and drove off in the car to see it….there was this huge drop, 5 to 6ft down and then there was sand….sand at Dunwich (a thing not heard of)…..the local council ended up having to bring in lots of pebbles to protect the beach as the erosion there is so bad……even in high Summer on the most sunshiney day, the sea around Suffolk looks grey and murky, toe numbingly cold….we’d always take something warm to put on so a Northsea Ramona would be a perfect choice for shoreline strolls…..
(Apologies for the terrible light in this picture)……this was my favourite part in making my Ramona……at this point I can slip it on, it had stopped looking like a capelet or shawl but became something that I can put my arms through and wear…..while not quite yet looking like a cardigan, when I stand in front of the mirror I can see the garment slowly taking form…….
I also really liked knitting the sleeves, perhaps a bit too much as I got a bit carried away with how long they’d need to be……this was nice rhythmic knitting…..the sort where you can easily loose an hour or so in the stitches and just switch off the outside world for a short while……my preferred needles to knit with are the Brittany ones (they’re hands down my favourite for crochet hooks too)…they feel really comfortable and I love the sound of them gently tapping together, the way the yarn shuffles over them…also they look beautiful with their carved ends….the double pointed needles are very simple (no fancy carving) but still feel lovely and warm to hold……..
I made a few tweeks to the pattern, changing the button band for a moss stitch one rather than ribbing as moss stitch is my favourite….also I worked the cuffs in the same rib as the waist, I think when I re-work the cuffs I’ll just work a regular rib and make it shorter…I also increased the neckline by a couple of rows…I did wonder whether I’d made this a bit high, but after washing and blocking the stitches have loosened up, the yarn’s relaxed and so the neckline has dropped a bit and now fits fine……I’m hoping to arrange a coastline trip if the weather perks up so I can take some pictures of it actually being worn in a suitable location.
This was my first cardigan, it’s not perfect but I’m so pleased with it, if you’ve not knitted one yet then this is a very nice pattern, it’s relatively easy to follow and the pattern itself is written out really clearly. I’d certainly think to knit this again, there are some lovely examples on Ravelry of some other people have made…..this is one of my favourites…..
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Lousie of Knit British, she bought me the Ramona pattern at Christmas and like the sock patterns from Julia and Anne, knowing someone has faith in you to make something is always such a good incentative to keep going even when you get to tricksy spots that might make you want to fling your knitting across the room (although I had to rip out and un-ravel fair bit, it was always because I’d done something daft rather than the fault of the pattern)…..
*an expression at home meaning cold