I have some knitting to post today, the Peggy Sue Cardigan, a free pattern by Linda Wilgus from Woolly Mammoth Knits: ‘The design is vintage flavoured and was inspired by the pin-up sweaters of the 1950’s. As the cardigan is cropped, it’s a fairly quick knit in a DK- weight yarn. The shaping in the waist comes from the cabled ribbing pattern, which is also found on the collar and cuffs.’
To say this was a long time in the making is an understatement, I think it was May when I cast this on and I’ve only just finished it! I used SMC Schachenmayr yarn which I purchased from Laughing Hens, I’ve not knitted with this brand before but decided to give it try as the price was very reasonable. It’s a double knit ‘Extra Soft Merino Alpaca’ (80% Merino 20% Baby Alpaca) the colour is 06002, it’s supposed to be Midnight Blue but I think it’s more of an Airforce Blue (a blue, grey purple!). I used seven 50 gram balls, 930 metres. I knit the large size which is a 42.5 inch bust, the sizing goes from small (34 inch) to 3X (54 inch).
It’s a seamless raglan sleeved cardigan, knitted from the top down on circular needles (I used 4mm). The collar is one set of the four row cable pattern. The upper body is stocking stitch with raglan increases and then the sleeves are put on hold while you knit the rest of the body.
I think I just got bored while knitting the upper body, there were increasingly long rows of stocking stitch which wasn’t enough to keep me interested. It ended up languishing at the bottom of my knitting bag for quite a while and was destined to be an eternal UFO. I did actually knit my Myrna in the middle and was just about to start something else when the other half nagged me to pick it up again. I reluctantly agreed not to buy any more yarn until it was finished.
Once I had taken the sleeves off things improved, there was still a lot of stocking stitch but at least the rows weren’t as long. The pattern has three decreases on a row in the middle of the back which I was a bit puzzled by as they are in a very visible position. I decided to move these to the sides so they weren’t noticeable. The cable ribbing is a five stitch four row pattern. I was quite excited to get to the cabling as at least things were getting interesting. The pattern repeat was simple to remember and although the cable row was a bit fiddly it was easy enough to do. I think I got about halfway through before my initial excitement seriously started to wane, at that point I just wanted to get it finished. My sense of achievement when I finally finished the body was coupled with an overwhelming feeling of relief!
The pattern has short sleeves but as it was getting into Autumn I decided to lengthen them as much as I could. Once I finished the body I had nearly two full 50 gram balls left so planned to just keep knitting until I was nearly out of yarn. Once the sleeve measured 4 inch from the armpit I started decreasing 2 stitches every 4 rows. The pattern only has one repeat of the cabling for the cuffs but as I was doing longer sleeves I wanted a bit more depth so ended up doing three repeats. The button band is done in moss stitch. It suggests 8 buttons but I increased it to 10.
Although it did take me ages to knit I’m glad I finally finished it. My mother in law was getting quite frustrated with me, frequently offering to do it for me but I’m not one to admit defeat. Once she starts knitting she doesn’t stop until she’s finished and can easily whip up a jumper or cardigan in a week. I go at a far more leisurely pace and, as with sewing, have to avoid doing things when I’m tired as my concentration wanes and I’m prone to making mistakes! I do really like the finished cardigan, the length is perfect and the cabling gives it a nice fitted shape. The colour is good and will be a useful neutral in my wardrobe. I do recommend this pattern, it’s a lovely little cardigan to knit. I think if I knit it again I will possibly go a size down as it might benefit from a bit more negative ease. I don’t know when I’ll knit it again but I will. I think it’s a bit like childbirth in that you forget all the pain after a while, I’m sure I’ll get to the point when I have worn it so much I’ll want another one in my wardrobe!