Okay, I said I’d catch up with my delay in posting, so when I publish a design, I should write a post about it, right?
I published Alexandre II a few days ago on Ravelry. This is a boys cardigan, worked from the top down, with stripes on the body and sleeves.
But why II, the second, you may say?
Because, of course, Alexandre I does exist.
Alexandre I – it’s simply called Alexandre but I’ll call it I (the first) to disambiguate – is a baby cache-coeur cardigan I published in 2015. I designed it to offer it to a couple of friends who had a baby boy.
It’s not a secret I love stripes, but to add a tweak, I used reverse stockinette stripes for this pattern. This results in tender, milder, softer stripes that seem more suitable for baby clothes.
And a simple striped cardigan for big boys was in my mind for a couple of years but I had time to give form to my idea only last year, during the first French lockdown, though I bought the yarn in 2019 (yes I’m very slow!).
The yarn I chose is Nimbus from fonty. Fonty is a French mill operating since 1880, in Creuse department (known for Aubusson tapestry). And the yarn is not only made in France, but also with wool from merino sheep, raised in France and Portugal. French Mérinos d’Arles breed gives white wool, and Portuguese black merino brown-black wool. Two colors of wool are blended and dyed, which gives depth and naturally heathered, marled hues.
Initially, as shown in the picture, I thought the second cardigan would be in reverse stockinette.
So I designed the yoke so that the “purled” side looked nice. Raglan lines are formed by columns of knit stitches.
I knitted (purled?!) it to the end as a reverse stockinette cardigan and here what it looked like.
It was almost finished but I wasn’t very satisfied with the borders. I tried lots of things so the 2×2 ribbing border looked nice, but I had to admit that reverse stockinette and ribbing border wasn’t a good match.
So I turned the cardigan inside out (I listened to my husband whose grandma was a knitter and who doesn’t like reverse stockinette) and redid the borders, and it looked much better…
The raglan stitches that were knit stitches on the purled side became purl stitches, so they “recede” as you can see in ribbing. And the increases I used on both sides of raglan stitches form a line as if you knitted the cardigan from the bottom-up and made M1L/M1R increases at raglan.
And to accentuate this “bottom-up” effect, I picked up and knit half stitches along the lower body for the front borders 🙂
The cardigan is for 2 years to 12 years, and is not only for boys! The cut is slimmer than classical boys cardigans that are too oftentimes too large. One of my testers knitted it for her daughter, reversing buttonhole placements, and the fit is perfect!