Rowan Kefalonia Cardigan

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is what I spent all summer knitting. It’s from Rowan Magazine issue 53. It took ages, and made me extremely antisocial. Manipulating several colours at once, and following a complex chart is not compatible with holding a conversation. (Sorry DH).

The main body is knitted in one section, then the  sleeves are knitted separately and sewn in. If you looked closely at the chart and then my version you would spot that there are some errors. The sides are not totally identical, but I found it impossible to follow the chart exactly. The sides are mirror images, but there is only one chart so you have to read it backwards for one side. My spatial awareness is rather poor, so this was really difficult.

The background yarn is Rowan 4ply wool/cotton. The flowers are rose wool/cotton and shades of Kidsilk Haze. Don’t even think of trying to substitute for cheaper yarn, it would break your heart to spend the time if it didn’t work out.This turned out to be extremely expensive, the most costly thing I have ever knitted. Luckily I like it, and think it will be a summer mainstay for several seasons if I look after it carefully.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know why it took me this many years of knitting to realise that you can blend sizes as you do in sewing! Anyhow, I made a larger size at the bottom, and made more decreases at the sides and centre back to end up at the smaller size at the top. It’s a revelation in fitting for me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe back  is comparatively plain, with just buds and tendrils climbing up past the armholes. The only thing I had trouble with was the hem. It is only 4 rows of garter stitch and persisted in curling up. I tried blocking and pressing, but could not cure it. In the end I sewed it inside as a narrow hem, and you can’t really tell it wasn’t intended that way. To be frank I can’t see how the designer got away with it.


Inside out

Can you imagine how many ends I had to darn in? It must have been hundreds. If I had left them until the end I don’t think it would ever have been finished. Once I got going, I sewed a few ends after every row, and this kept it a manageable task. Of course one row took quite a long time, and I could only manage about 10 rows a day. As I don’t have any bobbins I spent quite a lot of time untangling the colours.

Anyone asking me to make anything like this in the next year or so, will not be treated kindly.



About starryfishathome

I'm early retired, living in a village and love to sew, knit, make needlepoint cushions, and nurture my cactus collection. Since I came back to making my own clothes, I've learned so much from other sewists blogs, I thought I should start my own.
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13 Responses to Rowan Kefalonia Cardigan

  1. Chris says:

    that is gorgeous!!! I admire your persistence which certainly paid off… :-)

  2. Pella says:

    Lovely! Well worth all the hard work.

  3. poppykettle says:

    Wowsers. That is truly a work of art! Having tried my hand at knitting a while back and finding even the basics to be frustrating (I’ll stick with sewing, thanks!) – I take my hat off to you!

  4. becki says:

    AMAZING! That is such an amazing design. I can’t imagine the awareness of geometry that it would take to pull that off. I agree with Poppykettle, I will stick with sewing.

  5. MPR says:

    You are a brave and talented woman and and now the owner of a fabulous cardigan. Congrats, it is beautiful!

  6. alison says:

    What an exquisite cardigan! I have also been knitting since I was a little child, and have never tackled something with such elaborate intarsia. You have done a wonderful job, and I hope you enjoy it for many many years. Yay for figuring out how to adapt the knitting to your own figure

  7. SewingElle says:

    Its magnificent! Well done!

  8. anne jewell says:

    what a beautiful, useful piece! how would you feel about another one with a dark background and maybe crem-color roses for winter? just a thought.–anne

  9. janine. says:

    absolutely gorgeous cardigan -well worth all the effort .I would love to be able to knit like this but will just stick to my sewing I think.

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