Wiser and warmer: FO Wisdom cardigan

This feels like a great start to the weekend:  I have a new cardigan.  But not just any cardigan, this one is the first item of clothing I have ever knitted!  Woo hoo, champagne feels most definitely in order (but then when isn’t a good time for some fizz I ask you?! ;-) )

This is Wisdom by Kim Hargreaves using Rowan Tweed wool.  Delicious stuff, knubbly in the most gorgeous purple with blobs of blue & white cropping up every now & then.  It has contrasting pocket linings & sleeve edges which I have done in lime green.  The pattern is knitted in bands of double moss stitch & stocking stitch.

My trials in making this have been documented along the way, and it’s taken me about a year.  yep.  That’s long.  I have only had Xmas present scarf making to compete with this on my needles.  Apart from that I’ve been mainly, er, knitting this.  Clearly every now & then.  I had lots of ripping out.  I know for a fact that I got the sleeves’ pattern wrong, not understanding the instructions until reaching the same point on sleeve two & realising how I should have done it (it was a minor error I am living with).

The final push took me a long time.  I’d finished the actual knitting yet the stitching up was slow.  Why you might ask?  After so many months of intermittent beaver-like activity surely the stitching would be easy?  My main strength is sewing, surely this should be a breeze & the reward?

Hmm, well there were two factors that prompted drag.  Firstly (& this sounds REALLY pathetic) the evenings were getting too dark to stitch this dark wool, seriously!  The light in our lounge is appalling & I just couldn’t see.  In the end I finished the sewing, yep you guessed it, in my sewing room.  What genius!

Secondly I was in a panic after sewing up the body & trialling the sleeves.  They seemed WAY too short.  I put my head in the sand, turned the other way & hoped they’d stretch overnight over the course of three or four weeks by lying in a pile.

I overcame this by speaking to my all knowing knitting & sewing guru, my Mum.  She suggested basting them to see just how short they really were.  So I did.  And yes, you can see they are “bracelet length”, but nothing that my monkey-sleeved Renfrew can’t compensate for.  I sewed the buttons on last night (in my sewing room).  So the verdict after this shaggy dog story?  I am loving it!  I know there are flaws, but I learnt such a lot knitting it.  Making pockets, that even one stitch buttonholes are bigger than they seem, & of course how to rip out & pick up.  I managed to knit a neckband with picking stitches up & knitting all in one go.  I never tried anything like that before. Even the sewing together was a new experience.

As for the wearing?  As you can see today I am working from home (hence the gloves!!) & am nice & cosy.  The cardigan is cute & warm.  It’s got a nice shape to it, & whilst I would have preferred sleeves to match my gorilla arms, they are not out of place with the rest of the style’s cropped-ness & nipped in waist.  I think when fastened, the buttons get stretched a bit – possibly I should have knitted a size larger, who knows.  But definitely a timely completion as purple is one of my winter colours (funny that, considering I started it last winter!)

So what next do you ask?  That is a good question.  I quite fancy crocheting or knitting a cushion cover ….any suggestions?

67 thoughts on “Wiser and warmer: FO Wisdom cardigan

  1. agirlinwinter

    You did a great job! I love Kim Hargreaves’ patterns and also Rowan Felted Tweed. I started knitting a Wisdom cardi about a hundred years ago in a teal-ish shade of Felted Tweed. I must dig it out and finish it! :-)

    Reply
  2. Janette

    So nice! That purple is beautiful and what an amazing creation for your first try! I would’ve thought you’d been knitting for years. Now I want to learn to knit… maybe I should improve my sewing before I embark on a new venture… :)

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Janette – don’t look too closely otherwise you’ll spot the hand made-ness …def not perfect, but it’s good enough for me & will be worn lots I think …I’m going to persevere with knitting as I want to make all my clothes, so I *have* to get better!

      Reply
  3. Kerry

    Congrats on a significant milestone in your knitting career! It looks lovely and perfect for the season. I love the effect of the contrasting green too.

    Reply
  4. LinB

    Oh, hurray, a beautiful new cardigan just in time for Fall! You did a masterful job — I’d never have picked up such an intricate project for my first make. You should get years and years of wear out of this lovely garment. I’m still plugging away on this year’s quota of socks for my family’s Xmas gifts (made the mistake of knitting a pair for everyone, one year, and now am constrained to repeat the feat every year. Still, it’s cheaper than buying everyone a new car.)

