August 24, 2014

Oh my, I do do do love this little cardigan so much.  Jill by Martin Storey is a free pattern download and is knit in DK weight yarn.  I first fell in love with the adorbs posie-in-a-basket pocket.  I'm especially proud of it as I incorporated a few new-for-me finishing techniques that I'll share here.

When Sarah Hatton was in town I took an Understanding Lace class at my lys, Uncommon Threads which I told you about here, but I also took a Professional Finishing class at Imagiknits in the city.  I learned so much and would really recommend that class if you should find Sarah teach it in your neck of the woods.  I brought a few things that needed finishing just to see what Sarah would suggest.  First tip, when attaching a patch pocket, do not attach it with a slip stitch, but instead use the mattress stitch.  Brilliant!  I use the mattress stitch for all my seaming but never occurred to me to use it with a patch pocket.  The pockets turned out beautifully and do look professional!  In the above photograph you can see the pocket on the left in finished.  The Rowan site has some tutes for that stitch here.  Do do do learn the mattress stitch for finishing, you will be so happy you know it, and perfecting it will ensure your seams always look neat and clean and professional.

The other tip is for the collar.  For this sweater and collar you pick up stitches at the neck and work stockinette out.  Sarah recommends that at the folding point of the collar, where you would fold the collar down, to add a few stitches to give the collar some extra room to spread out to flair and fold.  In other words, you would knit a little less than an inch to the point where you think the collar will fold.  The next row with RS facing, knit a third of your stitches, m1r, k1, m1l.  Repeat this at the matching 1/3 spot of left side.  At both sides of the collar you have increased 2 stitches, 4 stitches total.  Even if you are working your collar in rib she said that you can still use this technique as the uneven rib won't be noticed in the collar.  I hope this makes sense as it's a terrific little trick that professional knitters don't want to keep secret!  It's little tips like these that make a knitted garment go from ho-hum to fab.

The embroidery is very easy with the most basic of stitches:  a chain stitch handle, lazy daisy stitches for the petals and leaves, stem stitch for the stem and French knots for the flower center.  I used 6 strand DMC floss.  The pocket is a simple basketweave stitch, k3, p3 for 4 rows, then switch.  Excellent directions are on the free pattern.  I downloaded Jill from Martin Storey's Classic Babies Online Collection on the Rowan site.  Download ALL the patterns, they are all just completely precious. 

The yarn I used is the machine washable Rowan Merino Silk Baby DK.  Holy cow, I love this stuff.  It's super easy to knit and uber soft in the skein, it's hard to believe it goes in and out of the dryer.   The patch pocket was a scrap of Pure Wool DK, also machine washable.  When subbing out yarn to use in the same garment like I did, make sure it's the same weight and has the same washing care.  My Ravelry link here.

I have 2 sweaters I've been wearing all summer but haven't photographed to share.  One is in Rowan Denim yarn, one in a cotton blend and also another baby sweater.  Must get on that, hopefully next week I can start the FO parade.  So, how's your knitting coming along?  Are you thinking ahead and planning all the wonderful wooley knits to knit for winter?  Me too!  I'm hard at work already!


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  1. What a lovely little sweater.


  2. Absolutely adorable! Thank you for the tips from Sarah.....mattress stitch a pocket on...who would have thought?!

  3. How precious ! Very sweet indeed

  4. Cutie patootie! Thanks for the collar tip, filed away... thanks Sarah!


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