Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Ishnana Cardigan

Last July, I embarked on what turned out to be a fairly labour-intensive (but enjoyable) knitting project.

I'd got a sweater's worth of King Cole Merino Blend 4ply yarn in Damson, a dark purple colour and when Isolda Teague released the Ishnana cardigan pattern, I decided I'd use that yarn to make the version that has the cables down the centre fronts and the sleeves (the other version has different fronts and sleeves).

First off, I knitted a swatch to check my tension/gauge was going to be ok.  It wasn't; I had to go down a needle size to 3mm.  I also decided to lengthen the body of the cardigan by a couple of inches.

The back had 260-odd stitches per row, with the large cable-and-lace panel on the back.  Each row seemed to take ages, so I knew this wasn't going to be a quick project.

Then, I went off it a bit (all those long rows) and although I was still knitting it, it wasn't with particular enthusiasm and so I found myself getting waylaid by other projects, so progress was slow.  On top of that, a few weeks before Christmas I managed to break one of my needle tips so had to order another set and then a lot of my crafting things got put away because we had guests for Christmas Day and it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I got the cardigan down again to continue with it.  There was also the matter of banging out the Stopover sweater, which was much more fun as it was part of a knitalong.

Anyway, I finished the body part up to the armholes.  I divided for back and fronts.  I knitted the back, then I knitted one front, then I was nearly up to the shoulders of the second front when I took it to knitting group and, whilst showing someone, I noticed a cable crossed the wrong way in the centre-back panel, before the division for the fronts and back.  I debated trying to fix it by snipping yarn, re-knitting and then grafting; knitting a patch to sew over the offending mis-crossed cable; pretending there was nothing wrong (that wasn't really an option, to be honest; I would have known and wouldn't have worn the cardigan once finished).  In the end, I dropped back about eight stitches 113 rows down the knitting, hoping I'd be able to just knit that section.  It was very tedious and slow-going and, after about 20 rows of doing that, I admitted defeat and ripped out the back of the cardigan back to where I'd divided into back and fronts, knitted up the remaining rows and then re-knitted the back.

I wasn't sure how much yarn I'd have for the sleeves and bands, so I did the collar, button and buttonhole bands and then knitted the sleeves, keeping an eye on how much yarn I was using for the first sleeve in case I needed to do three-quarter length sleeves to prevent running out.  In the event, I had a ball and a half of yarn left and the sleeves are bracelet length, which is how I like them.

I also had trouble finding buttons that would match the yarn, so went with clear acrylic ones, as I often do.

I concentrated on this cardigan all last week and knitted both sleeves and finished it off on Sunday.


Now for photos (which aren't brilliant because the light wasn't good when I took them).

Front View
Centre Back Panel

Back View

Would you believe me if I said the next sweater I'm planning on making also has a centre lace/cable pattern as well?  On the back and the front?  In black? 

It's also a child's sweater, originally knit in a fingering/sport-weight yarn, so I'll be having to work out which size of the pattern to make at my tension/gauge.

I must be mad!


  1. It's lovely though! Worth the effort.

  2. Gosh it sounds as though it has been a lot of work, but very well worth it because it is so pretty! The panel is beautiful isn't it. I hope you enjoy wearing it. xx