Knitting for Susan Crawford – part 1

In spring this year, I was asked by Louise from Prick Your Finger if I could help out a lady in distress: Susan Crawford was about to release A Stitch In Time 2, and she urgently needed somebody to help her out knitting a jumper for the book. I’ll be posting about that jumper in part two. To show me what her new book was about, she sent a link to this video. When I told Susan I’d love to help her out, I also casually mentioned I would really like to knit that embossed golden cardigan you see in the beginning… The rest, as they say, is history.

And so about 2.5 months ago I received some squishy cashmere from The Skein Queen to knit Kasha (as it has since been named) for Susan herself.

Here’s a close-up of the gorgeous lace pattern:

The little bells (I think they’re flower buds, what do you think?) are made by making five stitches in a yarn-over and after a few rows you need to decrease them back to one. I decided to use Barbara Walker’s method of purling five stitches together. It’s a somewhat involved method, but it makes for a very symmetric decrease (all slipped stitches are slipped purlwise):

  1. slip three stitches from the left needle to the right needle
  2. lift the second stitch on the right needle over the first stitch and off the needle
  3. slip the first stitch on the right needle back to the left needle
  4. lift the second stitch on the left needle over the first stitch and off the needle
  5. slip the first stitch on the left needle to the right needle
  6. repeat steps 2, 3 and 4, then purl the remaining stitch

Once you get used to it, it is quite quick to execute. Promise!

An extraordinary cardigan requires extraordinary finishing touches, so I used the Italian cast-on, as it looks really good with a 1×1 ribbing, as evidenced by these pictures of the welt and the collar:

The beauty of this cast-on means you can match it with a tubular cast-off at the top of the buttonband:

Two other things I did to do this cardigan justice was knitting the last stitch of each row through the back loop, and slipping the first stitch purlwise to make a neat selvedge on the buttonband and collar. For the buttonholes I tried TECHKnitter’s tulips buttonhole. Also somewhat involved, but look at how symmetrical it is:

The keen observer will notice that there are no buttons sewn on as yet. Susan just couldn’t find the right ones in time for me to sew them on, but she has assured me see found the perfect ones now. I hope she will send me a picture soon – apparently it fits her perfectly. Keep an eye out for Susan – if she’s wearing a red cardigan, it could well be this one.

25 Replies to “Knitting for Susan Crawford – part 1”

  1. *speechless* will come back and leave a proper remark when I have gotten over the impressive technical achievement here and the extreme tidiness of ALL THOSE SEAMS!

  2. Thanks Dr. KИITSOИIK! The side seams were seamed up using mattress stitch and the sleeves were sewn in using a back stitch. First time ever for me to do so – not too bad a job I think 🙂

  3. Lovely–just lovely! Every detail just so–and that is what makes Hand Made–Haute Couture–and not home made.

    The lace is lovely (the yarn perfect) the details put it over the edge! (and thank’s for the plug (the italian cast on)!

    1. Hi Helen,

      Thanks for the compliments. I can’t take credit for the yarn choice, that was of course Susan’s!

      Your video was so clear that when I wanted to learn a new cast-on that was the one that clinched the deal for me, so to speak.

      Have a good weekend,

      Tom

  4. I *love* this – it’s almost certainly going to be my first project from the book when it arrives (and was also glimpsed with awe on the video). You’ve done such a fantastic job, and thanks for all the links too,

    Kate (pamina)

  5. It’s lovely! I saw this cardigan on Susan’s blog as part of a preview a while back and immediately fell in love!

    Thanks so much listing out all of your project notes. Most of those techniques are all new to me, but I think you’re right… This special cardigan needs extra special techniques. 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing. You did beautiful work.

  6. Knitting is a favorite past time of mine. I picked it up again when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter last year. I told my husband that I was going to knit our daughter a blanket for her ride home from the hospital. For my first real project it came out okay. It looks more like a towel but oh well. I am proud of it.Thinking about making some mittens this year!! Lets see how long those take:) Thank you for your great post!!! I look forward to hearing more from you.

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