Using Dropped Stitches to Make Lace -- Catskills Cardi
I have recently been fascinated by knits that use "dropped" stitches to make all sorts of motifs. Dropped stitches are interesting little creatures. You knit like normal but right at the very end you drop the stitch off the needle and let it run like a bad pantyhose down to the bottom.
The most famous use of drop stitiches is in Kate Gilbert's Clapotis, which has to date 21,251 projects on Ravelry alone.
|See WiscJennAnn's version here|
Here are some other patterns that have caught my eye:
|See ModernKnittress's version of the Drop Stitch Scarf here|
|See Huwerknits' version of Forest Weave here|
|Buy the pattern SC.1 from Shibui Knits here|
|No pattern (Anthropologie), can someone make one, pretty please?|
I was delighted when Sheila Toy Stromberg put her Catskills Cardi up in the test knitting group I mod on Rav... look at those drops!
This is not a full cardigan, the fronts are vestigial really, and meant to hang just below the underarms. In my mind's eye, it was going to be the perfect cover up for a little black dress. Agreed?
For size small I used 484 yds of sport weight yarn. I love patterns with this intermediate yardage requirement! This is that part of the stash that you never know what to do with... it's too big for an accessory, too small for a full-size top. I decided to use Filatura di Crosa's Gioiello from some major loot that my wonderful mother-in-law brought me from Switzerland. (Merci, Yvette!)
The yarn is gorgeous and filled with the kind of gold bling I need in my life. BUT IT CONTAINS MOHAIR. If you choose mohair content in your yarn for any drop stitch motif, you will spend many hours getting those stitches to drop down. They will stick and need to be torn, pulled or at last resort, snipped.
Because the drop stitches aren't created until the very end and add a lot of ease once dropped, the pattern will make you a miniature sweater. There is no way that the size you choose will fit until you start dropping those stitches, so don't despair when it looks too small! It is helpful to use blocking wires to really stretch it out. See my blog post on blocking this cardi.
|Left: Undropped Right: Dropped|
I lengthened my cardi by 5 body repeats for a further length of 2.5 inches. The good news is that the drop stitch motif uses very little yarn, so extending the body only took 30 yards. It's the beautiful twisted cable edging that will surely eat up your yarn:
I changed this cabled motif from the original pattern. You are supposed to repeat the motif the stated number of times, but I thought it would be nice to close the cable to a point. If you would like instructions on how to do this, just message me.
This pattern has a lot of nice little finishing details for the ribbed edge of the sleeve and neckline, which are knitted into the motif so that there is *virtually no sewing needed*. The only time you sew is a 6-st kitchener and a little bit of tacking down. Great!
However, this is definitely an advanced intermediate pattern, and I recommend that you read her "timeline schematic" to understand how the piece is constructed before you begin.
No, I didn't shoot some of these photos on a vacation to some fabulous Mediterranean oasis. Sadly, these shots were in the dead of a winter, in a ski town no less! We spent a weekend in Sutton, Quebec and stayed in a mansion that has an indoor pool in a room that is always heated to 30 degrees C: Le Domain Tomali-Maniatyn. Along with some cross-country skiing, we also visited one of my *new* favorite LYS's for the first time, Mont Tricot! What a great name for a yarn store in a ski town, right? The owner Lucinda is a blast, and she carries fabulous yarns.
Here is her display of the new Rowan Truesilk (100% mulberry silk), spilling luxuriously out of a jewelry box.
I couldn't resist posing in front of her rows of Pure Wool Worsted either.
|Want to read about the sweater I am wearing? Click here.|
If you are ever nearby (she is close to the US border, too!), do visit. In honor of our wonderful visit to Sutton and it being closer than the Catskills of my home state New York, I've re-named my cardigan to the mountain range nearby!
See my Monts Sutton Cardi on Ravelry
FOR ALL OF YOU STILL READING: Do you remember my post about Planned Pooling? It was quite popular and guess what? Rowan has given me loads of Rowan Fine Art Aran to give away! I will be posting about it very soon, so if you don't want to miss it, be sure to follow my blog or Facebook page: