This weekend I ventured out to the beach during the wind to try and get some shots of my Dacite cardigan for all of you. This has been in need of finishing since the knit-along last year and it was just the sleeve that was too long but then the summer came along and it was far too hot to be jumping around in an aran weight handknit and so like so many of our works-in-progress (WIPS) it languished. This weekend had lots of outdoor time I have been craving but I’m not so sure that I would recommend trying to do this with two toddlers in tow. And so with some very wind and rain battered hair I sound the finished object trumpet and introduce to you Dacite:
Dacite is a pattern by Cork-based designer Carol Feller. Back in 2013 in This is Knit I got to try on the cardigan during Carol’s Among Stones trunk show and I fell in love with it but it wasn’t until she released her single patterns from the collection that I actually bought it and cast on last winter. This was mostly because I got married in 2013 and then add in the honeymoon baby and well the second, er, honeymoon period baby and you can understand that my knitting time was massively reduced. I already had Carol’s Contemporary Irish Knits book but I had never knitted one of her garments prior to this. Now, I know some of you may be shocked so I’ll take a break here with another image:
This is a simple but beautiful top-down garment. The two front sides are worked in garter stitch, the back is in stocking stitch and the cardigan is worked in one piece with no seaming. This is my type of relaxed winter knitting. What I love about Carol’s designs that really puts them over the top for me is the finishing. The collar, front bands, cuff and bottom edges are all worked in I-cord giving the cardigan a very uniform and sleek finish. There is simple yet crucial waist shaping and because of the collar, the cardigan can be worn in a number of ways. There are two buttonholes worked near the collar to keep it up but I wanted to use my shawl pin to close. Now, for some reason this image meant a whole lot to my husband, who took a gazillion (ok, maybe more like 6) of these so I’m putting one in here, just for him as I know he will secretly check on his phone during his commute. Now it is very important as you scroll that you oooh and aaahh at the reflection in the Nova Steel shawl pin.
I chose Studio Donegal Soft 2-ply as recommended in the pattern. The Donegal Soft yarn is the softer side of their range from the mill in Kilcarr and has the characteristic flecks throughout. I normally don’t stick to suggested yarn as I have become very picky about what I use but I am a fan of Studio Donegal and it meant that this was yarn produced by an Irish company for an Irish pattern, what’s not to love? My experience with this yarn is that it grows with washing and wearing and if you want it to stay put than you knit it tight. This is a yarn that you absolutely have to knit a gauge square with and wash it. I can’t emphasise that enough. Whatever you knit from this will last you years, so take the time and care at the beginning to do this right and you will have something you love forever.
The pattern and yarn combination compliment each other perfectly. Even if the cardigan grows a little with wear the shape will accommodate for that and it won’t look stretched. The garter stitch fronts also help with keeping this growth in check. Why, is this so important to me, well I have a pair of mittens in this yarn and to be accurate I will say that I had a pair of mittens that have now been gifted along to a friend because they grew and grew and then grew some more. I have also learned that if Carol works with a yarn she showcases it to the best of its ability. She knows what works well with different textures and what will make cables pop and her knowledge about ply, composition and colour palettes is just the tip of the iceberg with her. If you want to listen you can pop over to her podcast episode here and listen to her describe her Bloomsbury DK collection and how her own Nua yarn went from dream to reality. Carol’s blog is also a finalist in the corporate Arts & Crafts category of the V by Very Blog Awards this year so pop over here and have a read if you have a cuppa and need more yarny posts or tutorials.
For those who were asking, the above image is what I look like most of the time, tousled hair, a little bit messy but happy. So what do you think? Do you like my choice? Are you amazed and shocked that I have another FO (finished object) to show you? I will be back on Wednesday discussing The Fibre Co. and their Arranmore yarn and there is a very exciting Blog Birthday Post coming your way on Friday along with a very nice competition too!
Until then, Happy Monday to you all
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