Using Dropped Stitches to Make Lace -- Catskills Cardi








I love stitch patterns that use "dropped" stitches to make motifs. With 'dropped stitches', you knit like normal until a point where you take the stitch off the needle (as if you had made a mistake 😱) and let it run down like bad pantyhose.

The most famous use of drop stitiches is in Kate Gilbert's Clapotis, which has over 23,000 projects on Ravelry -- wow!


See WiscJennAnn's version here

Here are other drop stitch knits that have caught my eye:


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?

Naturally, I was delighted when Sheila Toy Stromberg put her Catskills Cardi up for test knitting... look at those big 'drops'!







This is not a full cardigan in the sense that it closes in the front. It is meant to be more of a long shrug that hangs at your sides. 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 an intermediate yardage requirement! This is for that part of your stash that you are uncertain 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 crave in my life. BUT IT CONTAINS MOHAIR. If you choose mohair for any drop stitch motif, you will have to spend more time getting those stitches to drop down. They will stick and need to be pulled pretty strongly to let go. I recommend having a pair of scissors to snip the matted hairs instead of tearing at them. That just  stretches neighboring stitches in the row and makes it wonky.






Now, because the drop stitches aren't created until the very end of knitting, you will think you are making a miniature sweater! Don't worry, those drops will add a lot of width and ease. It is helpful to use blocking wires to really stretch it out even more. See my blog post on blocking this cardi.

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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 that beautiful twisted cable edging that will surely eat up your yarn:




I changed the 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.




This pattern has a lot of nice little finishing details for the ribbed edge of the sleeve and neckline. They are knitted right into the motif so that there is virtually no sewing needed. The only time you sew is using a 6-stitch kitchener and a little bit of tacking down with loose ends. 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 at some fabulous Mediterranean oasis. Oddly, 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 iheated to 30 degrees C: Le Domain Tomali-Maniatyn. Along with some cross-country skiing, we also visited one of my favorite LYS's, 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 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!


See my Monts Sutton Cardi on Ravelry







Comments

  1. This is a fabulbous sweater! Dropped stitches with mohair.....you are amazing....do not attempt this readers :) a little bit of warmth goes a long way, doesn't it!

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    1. You are so right to warn them, lol! I had to keep my trust embroidery scissors in hand.

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  2. Oh, I love your cardi, love the other dropped-stitch designs you've featured, love that Lang yarn your belle-mere gave you. . . and of course, I love that beautiful pool!

    Another dropped-stitch pattern I like is Amy King's "Drop Stitch Cardigan" (good name, eh?) from the Fall 2005 issue of Interweave Knits. My rendition is the "cobwebs cardigan" on my Rav project page.

    Oh, mustn't forget to say that I love your LBD too.
    -- stashdragon

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    1. Thank you for all the love! That LBD is a keeper, as long as I can jam myself into it, lol. All those little specks are actually gold, I so love that dress. Yes, I remember the Drop Stitch Cardigan now, thanks for pointing me to it! How brilliant, using drop stitches to look like ribbing.

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  3. Gorgeous you and gorgeous card! Love the cabled edges - inspired! Love Mont Tricot too :)

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  4. Thank you! The cabled edging just brings it all together and gives it structure... inspired, indeed! I wish Mont Tricot was next door, sigh.

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  5. That playful smile makes me want to get in trouble with you

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  6. This looks fabulous Dayana....perfect for your LBD!

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    1. Thank you! This is a new acronym I learned today from Stashdragon (above), love it.

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  7. I love yours so much, I already bought the pattern. I remember when she posted the test knit, I was so busy I couldn't sign up for it. I will make myself one.

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    1. I just checked out the yarn you picked, I love it! Can't wait to see more...

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  8. That is a gorgeous cardi, and looks fantastic on you! I'm thinking of getting the pattern myself.

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    1. Thank you! I'm not very good at remembering to wear short-sleeve cardis, but I'm hoping that this is pretty enough to grab off the shelf often.

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  9. It's a beautiful cardi, Dayana. And any knit blogger who can work the word "vestigial" into a post has my utmost respect!

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    1. Woo! Vestigial is a favorite word of mine. Actually, being a scientist, there is a "famous" fruit fly gene called vg (vestigial) because flies born mutant for the gene have the teeniest wings that don't work. This cardigan is pretty close, lol!

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  10. Loving your cardi - and your lbs - they really suit you ! You are so clever !

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  11. Loving your cardi - and your lbs - they really suit you ! You are so clever !

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  12. I love these examples of dropped stitches, especially the Shibui knits, which is fabulous!! Catskills is very lovely and delicate and suits you beautifully. Love the hints of gold in it, too! What fun, to receive a yarn care package from Switzerland! Now that you have all this Lang yarn, do you have a Fatto a Mano pattern to match?

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    1. Thank you! A Lang conundrum... These are novelty yarns, very furry or felted. But there's not really enough of either of them for anything substantial, especially from Fatto a Mano. I will need to pair them with something else. I recently saw a fair-isle pattern on Pinterest that had used fur yarn for a motif on a smooth background. That could be really cool! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/460352393131493475/

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  13. So cute, you in that lbd and the sweater. I am also a big of dropped stitches...the way they look and the way they go so fast!

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