Finished (at Last) – Lace Trim Cardigan

If you are a regular reader of this blog you might recognise this item already, you may even have helped me to choose the colour of the buttons – if so, thank you for your input!  I started knitting it about a year ago, and finally have all the ends woven in, and attached the lace, and sewn on the black-rather-than-lilac buttons.

My mother gifted me this yarn a couple of years ago when I was at the height of my knitting frenzy, and I struggled what to make in such ludicrously coloured 1980’s 4ply crepe Kaiapoi (remember that anyone?!) wool.  Honestly, in real life it is brighter than it looks.  I like to think that even the worst materials can be turned into something wearable – which seems to be what my blog is turning into actually – so I decided to emphasise the kitsch factor rather than fight it.  Now it is finished I think it looks very Alannah Hill!

The lace has featured on my blog before too – it was a gift from one of my bridal clients that she purchased on honeymoon in Paris.  It is incredibly beautiful, very old, and I am terrified that I will rip it every time I take this cardigan on and off.  I have stitched it on with some ease to try to prevent this happening.  I had mixed thoughts on using the lace at all, but decided it’s beauty was better appreciated by others rather than just me and my trims box!
The lace trim idea came from Vogue Knitting Winter 2009/10 (#20 Lace Edge Cardi) and I used that pattern along with a similar pattern from VK Holiday 2007 (#21), added some waist shaping, and a moss stitch band rather than rib.  I was very careful sewing this one up – I used mattress stitch and lined up the side and sleeve seams stitch by stitch.  It took ages but I’ve decided this is worth the effort and I’m very chuffed with the result, so you get to see it here!:
In the past I have knitted a few garments in the round which avoids side seams altogether, but for this cardigan I switched back to straight needles.  There is something just nice about using them, they seem more balanced than the short circular needles for some reason – maybe it is just because I was taught on them as a kid!  
Do you knit too?  And if so do you prefer circular or straight needles?
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36 thoughts on “Finished (at Last) – Lace Trim Cardigan

  1. Hi Sherry! I am a newer reader of your blog, and I dind't know you knit! I like your cardigan, I think the lace makes it look so romantic!
    I knit and I prefer circular needles to the straight ones. I find them lighter, as the stitches slide to the cable once they are knitted, instead of remaining on the straight needle and adding weight to it. But that's just me 🙂
    Olga

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  2. That does look a bit Alannah Hill; well done!! I am also a believer that you should be able to make something either wonderful or fab out of *any* fabric, but I wouldn't call this yarn either ludicrous or kitsch. It looks rather lovely, and the end result is beautiful.
    Yup, I knit (a lot!) and whether I use circular or straight is dictated by the project.

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  3. I think you've done a great job and by adding the lace trim it's simply gorgeous. I too, believe you can make something beautiful out of anything. All you need to do is put your mind to it.

    I also knit but have not tried circular needles.

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  4. I think it is beautiful too. The yarn looks so smooth, and your stitches and finishing so even. The lace detail makes it look incredibly luxurious and feminine, you are very clever.

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  5. I agree it is very beautiful and very Alannah Hill too. I think good on you for using that beautiful lace … when ever anyone asks you about that sweater you have two great stories … the gift of the lace and the fact you made it. Really impressive.

    I don't knit although I love a simple (ie not many colours) hand made knit. My mother taught me when I was young and technically I did knit but as she is left handed and I am right handed I do a strange swing the needles around and poke the person across the room type motion which kind of gives the impression I am not very good. Plus my mother never used a pattern ever for sewing, knitting or crocheting so I just did it and never learnt how to read a pattern.

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  6. I don't knit and don't know anything about knitting but I know a really lovely cardigan when I see one! It's exquisite and the buttons and lace really make it extra special. x

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  7. your cardigan is lovely! i prefer straight needles as it seems easier to keep track of rows. plus, a good seamed finish adds to the final character of a knitted piece..similar to how backstiching does the same for a cross-stitched piece.

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  8. Wow, beautiful knitting and lovely lace embellishment. I too know nothing about knitting except I admire you for making something that fits and flatters and is so chic.

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  9. Lovely sweater! There's something about the color combination that says “Queen Victoria” to me … apropos of nothing. I prefer circular or double-point needles, as being lighter in the hand to work with. When I lost a #5 aluminum double-point behind the heat register, and needed two extra needles anyway, I picked up 3 of my child's jackstraws as a serendipitously perfect substitute. They're made of some sort of wood, and are only a little bit bent from the stress of all the socks they have helped to make.

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  10. I didn't realize that you knit, either! The lace trim takes the cardi up from lovely to stunning! I'm an avid knitter & a hardcore circ user. I don't think I've even used straight needles in over 8 years! It's funny though – I use circs for all of my straight & circular knitting, but I usually use DPNs for knitting socks. I learned to knit socks on DPNs & they just feel more comfortable to me than circs for socks.

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  11. absolutely beautiful! I don't know who Alannah Hill is! I am a novice knitter and have tried straight and circular needles. Like each for different reasons. Again, cardi is a masterpiece.

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  12. Very pretty cardie! I love that lace and am glad you're using it.

    I will knit with circulars even when knitting straight. It takes up so much less room and you can drag it around if you've got some waiting to do.

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  13. Lovely lace and lovely knitting. I'm a novice knitter – but I love it very much – I've really only used straight needles – so I can't really comment on circular – you are very inspiring!

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  14. I don't knit and generally prefer jackets to cardigans, but that is a beautiful sweater. I like bright colors to begin with and the black lace and buttons really put this cardigan on a whole other level. Enjoy wearing such a lovely piece!

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  15. I was taught to knit in the round using five double-pointed straight needles, so this is the method I prefer. Circular needles just don't feel right in the hand, and I can never get the length right. I find them awkward and can't be bothered with place markers at the row ends so often get lost!

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  16. I love your cardigan! Although you might think the colour looks '80s-ish, I think the modern styling and careful attention to details takes it WAY beyond the 80s. If you had made a drop shoulder, 10″ of ease, sweater, with folded over neck ribbing, I would have been gagging, LOL. It's darling and very modern the way you did it!

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  17. A year? That's quick. I've got one garment I started 5 years ago – it had to be pulled back and then never got going again. It's a man's gansey in thin navy wool over 5 needles – not something to knit on an evening in front of tv. I like knitting socks in the round but always use 4 needles – I hate those plastic strings.

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  18. I've got some of that yarn here, though it's in airforce blue rather than lilac and not enough for a cardi. I'll keep the lace idea in mind though, got some lovely lace here that I bought for my wedding dress, but never used.
    I like both types of needles; I normally end up using circulars, but I'm doing my current hoodie on straights at the moment.

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  19. That's gorgeous. I Love the black lace and buttons with it. It really makes that yarn totally wearable. And your sewing up is as perfect as ever! I think you'll get lots of wear out of that this summer.

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