Monday 20 November 2017

May Made: Apex Cardigan II

This is my first lever knitting project, but I will talk about the lever knitting aspects separately. 

The Making 

The beginnings of my second Apex. 

I must be crazy, but this is the second Apex Cardigan I have made this year. I learnt quite a lot from the first one I made.

I exaggerated all the things I loved about the first one.

I made it wider. This emphasized the drop shoulder aspect, and will also allow me to use a shawl pin to hold the fronts closed if it gets particularly cold.

I also chose to knit it as long as I could given the amount of yarn I had, after seeing Ririko's version. It definitely reduces that weird bump I had on the back too.

But I think the best thing I did for my second version is to use a much drapier yarn and fabric. I think it looks more elegant and feminine this way.

I actually did knit the pockets, but the yarn I'm using is somewhat puffy, and it looked oddly bumpy at the hips, so I took them out.

The Materials

I used Illimani Amelie, which the proprietor of Illimani, Alvaro, kindly agreed to sell directly to me, even though he normally only does wholesale.

Amelie is a blown yarn. They make it by knitting a silk tube, and blowing it full of lovely alpaca fiber. You get 150m per 50g and it still knits up at a true worsted-aran gauge. This makes it extraordinarily light compared to most aran yarns.

And it feels absolutely glorious. This yarn deserves to be a next-to-skin garment. I very much would love to keep this cardigan as a house coat, and if I did that, I would only wear shorts and spaghetti strap tops at home to keep as much of the cardigan next to my skin as possible. I am currently working on a cashmere-silk shawl, and I firmly believe that Amelie feels much nicer.

The Wearing 

I have to admit, there is not anything new here. I made it long enough to be a proper Swoat, unlike my first one, and that's about it.

But here are some photos of me posing with it after I did the Three Needle Bind-off for the body, but without side seams or sleeves.

I put the cardigan back in front, and tied the cardigan fronts to wear this as an apron. I'm just going to pretend that Olga found this funny. :D 

I briefly, but seriously, considered keeping it as a cape.

If I hadn't already finished the sleeves, I might actually have left it like this. Linda Marveng's Wa has a similar sort of shape. If you would like to use the Apex pattern to make something like the Wa, I would recommend using the largest size chart, because it is not wide enough to even cover my upper arms like this.

View from the back. 

With the matching scarf I made to keep my front warm. 

The Notes 

I am of the opinion that this design looks better oversized and long, maybe more so than in the modeled pictures. Despite using a bigger gauge this time, I actually still went up a size in width (from 40 to 42). The main thing is, you probably want to make sure that the drop shoulder ends before your elbows begin. It will be less in your way.

If you should attempt to try it on after joining the fronts and back and blocking, it should be longer than you need it to be. The seams will 'pull up' the hem.

Choose your yarn, gauge and fabric wisely. This is a great project for choosing your own gauge, so rely on your preferences rather than worrying about getting gauge. The only thing I dislike about my drapier gauge is that the cables are not popping as much.

Thursday 2 November 2017

Lever Knitting: A Series

While I have been away from the blog recently, my big project has been learning how to lever knit.

I am almost done with my first lever knitting project, so I think it's a good time to start writing about it. I hope that the husbear will also be able to take some video of me lever knitting.

I'll be touching on the following topics, and I'll cheerfully answer any additions to the list that you might like to see:

  • Speed 
  • Ergonomics 
  • Convenience 
  • Quality of fabric 
  • Pros and cons vs other styles of knitting 
  • Choice of needles