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Lin :-) I can relate to your feeling of Christmas making routine/ obligations….I’m thinking about not doing it this year…but then I’m sure I’ll change my mind & have a mad rush trying to get it all fitted in. At least you’ve started already..

      Reply
  5. tamsin

    I love this Winnie! I particularly like the contrast green – I love that colour. I was just looking at some Jersey in my stash that is the same colour – wondering about a Renfrew. Your cardi almost makes me want to start knitting – almost!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      It’s a wonderful green Tamsin, and I can see you sporting a lime green Renfrew with style. I’m not sure I can handle too much of it myslef, which is why I’m glad it’s sneaked into this cardi!!

      Reply
  6. Joanne

    I’m so impressed this is your first knitted garment – it’s a brilliant job and shows there is hope for us all in learning new skillz. Really like the shots of green with the purple. Good job!

    Reply
  7. Marie

    Winnie!!! I love it, it’s absolutely perfect in my eyes and if my first ever jumper/cardi looks this good, I’ll be delighted! Well done for finishing it, it looks seriously good and suits you beautifully!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Coo, thanks Marie, there’s plenty of people (you amongst them) that have helped motivate me with learning this last year & seeing what you begin to tackle ….not sure I’m ready for vintage patterns yet …!

      Reply
  8. Shari

    Congratulations on completing your cardi! I love that shade of purple and the lime accents. It looks terrific on you and the way you’ve styled it is awesome.

    Reply
  9. Sam

    That is a seriously gorgeous cardigan Winnie! I love Kim Hargreaves patterns – I’m currently knitting Wallace from the Touching Elegance book – and I love purple and lime green together. You’ve done an amazing job if this is your first cardigan.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I’ve just gone & looked it up Sam – that’s going to be a special cardigan / jacket – very useful and stylish. Yes, I really like her designs! I’m smitten. I have Breeze too, but think I want a couple of quick makes before I tackle another garment!

      Reply
  10. shivani

    how lovely! I can’t believe it’s your first ever knitted garment. I love the colour (the sweater I’m knitting now is a similiar colour). I really like the shorter, bracelet length sleeve – excellent for showing off a longer sleeve beneath (I think The Sartorialist calls this “cuff cleavage”). x

    Reply
  11. Lauren

    I think it is BEAUTIFUL! I love all that nubby, tweedy goodness. Such a pretty color and I personally love the cropped sleeves :) If the button gaping bothers you, you might try stabilizing the button band (and button hole band, for that matter) with petersham ribbon. You can hand or machine sew it on. It keeps the band from stretching, so you don’t get the gape.

    At any rate – so proud of you! What a gorgeous first garment. Doesn’t it feel wonderful to snuggle up in something YOU KNIT YOURSELF? Ahh, love it!!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Lauren, thank you! What great advice on the ribbon too, I shall try that as I think that could do the trick. And yes, I was surprised just how satisfying & happiness inducing it was to (like you said) snuggle up in something I’d knitted. But have to say a big thank you to you for grasping this whole knitting thang & being prodigious in your knitting/learning/making….so inspired me :-)

      Reply
  12. Andrea

    Awesome, awesome, AWESOME! I can’t believe this is only one of the first items you’ve ever knitted. It took me forever to get the courage to knit a sweater! As for the pattern, not sure if this will make you feel better about having had to rip and re-knit, but I must confess that I found it a bit hard to follow. Not sure if it’s because this was the first time I knitted a British pattern or if this is a Kim Hargreaves thing, but I found the instructions to be harder than they needed to be. I’ve only got the sleeves to go on mine and if my FO looks even half as great as yours, I’ll be so happy. Well done, Winnie!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      You’re nearly there too! Fantastic Andrea. It’s interesting what you say about the pattern – being a noobie I thought it was me! (Maybe it was!) I shall be cheering you on with yours (wearing mine now, of course!) Happy knitting & thank you for being so lovely!

      Reply
  13. Roobeedoo

    You did it! You did it!
    Well done Winnie! It is LOVELY and nobody would ever guess it was your first Big Knit and that it caused such trouble on the way! I LOVE the colour and am so impressed that you used top quality yarn instead of something cheap and nasty for your first garment – you will wear it and enjoy it and be properly proud of it :D
    Woo hoo!
    What’s next?!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Roobeedoo, I’m glad too that I invested in this knit, otherwise maybe I wouldn’t have taken so much care over it….I think having the price of all this expensive wool hanging over me meant that I had to do it justice. Slow knitting, making few select pieces – a difference maybe to how I sew..hmm …interesting (but that too might change)

      Reply
  14. Allison

    I bow down before you. Someday I will knit a sweater, but that day is not yet here.

    for next: I’m a big fan of mittens — I used to crochet them all the time. They go together really quickly and are fun gifts.

