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FO Report: Snug and cabley and just in time

And by ‘just in time’, I of course mean ‘easily three or four weeks overdue’.

My small niecini recently celebrated her first birthday! Hooray! Perhaps more accurately, she had her first birthday celebrations forced upon her. The look of horror that crept over her face as she realised everyone was singing a song at her embodied that discomfort we all feel when the first ominous, taunting strains of ‘Happy Birthday’ fire up.

I had planned to have a warm and woolly present for her: I’ve been looking for a reason to knit A Cardigan For Merry ever since I saw it, and I eagerly cast on. It was everything a new pattern should be (except on time): interesting, challenging, clever, and satisfying. Modelled by our resident knitwear model, Totoro:

Totoro wears the Merry Cardigan

An adorable model in his cosy hood!

You may well ask why I use the past tense when I say “I had planned…”. Well, I whipped up the two front pieces in such an admirably short space of time, I was completely sure I’d have the lot done well before the deadline. Especially since the back had no cables: straight up straight stitch! Easy, right? Well, yes…but slow. The back took at least four years of knitting, as far as I recall (not really), and then the hood took almost as long again — knitting the hood must’ve taken at least as many stitches as the whole back, plus cable at both the start and the end of every row. The other factor I forgot to accommodate was the circumstances in which the two fronts flew off my needles — I was away at the coast for a whole weekend, and M did all the driving just so I could knit. It was a rainy weekend, so we sat on the couch, watched the dolphins, drank whisky and knitted. No wonder I got both fronts done. Set and setting, knitters. Set and setting.

Totoro wearing the Merry Cardigan, hood thrown back

Looking rakish

The cardigan is worked in pieces up to the neck, and then after seaming, the hood is worked back and forth. The cable is a reversible pattern, which is completely awesome, and I’m very glad someone other than me has come up with it. And, although it sounds complicated when you say “reversible cable pattern”, it’s remarkably straightforward once you get your head around what each of the snakes in the cable is doing.

The Merry Cardigan, not worn by Totoro

En repos

The cardigan also features a folded hem and hemmed cuffs, which I *love*: I’ve never been much of a fan of ribbing around the hem or cuffs (THERE I SAID IT), and hems both look good and add an extra layer of durability. As somebody who recently had to re-darn the cuffs of her most favouritest handknit ever, I see durability as a helluva respectable feature.

Adorable little wooden toggles, because what else would be appropriate? Nothing, that’s what.

In a bold move, here we have more or less the same picture, but with the cardigan unbuttoned

En repos, unbuttoned!

Despite its lateness, I had a blast knitting this pattern. The cable is challenging but interesting, and apart from the sea of stockinette that forms the back, there’s enough going on throughout the whole pattern to keep you entertained. And then at the end, it looks awesome. I can’t wait to see it on the belated birthday girl. Happy thirteen months from Aunty Spoonfully!

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