My grandmother Eunice was a mad-keen Scrabble fanatic (she had a bit of competitive feist, you know), an accomplished pianist and was prone to ironing undies. With starch. She was an absolute shorty and I towered over her from the age of 12 – at least as much as anyone destined to end up at 153cm can expect to ‘tower’. Eunice was also rather curvy. Long have my cousin and I eye-rolled our grimaced thanks for our grandmother’s buxomly generous, genetic gift.
I have an unswerving theory that the sort of clothing that best befits a vertically challenged, well-endowed figure, is that of the beautifully tailored kind. The kind that requires an iron. And possibly starch. The kind that has a hope in heck of making it in to my day-to-day wardrobe. Notably, I have never, ever, owned a piece of knitwear of the flattering kind.
It was with a last-ditched, leap of faith, that I cast on a Tea Leaves Cardigan. Bored of all that peripheral hat, scarf, etceteras knitwear, I was determined to give torso knitwear a best possible shot. The click clack of needles accompanied the din of Rain on Tent throughout our summer holiday. Only when I had cast off a completed cardigan (ok, minus the sleeves) did I try it on for size. There isn’t a lot of mirror to be found while camping. Even so, I could tell that I had modelled some luscious Madelinetosh yarn into something akin to a knitted sack.
One deep breath later, I cast on Tea Leaves Cardi #2 – knitting and simultaneously frogging Tea Leaves Cardi #1.
By the time we had arrived home from our holiday, I had gone so far as to cater for waist shaping. I followed Sooz’s sage advice and transferred the stitches to waste yarn. I tried it on. In front of a mirror. Three times.
What I ended up with was a cardi which is a careful mixture of a size 36 through to a size 40. It has weird sleeves. I learnt something about shaping. I know about lifted increases. I know that even a second go at excruciatingly careful blocking of this yarn, unfortunately enlarges the whole affair by an approximate size. This is something of a bummer. I do love that I applied myself to working out the nuts and bolts for myself, rather than blindly following the pattern.
Even though I reckon it’s a jolly commendable, nearly twice-knitted effort, I remain unconvinced that knitwear does me any favours at all. Although this bit of knitwear is a veritable JOY to wear and I’m not particularly sure I could care less whether it does me any favours at all. Every time I don this lusciously snuggly cardigan, I do wear a wry smile on my face – the yarn colourway is unfortunately, equinely, titled Mare.
Because I never know when to quit, below is a Tea Leaves-inspired, making-up-as-I-go-along ‘something’. This time I am using an anniversary gift of Madelinetosh Tart. I am grinning from ear to ear with the very POSSIBILITY of a tarty cardi.
You can purchase a Tea Leaves Cardigan pattern, via Ravelry, here. You can find a bazillion other crafty creative spaces right here.