I've been keeping a great big secret.
A couple of years ago I scored 11 balls of gorgeous lilac Elle cotton yarn for 50p each, at the emporium of all things acrylic that is my local yarn store.
I've almost cast on about twenty projects for Minxie with this yarn but just couldn't bring myself to take the plunge.
After much deliberation and yarn stroking, I did cast on, and knit the back and half the front of a very big and complicated cable cardi.
However, I made a fatal error.
I blogged about it.....
......and then got stopitis.
It has sat there, in my knitting bag, taunting me for 19 months and 19 days!!!
Today - this very day - Saturday 9th May 2009 - I have finished Minx's cardigan!
I'm calling this Version II.
After ditching the cable and making it up as I go along....
.....here it is.
Shown off in Minx's best robot pose ;-)
Initally based on this pattern - a fantastic top down knit, done on a circular needle that requires no making up!
I soon realised that although I'd cast on the adult small size, the fact that I'd used DK instead of bulky yarn and used a 4.5mm instead of 6.5mm needle, meant I needed to keep on knitting more and more rows on the garter stitch bodice until it fitted Minx.
The great thing was, she could try it on as I knitted and I could adjust the number of rows accordingly.
Once the garter stitch bit was cracked I started on the lace.
This is where I started swearing. Lots.
Try as I might I could not get the lace repeats right - always ending up with too many or too few stitches. I ripped this back four times before throwing in the towel.
Quite remarkable behaviour from someone who avoids ripping back her knitting at all costs!
I didn't give up totally though. I trawled through every knitting book or pattern that I own, spent hours on Ravelry and eventually found a lace pattern, with the right multiple of stitches, in my Mum's old Good Housekeeping Encyclopeadia of Needlecraft.
It took me until I was more than half way down the lace to realise that the reason the lace was the 'wrong' way up to that in the picture was that I was knitting top down instead of bottom up!
Luckily, I'd already decided I like it that way!
There's one mistake on the lace. It's barely noticeable but now I know it's there it screams at me!
Can you spot it?
I'm now totally sold on top down knitting.
What a fantastic idea!
This cardi used 5 balls of that bargain yarn - and cost the grand sum of £2.50!
I'm feeling very self satisified :-)
Having finished 'the big project' I feel that I can move onto other things.
The first of which is a crochet cushion cover - using granny squares that I made two years ago and cotton yarn that has been collected for no specific project over about three years!
Just lookee at me.......Mrs Stashbuster!
That'll be more room for new yarn then ;-)
Oh my goodness! I was just about to publish this post when we realised Minx's little gerbil Nibbles had died. We've just had a very special and very tearful gerbil funeral. Prayers have been said and flowers have been laid.
Rest In Peace Nibs
Minxy aged 5 'holding' Nibs for the first time