I’ve been collecting skeins of Traveller for a while now and it was about to time to put them to good use. They’ve been sitting in their bags waiting for the right project to show up – there are heaps of beautiful striped and colorwork patterns out there, but most of them need just few grams of each color and instead I wanted to use as much of each skein as possible. I love these shades of acid greens and pale blues and I’m very happy with this custom gradient set I was able to put together – I’m so in love with these colors that I didn’t want to waste any meter of them. My search came to an end when I came across Rililie’s Bluesand Cardigan. This garment has an open front and longer bac, has an A line shape, the hem being larger than the bust. The hem is rounded and features a lovely texture which is repeated in the sleeves section too. Of course the protagonist of this pattern is color – three different colors are used to knit big chunky stripes and more pops of color are visible in the pocket lining and icords.
I found Bluesand Cardigan perfect for using all of my different skeins: my idea was to use a color for each stripe, but I also wanted to keep them well separate so I thought to add a neutral hue to use in between stripes and to knit edges and details too. This mauve gray – Petrified Forest – goes very well with all of the other colors, keeping them separate but at the same time putting everything together.
Now for the details. The pattern comes with two different options for knitting the shoulders and I’ve opted for the hybrid between saddle shoulder and raglan sleeve (saddled raglan). Being knitted top down, this version is basically the opposite to Ysolda’s pattern Blank Canvas, which is knit bottom up instead. I really like the look of this kind of shoulder construction.
To accommodate the use of my neutral in between stripes (2 rows) I’ve reduced the depth of each big stripe to 22 rows instead of the 24 recommended for my size (S/M).
I casted on for size S but I then followed the increases for size M and knit the last few rows as follow:
Row 56: N SS SB
row 58: SS DB
row 59: change color (2 rows stripe)
Row 60: separation
I ended up with 58 sts for the sleeves, which is what I wanted, or close enough anyway.
Once I picked up the sleeve stitches and the underarm ones, I had a total of 68 stitches on the needles. Usually, at this stage, I like to have about 72 or so, but looked like everybody whom knit this cardigan was happy with the sleeves size, so I kept going. I worked 36 rows in Borthwick Castle to get about a 7 cm stripe – same width of the body stripes- to account for the difference in row gauge in between stockinette and texture stitch. I spaced the sleeve decreases every 12th round twice and then every 10th round x 6. Due to the lack of more Petrified Forest, my sleeve ribbing is just a few cm long, but I’m happy with the result anyway! I also spaced the body increased every 8th row, all at the same distance.
Here some specs about skeins weight and amount used (in color sequence from the top down):
Petrified Forest = 128 gr + 125gr, basically none left!
The Village Green = 136 gr (48 gr used)
Mauritius = 126 gr (49 gr used)
Borthwick Castle = 126 gr (36 gr used in body, 35 gr used in sleeves)
San Fran Bay irregular = 120 gr (40 gr used in body, 22 gr used in sleeves)
What Cheer = 121 gr (41 gr used in body, 25 gr used in sleeves)
Baffin Bay = 125 gr (44 gr used in body, 20 gr used in sleeves)
Sherwood Gardens = 125 gr (67 gr used in body, 31 gr used in sleeves)
Casco Bay = 29 gr (15 gr used for pocket lining + pocket icords).
I didn’t bother using too many different size needles. I’ve just used 3 mm for the edgings, icords and pockets linings and 3.5 mm for the body and sleeves. Also, I worked the Icord bind off like so: (k2, ssk) instead of (k2, k2togtbl) as i like it better this way. It took 17 gr of yarn for the body section (at this stage I had only 21 gr left of the second skein of Petrified Forest and I still needed to knit the sleeves, but I managed to squeezed them in!).
I love the idea of having pockets, even if they fall pretty low and they are a bit out of reach. The linings are knit alternating 2 rows of PF and 2 of Casco Bay, the darkest blue in my gradient set.
I’ve also added buttonholes to the front of the pockets, just underneath the icord edge and I’ve had some fun creating this lovely covered button following this great tutorial by Kate Davies. The button is simple to make and takes only few minutes, plus the result is so gorgeous I want to make a whole collection of them, in every color and size!
I really enjoyed knitting this long cardigan and I’d like to have the patience to knit a second one, maybe in different shades of pink and red. If I had to do it again, I’d shorten the body a tiny bit so the pockets would sit higher and be more useful. If you are wondering, Traveller performed great after the blocking, it has grown just few cm and once dry sprung back to the original length causing no issues. Unfortunately at the moment I’ve to be less selfish as I’ve a couple of things to knit for my sis in law and my other nephew, so I’ve to sit aside the idea of casting on a second Bluesand Cardigan…