It's turned chilly here of late, and we've just had the first real snowfall. Time to bring out the seriously warm sweaters! I love my Briggs and Little Heritage yarn. It is an under-appreciated wool. It is light, lofty, works up rather quickly, comes in a variety of colours, is made of pure sheepy goodness, and it's Canadian! What's not to love? I've made three tunics out of this yarn in the last two years and find I wear them continually through the winter months.
Time to make a cardigan. Something long, and cuddly, and stripey. With a big shawl collar!
I wanted stripes to use up some of the Heritage I have in my stash, including three gorgeous hand-dyed skeins, and I love stranded colour work. It adds warmth and interest to the finished garment.
Unlike some of the 'prestige' yarns out there, you can afford to make yourself one or more warm garments so you can turn down that thermostat a couple of degrees and not even notice. For this generously sized garment, I used just under 7 skeins of Briggs & Little Heritage (pure wool, Aran weight). Total cost was under 40.00 CAD. Such a good value, and it wears like iron (but softly).
The pattern I used is a modified version of Gramps, by Tin Can Knits. The pattern is available on its own or as part of the '9 Months of Knitting' collection. I bought the collection.
I've made the baby sized version and loved it.
The Heritage yarn is a bit heavier than the wool recommended in the pattern, so ended up making an XS to get a blended m1-m2 size. More details can be found here.
To get a proper fit for my version I added some waist shaping and bust darts. The stripe pattern is loosely based on the colour sequence of the Hay Cove pattern by Laura Aylor.
I never even thought about buttons when I started, surely something in my button box would work. Indeed. When in Santiago, Chile, a couple of years ago a lady was selling handmade buttons and shawl pins outside of a yarn shop, I bought 7 of them. It was a strange number to buy, but turns out they were meant for this project. The natural wood compliments the rustic look of this cardigan; and when spacing out the buttonholes evenly (and before I knew which buttons I was going to use), seven was just right.
For those who are familiar with the Gramps pattern, you may have noticed that my version has neither pockets nor elbow patches. To be honest, I kind of got carried away with the knitting and forgot to add the pockets. I can still do that through the application of some creative knitting techniques which I will share if I go down that path. I have noticed that my hands seem to keep looking for them. Maybe it's a Pavlovian association I have with this wool. My three (yes, three) Warriston's have fabulous and useful pockets. Not so much for carrying things, but just to keep the hands in. I have loads of the plain wool left. Maybe a hat to match? I do love my hats.
Overall the fit is a bit big, but then it was meant to be a bit oversized, cozy and warm. A few minutes in the dryer after it's next wash could sort that out.
This will not be my last Gramps cardigan. While I am not a huge fan of top-down construction (turns out I prefer the structure of seamed garments), I'll definitely be making more of these.
Wishing you a beautiful day,