Monday 16 January 2023

Scrappy Knit Cardigan

This is a recently completed project that is the result of an idea that I just couldn't shake. Inspired by the success of Pat's scrap busting Apollon sweatshirt (which in turn was inspired by the success of these scrap busting jersey tops) the thought popped into my brain that I could apply the same idea to actual knit fabric.     I am very interested in clever ways to reuse old garments, and am always looking to bulk out my chilly-weather clothing selection, which is pretty limited. So I cleared the decks of other projects and decided to have a play. 

I have a big bag of old knitwear garments and scraps: items that are moth eaten, felted, misshapen or badly pilled, plus scraps of knit fabric that can be bought by the metre. Some of the knit garments I've had in my stash for over a decade, that I've harvested bits from for other projects, mainly mittens over the years. I was keen to reduce the volume of my knit stash and claw back some space in my airing cupboard. 

I started out my selecting pieces that made a fairly pleasing colour palette. The chartreuse colour is my favourite. I previously used some of that moth-eaten jumper to make myself some mittens. I made sure to use include every last scrap of that garment in this project. There's quite a lot of pink in this project, which is NOT a colour I ever usually wear, but with the other bold colours, I think it looks ok and the over all effect is graphic and fun. 

As for the piecing, part of my goal was to try to be as economic with each piece as possible and be left with very few unusable scraps. I cut along the seam lines of some of the knit garments to access as much of the fabric as possible. I let the resultant shapes guide the forms and I jigsawed them together over the course of a few evenings until I had sections large enough to fit my pattern pieces on. 

The pattern I used at the base of this projects was the Jamie cardigan by Ready to Sew, which I adapted slightly to my preferences. I used some black Ponte Roma for the neck band, and black ribbing for the cuffs and waistband. I like how the solid black of these pieces creates a kind of frame for the colours and patterns within. 

As you may have noticed, this cardigan features some basket weave type knit that I also used to make the polo neck top I'm wearing here. I'm enjoying the 'alternative twin set' look! It's also nice to have a bold, fun garment to wear when the weather is freezing. Any addition of colour in the winter is welcome. 

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