It has been a good two years in the making, if not more but I’ve finally finished making my cathedral stitch cardigan from the fantastic Odhams Encyclopaedia of Knitting. I’m really pleased with it and I am sure I will make another one in a different colour at some point.
When I say it took me two years to make sounds like it was a bit of a nightmare but that’s really not true, I’ve always got about 20 projects on the go besides snood orders so things like this tend to get left to one side for long periods.
Like I said, this was knitted from a vintage pattern so the shaping is gorgeous, its from the very famous and excellent Odhams Encyclopedia of Knitting. I got mine from a vintage fair but you can often find copies at bootfairs, on eBay and Amazon Marketplace as well as second hand bookshops and bookfairs. Its well worth buying because is has loads of fantastic advice and a great variety of patterns for all ages, male and female including underwear and bedjackets. Don’t snigger at the bedjacket, take a look its gorgeous and I’m going to make one for myself before I’m much older. The bedjacket is the one with the hearts – see?
Now, pretty much everyone says this book is from about 1954 but I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking in to it and the earliest publication date I’ve managed to find is 1949 so that’s the date I’m sticking with.
I really wish I’d made it in a colour I wear (I only wear dark colours on my top half) rather than a colour I like because I want to keep it but I’ll never wear it in camel so if you like it, and like it enough to want it you can buy it from my Etsy shop. The good news is I am not charging for all the hours and hours of work I put into knitting it. Yes it is made from acrylic yarn which I know some people will turn their noses up at but that means it can be washed in a washing machine.
There are lots and lots of button holes. I think that makes it extra delicious, the button bands are knitted separately and then sewn on to the front edges rather than picking up stitches along the edge which makes a much neater finish. I also hand sewed buttonhole stitch around every single one so that they won’t bag and sag. That took a fair amount of patience which I don’t hold in huge stock. Here’s the before picture so you can see what they would have looked like if I hadn’t oversewn them.
The buttons are vintage too – of an unknown date from one of the local charity shops here. I’ve managed to convince a couple of them that it is worth saving nice buttons from clothes that are beyond saleable quality.
In the book, this cardigan is listed as plus size and for a fuller figured woman – I’d say by modern reckoning this is a UK size 14. If you’d like one in a different colour please do get in touch – just leave a message here – and I’ll happily make one for you and I won’t take two years I promise. It will take several weeks because it is entirely hand made and I like to take the time to make sure all the stitches are lovely. I’m also happy to knit using a yarn you supply but it has to be 4ply.
Lets finish by taking a closer look at the vintage shaping and the smart collar – its so feminine and chic I adore it. No need to even wear jewellery with a piece as detailed as this, just a pair of pearl earrings and you’re ready to go.