Back in May I joined the Tricot Nordique group for their annual get-together, once again at St Gilles Croix de Vie. The wonderful Gwenola from Laine & Tricot came and displayed her wooly wares. It is not reasonable to put this temptation in the way of stash addicts and it just happened that somehow three skeins of Cascade Eco+ found their way into my car.
When I bought this wool I had Veronik Avery's Military Cardigan in mind. I knew ages ago I would make it one day and when I found the book for sale, well, that was it. I took the advice of other TN members and chose the green "Vert Foret" colourway. This is not something I would have done on my own I admit - too pastel for me. In fact, I got home and realised I had made a dreadful mistake. I didn't like the colour. But it was too late. I'd bought it, I had the pattern, I had no excuse and was determined to go through with it.
There is certainly something about this pattern that is not straightforward. It is well written but I fell into the cable trap: for some reason, although it is marked in the book, it is not obvious that the first few rows of the cable pattern are knitted once only and from then on there is an 8-row repeat. I am not the first and I probably won't be the last.
I also lengthened the body an inch or so which involved a fair bit of recalculation and finally I decided to knit the arms from the top down in the round.
My first attempt at the arms was dreadful but I decided to leave them until I had finished the border. Now, that border is a wonder of design. It is brilliant. However, the buttonhole placement is IN THE WRONG PLACE in the pattern. This is really important because however wonderful the design of the border, the execution is long, boring, tedious and repetitive; so when you cast off, open a bottle of champagne because you've finished the tedious bit, and THEN discover the buttonholes don't work where they are and you have to frog about ten rows (400+ stitches each row and cables worked both sides), well, it doesn't make for a very happy knitter. This matters especially if you don't like the colour. Simple solution - put it aside for a bit - preferably in a corner that you don't look at too often - and forget about it.
Fastforward to a couple of weeks ago when my husband asked me what I want for my birthday. I told him and to my complete astonishment he agreed (I'm saying nothing until it arrives). As a challenge to myself I decided that the wretched green thing had to be redone and finished before my birthday. I bought some buttons at a local thrift shop and undid the arms (which on second look were dreadful). I redid the border successfully (one slight hiccup but so what) and then redid the arms.
And guess what? I love the colour on me! The cardigan is snug, fits well and everyone who has seen it (husband and one son) has remarked "Gosh, it looks quite military with those buttons and that border."