Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on the Effortless Cardigan from Lionbrand. Since this was my very first cardigan, I wanted to try something easy, but not too easy. I wanted the challenge of making a piece of clothing from a ball of yarn and this one definitely challenged me in healthy ways to overcome my own fears of knitting.
This is a top down cardigan where you work from the top of your work all the way to the bottom. In the end, the cardigan looks like one giant knitted piece. Even the sleeves look seamless! I think the only issue I had was the underarm. I’ve never used my stitch holders, so having to put all the stitches that would later become my sleeves on a separate piece of plastic and then continue on with the sweater felt weird. It felt even weirder going back and actually knitting those sleeves later.
But the top down cardigan is so quick and easy. I’m working on another cardigan now that’s made in pieces and while it’s easier and everything is flat and you don’t have to worry about stretching out parts of the work to accommodate your needles, it’s going to be a lot more work later when I have to sew all the pieces together and weave in those ends (aka the bane of every knitter’s existence).
Can I also mention that when I blocked this work I felt like I had no clue what I was doing? I’ve never blocked anything before mostly because I was making scarves lol. But this work, I blocked and many articles and blog posts really don’t go into detail on how to block or what to look out for or tips and tricks. In fact, most of the articles all say the basic thing; handwash the garment with lukewarm water in a bucket. Squeeze out all the water. Then put it on the blocking materials and pin it down. Maybe that part will get easier the more I do it.
I did learn a few things in the process of making this sweater. First off, that I can make both sleeves at one time! I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on knitting and they’ve been helpful in finding new tricks that I didn’t know before. There are so many techniques from all over the world and they are all legit.
I’m so happy with the results though. It’s got its little snares here and there, but it looks so cute and oversized. It’s most definitely warm because it’s 100% acrylic, which also means it’ll be easy to clean. I blocked this piece too, so I’ll probably continue to handwash it and block.
Books I Listened to While Knitting
Of course, there are the books that fueled my knitting life. Seriously, reading and knitting has become my favorite hobbies. I get to listen to a great story and create a piece of clothing I can actually wear afterwards. This particular one was special to me because it’s the first cardigan I’ve ever made, so I’m glad to have read some great books while putting it all together.
Lobizona by Romina Garber
This was an absolute stunner and I’m actually surprised it didn’t get more love on Goodreads! It starts off as this story about a young girl and her mother who are running from her father and move to America in order to outrun him. In many ways, she’s “illegal” as an undocumented person living in the United States, but when you get deeper in the story is when the truths start to come out. I will say that Manu felt a bit like a Mary Sue, but truthfully I chocked that up to her instincts. But the story moved with tons of action and lots of emotion. It was definitely fun getting to know Manu and the world she comes from and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
Skyhunter by Marie Lu
I’ve been a huge fan of Marie Lu’s work, so it made me so excited to read Skyhunter, her latest series. This is an epic dystopian futuristic story about a young woman who recently lost her partner and assigned a new one; a skyhunter. The skyhunter himself reminded me a lot of Wolverine with his mechanical wings and ability to destroy anything that comes in its path. But I love that Mara has the tenacity and drive to face her odds and still win out. She’s a strong soldier and most definitely outrank the other officers she works with, but when she finally pairs with the skyhunter and they’re working together, that’s when the questions start getting asked and the answers start revealing themselves. So well done!