I’m sorry, I haven’t a cardigan

My Lyttelton is now finished and blocked, well before any sign of the kind of summery weather I might want to wear it in.

Lyttelton back view

It wasn’t as easy a knit as I thought it was going to be. The lace and cable pattern is easy to memorise, but I found trying to work out the best way to increase and decrease while maintaining the patterns a bit fiddly, and there’s an awful lot of picking up stitches involved in the edgings. The main problem, though, was nothing to do with the pattern and everything to do with my gauge and choice of yarn. The pattern calls for Rowan 4-ply Soft, which is 100% wool, and 3mm needles. I find wool much too warm for summer, even in something as light and lacy as this, so I decided to use a cotton/tencel blend which Natalie at The Yarn Yard had for a little while last summer, and to get gauge I had to go down to 2.5mm needles. I really don’t recommend knitting an unyielding yarn like cotton on such small needles – I found it very hard going and the effort to get it off the needles once I’d picked it up again a few weeks ago left my hands and wrists aching after every knitting session. I’ll stick to heavier-weight cotton yarns in future!

Still, the lace and cable pattern shows up very nicely in the crisp yarn.

Lyttelton close-up

Really, the main problem is that I’m not entirely sure I’ll wear it much. I’ve never been a big fan of shrugs, but this one looked so pretty, and as a lifelong fan of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue I simply couldn’t resist the Humph connection. I suspect I’d really have done better with a proper cardigan, though; I’m not entirely convinced that the way shrugs kind of frame the bosom is exactly flattering on those of us who are on the well-endowed side.


Of course, it might look better over some of my summer dresses than it does over the t-shirt I changed into after work this evening. If I was to knit the pattern again, though (which I’m definitely not going to do, because of the cotton yarn on 2.5mm needles thing), I think I’d leave out the decreases on the front and try to make it more of a cropped cardigan. Or just find a cardigan pattern in the first place…

8 responses to “I’m sorry, I haven’t a cardigan

  1. Hi, I am in love with this cardi.. And I really like how it has turned out of your needles. The yarn is pretty and the final result is too.
    I am willing to knit this too, but after reading your problems I am not sure I should do it. I want the same as you, a cool shrug/cardi for summer, so I don’t want to knit it in wool, I would prefer in cotton. Well, let’s see what I end up doing!
    And please, share some more photos with us.. Those with one of your dresses, I am sure your Lyttelton will look wonderful on it..🙂 Well done!

    • Thank you! I think it might have been OK if I’d got gauge with the 3mm needles, but 2.5mm was just too small to knit with comfortably.

  2. I think it will work with summer dresses and tops, particularly patterned things. I really like the way it works in that yarn, though I can completely see why it must have been a nightmare to knit. I had a similar issue with some Sadie sock I knitted.

    • I’m actually wearing it today, over a plain purple dress!

      I’ve generally been OK with the wool/tencel blends but cotton yarns are quite tricky.

  3. It’s beautifully knitted, and the stitch definition from the yarn is great.

  4. It’s fabulous and it looks good too. Yes, it does frame the chest but doesn’t overly draw attention to it at the same time. I’ve seen it in several outfits on your blog now and it looks good with all of them

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