I’m a long-term fan of the marvellous Electric Sheep podcast by Hoxton Handmade, a lady with a mellifluous voice, a sharp sense of humour and some great taste in knitting patterns. She may or may not also have a hard-drinking, supervillain sheep concealed in her back garden in South London, but I think the less attention drawn to him, the better. I have been tempted into favouriting a lot of the patterns she has reviewed, and further tempted into casting others on. My Color Affection shawl, knitted last year and still being worn proudly now that the days are getting chillier, was very definitely Hoxton-inspired.
This initial recommendation had the fringe benefit of introducing me to the lovely designs of Veera Välimäki: I have also knitted her Fisherman’s Pullover for Eoin (though I did have a bit of a gauge mix-up there), and am working on a Gathering Stripes jumper for him at the moment.
The second pattern which the wiles of the Electric Sheep have seduced me into casting on is the celebrated Aidez cardigan by Cirilia Rose. I had put off knitting this for a while, as it is a fairly unstructured fit, and, being large of bust, I was concerned that it might not be flattering. I had, however, cast on an OWLS jumper which I wasn’t happy with: I was using a wool-mix yarn, and would have preferred to be knitting in a pure wool, and I was also becoming convinced that the shaping in OWLS doesn’t really work for my figure, and was going to need some serious tweaking if I was going to achieve a neat, non-baggy fit. GIven that I am about five months pregnant, working on the neat fit was not going to be easy: I don’t have any bump to speak of yet, but it’s sure to pop out in the next couple of weeks. Throw the likelihood of a bout of Gestational Diabetes into the mix, together with the associated strict diet and drastic weight loss (with Eoin, I weighed less at full term than I did at conception), making anything remotely fitted over the next few months was really going to be a non-starter. I happened to listen again to one of the podcast episodes in which Ms Hoxton discusses her Aidez, and decided to take the bull by the horns, frogging the OWLS and casting on the Aidez.
It’s going well so far: I have finished the back so far (I know it doesn’t look like it from this picture, but I promise it’s true), and am about to cast one of the fronts on.
It’s a lovely, straightforward pattern so far, and very addictive: I’ve sat up far too late on several evenings, muttering “Just one more row, just one…” under my breath as the clock ticks on towards midnight. Cables just seem to do that to a knitter! As it’s knitted in a chunky yarn, it’s also going very quickly, which makes a pleasing change from working in 4 ply. The yarn isn’t the most exciting (Sirdar Click, so it’s a bit acrylic-y) but it’s knitting up in a pleasantly non-crunchy manner, and should at least survive being thrown in the washing machine. My only concern at the moment is that I might have to add some bust shaping to the fronts, and we all know what that will involve: maths, and the doing thereof. I am not good at maths, nor am I good at thinking in three dimensions. I’m undergoing a tiny bit of a hiatus as I read the pattern very carefully, and try to work out whether just adding a couple of stitches to the stockinette portions and adjusting the decreases at the top will work. If not, I’m going to have to dive in with a calculator and a tape measure: if this happens, I may have to ask you to hold my hand, in a virtual sense.
I’ll keep working on this over the next few weeks: let’s hope I find a solution to the bust issue which doesn’t involve me passing out over some complicated long-division sums.