Another little cardigan with leaf buds

In spite of all I said about the little leaf  bud cardigan in this post, I couldn’t resist making it again for my husband’s five year old granddaughter. This time it’s in pink as it’s her favourite colour. In my haste to get it posted to arrive in time for her birthday last week (at which I’m usually very bad) I forgot to take any photographs, hence this headless picture as I think nowadays one should get permission before showing photographs of other people’s children … and I really wanted to get a short post out today.

‘Marcie’ cardigan (pattern by Sarah Hatton from the book Little Rowan Kids)

Now I’m in a dilemma. Daughter No 2 likes the cardigan so much she wants me to scale it up and make one for her. At first I said yes, bought a pattern similar to this but for an adult, to be done in a yarn with a very nearly similar tension (yes, that very nearly similar is worrying me too!). I thought I could then just leaf bud away… But the more I think about it, the more I think I’m not up to the domino fall of complexities. I mean if it were a child’s jumper, experimentation would be just about do-able, but I’m not sure I have  the heart to start a project using a large amount of quite expensive yarn without being more sure of the outcome. I haven’t told her yet and will wait till  I’ve done a bit more research to see if I can find a ready made pattern of similar shape and decorative stitch. Any ideas from you experienced knitters?


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  1. Lesley Moreland
    Posted November 8, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    You can use the tension square recommendation in your pattern to ‘size up’. Knit a tension square in the yarn you intend to you for your daughter’s version and check the number of stitches and rows. The number of stitches is more vital than the rows. If it is a match to the pattern tension square you can calculate the number of stitches needed for your adult size with that or use your tension square in the new yarn if it is different e.g. if tension square is 24 stitches to 4” then divide the number of inches across at the armhole by 4 and multiply by 24 and that will give you the underarm width of stitches. Sorry, really difficult to describe but easier once you do it! Good luck!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted November 8, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Gosh, thanks, this is enlightening, Lesley. It sounds complicated but do-able if I work through it. Thanks for bothering to write it out so clearly.

  2. Posted November 8, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Phew! I’m glad there was someone to chip in and help, because that sort of adaptation is beyond my experience as yet..!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted November 8, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I’m a real greenhorn too. I have a feeling there’s a solution but – until now – no idea how to go about finding it!

  3. Helen
    Posted November 8, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Kate Davies has a very clear explanation of tensions and swatching and adapting and links to others on line that might help. I would say that if you can sort out the number of stitches that you then ought to be able to space out the leaves ( and the cardi is lovely). You need a bit of squared paper to plot it out. Mary you are so talented I am sure you can do it. Just keep swatching until you have got the tension and the stitch count settled and then think about the spacing. Ravelry also have tutorials online.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted November 9, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for these helpful references Helen. I can see from both your comment and Lesley’s that I shall need to sit down with a clear head, no other commitments and just work through these things. At the moment life is a series of spasmodic episodes and I need knitting and embroidery to relax and be non demanding. But you do give me hope that sizing up and adapting patterns is doable, for which I am very grateful.

  4. Amara Bray
    Posted November 19, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    No experience at all I’m afraid, but the child cardigan turned out lovely.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted November 21, 2019 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Amara.

  5. Ros
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Even simpler than the suggestion above, check the gauge given for the child’s cardigan and then find a pattern for an adult cardigan with the same gauge. Then, although you should, as always, check that your actual knitting gauge is the same as that given in the pattern, you will be able to substitute the rosebud pattern into the adult cardigan without worrying that it will change the proportions of the finished garment.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted November 24, 2019 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for this, Ros. I have tried to do just as you suggest but as yet unfortunately I haven’t found a pattern with the same tension.
      That would really be the ideal solution and probably I should try harder, but there’s always something else to do that involves less hassle!

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