Long Cardigan

Long CardiganI just finished a long cardigan that has been in the making for a while. I am known for having many projects going on in parallel, and this knit has had to give way for my new passion for shoemaking. Nevertheless it is now off the needles, mounted, washed and blocked. I never knit from a pattern but make it up as I go along. Usually I draw a quick sketch and knit a lot of samples until I get the exact gauge and effect I want. I always wash or steam the final sample before counting the stitches and finally is able to make the calculations for my project.

For this cardigan I wanted a very large check with the effect of being a rough weave. This, I was able to achieve by knitting the whole sweater in moss stitch, and knitting the first and last stitch in the vertical stripes alternate light and mustard coloured. The yarn I used for this is Filcolana Peruvian Highland Wool colour 977-Marcipan and 136-Mustard bought at the local shop Garn10.

Long CardiganTo avoid having to follow the mustard yarn through behind the large checks, I divided the yarn into 8 balls, equivalent to the 7 vertical stripes and one for the horisontals. It was a bit of a struggle keeping track of them all, but absolutely a beautiful solution.

Long CardiganA close up of the check.

Long CardiganAnd the final cardigan. The slim sleeves makes a great contrast to the oversize body and the dropped sleeves. I think I am gonna move into this one for the next couple of months when the weather is very shifting and maybe just as an alternative jacket for the cool spring mornings. Finally a video of the Italian bind off that I have used for both sleeves, pockets and the long rib selvedge. This is my absolut favourite for 1X1 rib for its elasticity and sharp looking edge.

Lace Boots – Toe Cap

Lace Boots - Toe capNow that the uppers are sewn and the insoles prepared, it is time for the first lasting. The upper is moistened to make the leather more flexible, and using the shoemakers pliers, it is pulled in shape over the instep, heel and toe. This will be the first and roughest of the lastings, so the nails are placed a little bit further apart than I intend to do on the final. The boots are then left to dry until next day.

Lace Boots - Toe capThe outer leather is carefully pulled back while the lining stays on the last. Placement marks for the toe caps are made on the lining. The toe cap is made of vegetable tanned leather, skived to nothing at the edges and sanded down with sand paper. It is soaked in homemade shoemakers paste and lasted on the toe. Finally it is compressed with a shoemakers hammer to obtain stability of the leather.

Lace Boots - Toe capHere is the lasted toe cap, now left to dry before the next process. The heel cap is done in the same way.