Bláithín Cardigan

12 Mar

Bláithín and I have had a rocky relationship! The pattern was bought as a gift for me  by a knitting friend back in 2010! I was very excited about it and printed the pattern straight away. As I started reading it I quickly discovered it would involve STEEKING after breaking out in a small sweat I decided it was a bit advanced for me.

Several years later once I’d got my head around the idea of steeking (& after a practice with the  Sheep Carousel tea cosy), I got the yarn for Christmas 2014 and started knitting Bláithín in February 2015. I made quick progress, getting to the point where I’d be sewing in ends before the actually steeking could commence. Given that I’d be CUTTING the knitting I knew it was crucial that it fitted well before I did this, no going back on this project!! I discovered it was quite baggy around the yoke, I had a ponder and decided I could re-knit the yoke on smaller needles and hopefully that’d sort it out. It was at this point I discovered I had actually knitted the whole flipping thing on the wrong size needles (5mm and not 4.5mm) I have no idea how I made such a daft mistake, but there it was… knowing that the density of the knitting would be important to how well the steek would hold together  I knew I had to re-knit the whole body (I figured I could get away with leaving the sleeves as they were). I ripped it all back (wishing I’d not already sewn the pockets in place). I then couldn’t face re-starting it straight away so it hibernated for a while – well 8 month in the end!

Bláithín pockets - Nettynot Blog

Pre steek blaithin - Nettynot Blog
I started again around Christmas 2015 and got back into it quite quickly. As I have small shoulders and wider hips I started with a size 3 at the bottom and decreased down to a size 1 before joining in the arms and starting the fairisle. Anyone and everyone I know who knits knows how much I love Kate Davies, I’ve knitted many of her patterns, own several of her books and love the way she writes patterns and explains things so clearly. However I do think the neckline of this pattern has some issues which for me has detracted from the  otherwise great pattern. The whole neck ended up quite funnel shaped, which I realise could have been my knitting and not the pattern, so I did what I always do at when something isn’t working…. consult the Ravelry projects and  look at other blog posts and comments. I discovered lots more funnel shaped necks and rolling over tops and people who’d completely reworked their neck lines – so it wasn’t just me. I did find someone’s comment that said they added a extra few decreased before casting off. So I ripped back a few rows, including the last 3 rows of fairisle, I re-knitted on smaller needles (4mm), making my floats a bit tighter and added a further 4 decreases after the short rows, before casting off. This seemed to make enough of a difference and when I tried it on it looked much better.

Blaithin fairisle - Nettynot Blog

The Steeking!
I re-read Kate’s tutorial on her blog about steeking and her clever sandwich steeks, so that I didn’t make any mistakes. I always panic that the crochet reinforcement isn’t going to hold up, but just carefully went with it, trusting the instructions completely. I did the actual steeking with friends at a craftanoon (the morale support was very welcome) and I got one of them to film it for me too.

I quite enjoy picking up stitches, so really liked the sandwich steek technique, however the amount of handling the cardigan once I’d cut it did worry me slightly, I was sure the stitches would start popping out, in reality only a few did and were not detrimental to the finished cardigan.

Steeking edge - Nettynot blog

For more information about the yarn I used and a few more images head over to ravelry

There are lots of details I really like about this pattern; the button holes built into the icord cast off, the edging, the pockets, however even after I’d blocked the cardigan I still had a bit of a funnel neck which has settled down a little bit as a wore it for the first time, I’m hoping it settles more with time. I think I might need a bit of distance from this cardigan before I can really appreciate it, having been a bit of a trial at times, it’s also ended up a bit too big for me over the hips, but it still looks ok when buttoned up and worn over jeans – maybe next winter it’ll be my new favourite. Do other people feel a little underwhelmed once you’ve finished a big project?

At least now there’s no excuse for me not to tackle the cross pockets cardigan and get that finished as well! Though I might also cast on the Puffin jumper.


4 Responses to “Bláithín Cardigan”

  1. Marion March 12, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

    Beautiful work !



  1. Complete Cross Pockets | Nettynot Craft - August 24, 2016

    […] match up. Even the good blocking I gave it didn’t help, so it was hibernated while I finished my Blaithin. Then at the beginning on April I thought it was about time I resurrected it and got it finished […]


  2. Green Vianne Cardigan | Nettynot Craft - September 7, 2016

    […] having not completed a knitted garment yet in 2015. How times have changed! After already finishing Blaithin & cross pockets  (admittedly both started last year) I have just finished my Vianne cardigan […]


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