Stripey New Zealand cardigan that should have been a jumper

frontViewSince I always like to get a sewing or knitting related souvenir when travelling, I dragged my husband and in-laws to a number of knitting stores when we visited New Zealand in 2011. For a place so full of sheep, I found it more difficult that I would have expected to find places to buy wool.

But in the lovely Art Deco town of Napier, I struck gold twice, ending up with Opossum wool (used to make this cardigan for the baby) and some lovely Aran wool from NZ sheep. The idea was to make a nice, cosy stripey jumper.

However, as often happens when buying materials without a specific pattern in mind, I couldn’t quite find a pattern that matched my vision and the amount of available wool. I did quite like the Caramel pattern on Ravelry and thought it would work well.

The pattern is nicely drafted, with some small touches (like purls at the ‘side seams’ even though it’s knit as one big piece) that make it subtly beautiful. Overall, it is a bit too wide for me at the neck. I have this problem in sewing too and just need to remember to adjust. Since most patterns are based on bust size, and everything gets larger as the pattern is graded up, I tend to get things that fit the bust but are too wide for my shoulders. Anyways, the biggest problem was not with the pattern but the fact I actually didn’t have enough wool. And thus, it’s a short-sleeved cardigan, which isn’t at all what I wanted.

sideViewSo although this has been done for many months, it’s had few trips out of the closet. It’s not quite what I wanted and, let’s be honest, how often is the weather right for a warm woolly but short-sleeved cardigan? On top of that, without any buttons (and as someone who doesn’t own scarf pins), it hung open and wasn’t flattering.

I have at least fixed the last problem with the purchase of some kilt pins and I do like it better draped this way. (I also tried a chopstick one day, which worked rather well, except when it was poking me awkwardly as I reached for things). Worn with a long sleeve t-shirt, it works ok. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it enough to unpick it and try again. So it goes…