I saw that Calico and Ivy had a Knit-along for this cardigan/secret dressing gown but it ran over several weekends and I knew I wouldn’t be able to make them all so I bought the pattern and did it by myself. The pattern is by Stephen West and is available on Ravelry.
I really wanted to make it to use all my scrap wool, but I hardly touched the sides of the many boxes I have. Still, it’s a start.
This is the main picture of the pattern. I did (briefly) consider posing like the pattern model but couldn’t face strapping a camera to my head and I don’t own cool pants and shoes. I found the shape and design most appealing.
Since I posted this on Instagram I’ve been asked how long it took to knit. This is the first photo I took of It – yes I’m wearing pyjamas as this wasn’t for public consumption, and they aren’t stained, that’s the light – and it pretty much took four weeks to knit from start to finish.
I have so many scraps that it was hard to choose which ones to use. The pattern calls for 2 strands of 4 ply, so I did start with what I figured was 4ply, although I did use 5ply and 2/3ply held together because I just needed to use all the wool. By the end I confess I was using any old ply, because who can remember? I did count wraps, but that got old quite quickly. A better person would have gathered all the wool they were going to use, work out which colours went with which, and have a plan. I just started knitting, grabbing whichever wool I fancied knitting with next. Not very organised, but I do enjoy a random adventure.
The ribbed bands are 8ply and are local wool that I dyed. I can’t remember what with, but maybe passionfruit or pomegranate. There is lots of wool that I dyed in this make. If I look at the progress shot below, I can see avocado, the after dye from indigo (the pale blue), some onion, sour grass, a tiny bit of madder and possibly some rosemary.
Because I’m combining yarns, it’s hard to see the different colours, but at some point I did take a photograph of some of them:
I thought it would be worth showing the front at this stage. I was so in love with this pattern, and really excited to keep trying on the cardigan. You can see how it hangs. Keep in mind it’s still on the needles and I probably have the wool in my hand.
The whole thing is knitted as one, so once the body is done, the sleeves are knitted in the round onto it. You can’t see in the photos above but there are live stitches on yarn, and they just get picked up.
After a lot of knitting, it got pretty heavy, but it did keep me warm, I tried it on the minute it was off the needles. I was full of anticipation, but felt a little let down by the bottom at the back. I just don’t like the shape of it.
I went back to the original pattern photos and of course, they are all shown a bit like this, with the fronts held out, which makes the bottom look fine:
Held out at the sides it looks ok. I began to think about what I could do to make it feel better.
The quick fix was to tuck those corners in and round out the bottom.
I had a play with the corners and this was the result – just pinned.
I really should be frogging the bottom and reknitting it into a curve, but I actually can’t face that right now. Weaving in the ends was a tedious enough chore, I just can’t contemplate unweaving some of them!
I continued to fiddle with it, and finished up with this.
I can live with it, and I so love the rest of the cardigan/secret dressing gown, dubbed the “cardigown” by Whendy7 on Instagram. Fabulous name and it will forever be known as this.
I’m not going to lie, I do feel as though I have just time travelled from the 1960s, it’s a bit boho, and I’m going to have to look confident to pull it off in public, but it’s so warm that I think I’ll be fine.