Lace edge cardigan for a little girl

Lace edge cardigan (Debbie Bliss; in baby cashmerino)

Lace edge cardigan (Debbie Bliss; in baby cashmerino)

My second knitting attempt is a little cardigan I made for my husband’s newest granddaughter, now nearly 5 months. I used a Debbie Bliss pattern (from her book Simply Baby; pub. Quadrille 2006) and the recommended yarn, her Baby Cashmerino (55% wool, 33% acrylic, 12% cashmere). It was a slightly alarming pattern as it is knitted all in one piece, apart from the lace edge, which means you have a lot of knitting on your needles – seemingly too much for a small baby. Well, I held my nerve, but even though I chose the smallest size, it has still come up quite big. Fortunately, what began as a very tiny baby has grown considerably, so now I’m worrying about whether she’s too big for it…

Lace edge cardigan (Debbie Bliss; in baby cashmerino)

Lace edge cardigan (Debbie Bliss; in baby cashmerino)

The colour of the wool is a bit less grey than in the photographs, being a putty pink verging on mauve (the colour has no name, just the identifying number 340608.) Before I began, my only request of the pattern would have been to have had a simple line drawing – along the format of photograph 2 above – as I think knowing what shape I was aiming for would have helped a novice like me a lot.

Lace edge cardigan (Debbie Bliss; in baby cashmerino)

Lace edge cardigan (Debbie Bliss; in baby cashmerino)

The pattern was quite simple and manoeuvres I was unfamiliar with were well explained. (That is if you didn’t panic, if you took a break to clear your head or left it and came back to it another day – casting off the front and back top edges of the garment at the same time being a case in point. Once done, this was, however, a great source of pride!) I loved doing the lace edging when I got in rhythm with the pattern and I could quite happily have knitted miles of it without stopping. I fact I did knit more than the pattern suggested as I thought it would be so much nicer if the lace went all the way around the bottom of the cardigan too. Fortunately the pattern massively overstated the amount of yarn needed and, even having made more lace, I now have a full ball and a quarter remaining. (I now feel a stripey jumper and possibly a fairisle coming on – there was quite a lot remaining from the jumper I made my grandson too!)

Lace edge cardigan (from Debbie Bliss' s book Simply Baby, Quadrille, 2006)

Lace edge cardigan (from Debbie Bliss’ s book Simply Baby, Quadrille, 2006)

This is more of a shrug than a cardigan, being made to be worn without any fastening. I’m a bit unsure as to whether this will prove to be a problem and for a while I wondered whether to attach a couple of ribbons beneath the lace edging so you could tie a bow if the cardigan felt too flappy. Last week I did try the garment – finished except for the lace edging – on my robust, sturdy 14 month grandson and was surprised at how – given it was much too small for him – the garter stitch curved snugly too the body … so I hope it’ll be alright on somebody the right size. I am really beginning to get this knitting bug.


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  1. Anne Hill
    Posted February 20, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I am so impressed. I do a little knitting but it is not my forte. That knitted lace is wonderful.

    Not being a great lover of chocolate I am looking forward to your lenten biscuits.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      My next post will have some biscuits you might like Anne. Made for after our Ash Wednesday service, the wasn’t a chocolate crumb in sight.

  2. Posted February 20, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    It looks delightful – and they say nothing succeeds like success, don’t they – no wonder you’ve been bitten by the bug….!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Thank you Rachel. Yes, it all comes down to experience, though there’s a certain frisson in not quite knowing where something is going, which is where I tend to be with knitting patterns at the moment,

  3. Penny Cross
    Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely LOVE this style and colour, and you’ve totally inspired me to get the pattern and wool next week despite trying to finish a quilt started on Boxing Day. I made a Debbie Bliss cardigan for my 13-month old granddaughter a few months ago but ignored the crocheted edging as I’m unteachable as far as crochet goes (really, I’ve had at least 5 despairing teachers) and instead sewed a very pretty floral bias binding around the whole garment which made it ‘sing’.

    I’m incredibly lucky to have had two granddaughters born last year. Sometimes I think my head is in danger of spinning off with all the things I plan to make as well as quilts for daughters-in-law.

    (By the way, I recognise that marvellous quilt in the background you showed us about 18 months ago, I think. You cannot imagine how many times I sighed over it.)