    Reply
  15. Debbie

    The cardie looks fab, Winnie, Worth all the long time! I like how you styled it too. I think you should knit stripey and spotty cushions in red and white but that’s just cos I want some myself. :) xx

    Reply
  16. kristenmakes

    AMAZING! Well done you on your first garment – that is such a feat! It looks fab, and I love how you’ve styled it! I’m so impressed that you’ve stuck with it, rip after rip – it’s so rewarding in the end, isn’t it! Hmmmm, fancy some colourwork next for your cushion cover? Stripes, fair isle? Or perhaps explore texture a bit further with a really snazzy stitch pattern!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Kristen, you got it – I think colourwork would only extend to stripes! Not fairisle for me!! But I had also thought about exploring cables (cushion size to keep it manageable!) Also there’s rather a cute knitted collar I have bought Cloth magazine to make ;-)

      Reply
  17. Lynne

    This is gorgeous!! Congratulations on your first knitted garment. I think even the most experienced knitter doesn’t really like sewing up, and dark yarn is really hard to see! Your yarn and pattern are lovely, and the green edging is beautiful.

    Reply
  18. Evie

    I’m not entirely convinced that this is your first ever knitted garment! It’s just so lovely. Great pattern. Amazing colours. And you look great in it. That’s another one to add to the ever growing list!

    Reply
  19. Christine

    Winnie that is just stunning on you! Amazing to think that’s the first thing you’ve ever knitted. Well done. (Oh and if you want champagne, there’s some on my blog at the moment!)

    Reply
  20. Sigrid

    Lovely, and very impressive for a first sweater. I think lot of people put off the making up step because it seems like it could be the step that breaks the project, sort of like putting in buttonholes. Anyway , I love it and see you are on the way to the next step of wardrobe independence.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Cool! I wasn’t aware that the making up can be seen that way by others too – I just thought it was me being a scaredy cat & not having faith …& I must say the wardrobe independence is my biggest motivator :-)

      Reply
  21. magpie mimi

    Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry I didn’t see this post until today otherwise I would have told you how wonderful it was yesterday! I was in awe of your beautiful colourful outfit anyway, but to know that you had made everything yourself, well, hats off to you, you’re amazing!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Ahh, thanks Mimi, but I think you had enough on your mind to worry about what I was wearing ;-)
      Lovely to see you & your stall looked fab. Have worn some of your earrings already & they are super cool & made me smile :-0

      Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Ha ha ha! I am also choosing not to notice them! Thank you, I am loving the colours actually too, thankfully I chose something that I still like 12 months down the line & didnt get so sick of it not to want to wear it when it finally was complete!

      Reply
  22. Sølvi

    Woohoo! Your Wisdom turned out terrific! Well done. I love, love. love the color scheme, and I think the sleeves are supposed to be like that? Mine were short too, although the rest of it was too big… I accidentally felted my Wisdom in the washer the other day, but fortunately it still fits, so that´s how big it was…

    I love knitting cables, what about a cushion cover with one side stripes, and the other in cables? That way you´ll get to try out different techniques on one project!:-)

    Congratulations on your new cardigan, I´m sure it´ll become a wardrobe staple!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Oh my gosh? Felted wisdom?!? That sounds like a disaster but how lucky that it survived! I don’t know how I’d react if something I took 12 months to make accidentally got into the wash!! Interesting that your sleeves also turned out that length. I think I can live with them!

      I like the idea of one side stripes & one side cables! That’ll allow me to learn something new but in reasonably small chunks! Thanks for the idea :-)

      Reply
  23. missjoiedevivre

    This is super impressive for your first knitted garment, congratulations! I learned to knit in December and have mostly been knitting booties and baby hats for fast and easy ways to try new things. I have plans for my first me-garment, a vintage cardigan, this summer holiday when I’m at mum’s place and can make her help me, hehe.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Sounds like a good plan….having an expert on hand really helped me through some tricky bits, but sadly my expert ( my mum) lives too far for every day help…probably led to me having to take more risks! Good luck with your vintage cardigan…

      Reply
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