I made an entirely Scottish cardigan for my wee Scottish girl. The pattern (Ysolda’s adorable Coraline pattern), the yarn (Shilasdair luxury DK from the Isle of Skye ) and even the cute handmade clay buttons (skulls and cross stitches) are Scottish.
I knitted myself a Coraline a long time ago and knew I wanted to have a go at making a version for the 2-year-old. Many helpful knitters on ravelry (e.g. Flickafish and Haggiskimchee) offered generous advice on how to change the pattern to fit the smaller measurements to get me started, but with this project I really enjoyed experimenting. This was my first attempt at modifying a pattern in a big way, and although I started with a swatch (I’m usually too lazy), calculated my gauge and did most of the math before setting off, I ended up making a lot of changes to these along the way. The pattern is incredibly well written and therefore fairly easily adaptable. The main challenge was to make sure that I had the right number of stitches for the smocking of the yoke when adding the sleeves to the main body (divided by 5 per smock as in the pattern) but also to make sure that I started and finished with a smock on either side of the button band so that both sides matched (thus the number of smocks has to be an odd number). This would seem pretty straight forward, but in fact I managed to get this wrong the first time around. Doh! I fixed it by cheating and adding a couple of stitches to the back of the body to make the numbers work. The biggest change to the pattern was that I knitted the sleeves flat and finished off with an i-cord bind off.
This project encouraged me to be more relaxed and less precious with my knitting. On such a small project frogging is not a problem and, seriously, who will care about or even notice a few extra stitches here or there? In the end I’m very pleased with the end project so it was definitely worth it.
The yarn is Shilasdair luxury DK (40% Angora, 40% Wool, 20% Cashmere) in the Skye Measow-sweet colour way. Naturally dyed, this is a light mossy green colour with subtle shades of blue and yellow through it. It is lovely and soft to work with, although the indigo in the natural dye leaves charming blue marks on the fingers. I blocked the garment in salt and vinegar water after someone told me this might prevent further bleeding of the colour so I’m curious to see if this will work.