    • Mary Addison
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Yes, I found the lace edging frustrating to begin with and just kept unpicking and starting again until I got it. Then, with the rhythm of the pattern established, I was away and couldn’t understand what my initial problems had been.I did find I could only put down my needles after each 10 row unit of pattern or I would get lost and have to unravel back to the first 5 stitches of the segment.
      It is exciting having little ones to sew and knit for and I know what you mean about your head in a spin with lots of possibilities.
      The quilt is about 35 years old is perhaps the most worn one I have. This was in Liberty Varuna and viyella – it has not worn especially well and is quite faded – clever you to spot it.

  4. Posted February 22, 2015 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    That is so pretty Mary! I love the gentle colour and the lace edging finishes it off perfectly X

    • Mary Addison
      Posted February 23, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Penny.

  5. Betsy
    Posted March 4, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Such a sweet sweater! I knitted a hooded sweater for my darling grandgirl1 and have yet to get the zipper in! It zips DOWN the backside, from the top of the hood to the bottom of the sweater, so no one can escape their jacket without help! LOL It is a good thing that she now has a younger sister that it will fit …AND a third sister is on the way in May! I will be in Germany for the birth of our third Grandgirl then. I am so excited! I’d better get off your blog and get my zipper installed!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 4, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Well, best of luck putting the zip in – I’m sure it will be well received as there’s nothing nicer than something handmade. I’m quite a new knitter but I think I’ve got the bug now and can’t wait to start something else.
      May is a lovely month to be born – how lovely that you will be there at the time.

  6. Rachel Pearce
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    I am reading and re-reading that section on casting off the top edges and just can’t seem to make sense of it! Any tips? Your finished garmet is lovely! X

    • Mary Addison
      Posted December 20, 2015 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

      Do you know Rachel, I’ve had a brief look at the pattern and I’ve no idea what I did. But I remember it just seemed to work as the pattern suggested.
      I will, however, look again with a bit more concentration and get back to you tomorrow.
      For all that I was a bit irritated that the Debbie Bliss website said it might take several weeks before it answered queries, they did in fact reply within that stated time and so I would say they are worth trying (unless you want to finish your little jacket before Christmas).

      • Rachel Pearce
        Posted December 21, 2015 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Thank you so much! Will try to read it over, and contact them as you suggest! It won’t be finished by Christmas so that’s no longer a concern! X

        • Mary Addison
          Posted December 21, 2015 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

          Rachel, I’ve just had another look at the pattern and tried to think about it but the trouble is without the garment in front of me I just can’t quite envisage what I did. I can only repeat that I remember thinking when I reached the bit of pattern you mentioned it went more smoothly than I expected. I appreciate that this is no help if you have actually got to that point and are perplexed. But if you are reading ahead and thinking it all looks too complicated there is perhaps hope.
          Do try the Debbie Bliss email – they do need feed back as to what people find difficult and we shouldn’t protect them from queries just because we think the problem lies in ourselves – they don’t usually in things like this. But also you could try asking for help in a local John Lewis (if there is one), a friendly local knitting shop or go to Loop in Islington (the latter only if you live in London). Loop were very helpful to me when I was desperate and completely baffled as how to carry on. Best of luck, I do sympathise, it is so frustrating reaching a brick wall – even if it is only made of wool.

          • Rachel Pearce
            Posted December 23, 2015 at 6:50 am | Permalink

            Thank you so much Mary-I managed it last night! After a few false starts putting the front shoulder stitches on the needle the wrong way around, I finally figured out that it meant wrong side facing when the front panels were sort folded on top of the back, and also that I had to used three needles! I’m not very experienced in making up cardigans.
            But you were right, once I had figured that out, it did work as expected, and has made a lovely neat shoulder seam.

          • Mary Addison
            Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

            Very glad to hear you did it Rachel – your experience sounds just like mine. The three needles were a bit unwieldy and I’m not sure that I didn’t transfer one to a stitch holder which at least meant I didn’t have to worry about loosing them. I really enjoyed doing the lace edging but I did spend a quite a time doing a sample which helped me find a rhythm.

  7. de Sousa, Helena B.
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Hi there in having trouble knitting the edging
    I started with 5 stitches after a few rows of knitting following the pattern there are stitches left …
    Maybe I don’t understand the pattern
    Please guide me to finish my cardigan …
    Just the edging part I’m in doubt.
    Thank you so much in advance.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 5, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Sorry not to have replied but glad others have helped you with this Helena.

  8. de Sousa, Helena B.
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Thank you all.
    Love knitting and challenging knitting especial edgings.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 5, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I really enjoyed this edging and found it an enchanting little bolero.

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