Sunday, 5 April 2009


Yesterday I finished Liesl, an airy feather-and-fan cardigan by Edinburgh knitting goddess Ysolda Teague, and today I got my friend Simone to take some pictures of me wearing it around various Emmanuel College vegetation.

This was fairly straightforward knit, marginally marred by a minor mare I had with one of the sleeves. The pattern is excellent, and provides so many different options - such as whether to make a bolero or cardigan - that I could see myself making a Liesl for every season. For a full-on Liesl experience, I listened to The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (where the inspiration for the name came from) on audiobook as I knit it.

The yarn is Fyberspates' aptly-named Scrumptious, in royal blue. It winked silkily out at me from the shelves of the marvellous k1 yarns in Edinburgh, and I snapped about 800 yards. I then worked myself into a bit of a tizz over what to make with it. It calls itself a dk, and I thought initially I might make this with it. It quickly became apparent, however, that it behaved much more like an aran or worsted weight yarn, trying to pass itself off as its more slender cousin.  I considered making this, a pattern I had been lusting after for a while, but worried about the high silk content (45%) of the yarn, and thought that this heavy fibre might cause a fitted cardigan to sag and stretch.
I eventually chose Liesl in the hope that if the silk did descend any further, it might look intentionally drapey. In the end, I think all my ruminations were slightly counterproductive, and I overestimated how much the yarn would stretch with blocking, with the result that the cardigan is on the small side. I haven't added buttons yet (that's my grandmother's cameo brooch fastening it in the photos), but I suspect that if I do, those little buttons are going to have a tough job keeping it closed!

Despite the size issue, I am very happy with my Liesl, and am sure I will get a lot of wear out of it. It's the perfect thing to have in your bag as insurance about the vagaries of the British climate. I love the subtle shimmer of the silk that makes every rippling purl ridge glisten like ocean waves, and I am very fond of the nubbly picot edge.

I have gone a little bit Ysolda crazy, and have two other projects designed by her on my needles at the moment, which I'll try and post about soon


  1. What a beautiful cardy. The ripple texture is so elegant and the fastening gives it such a classic quality. A really lovely piece.

  2. The "cardi" is just a sweater. Not beautiful. The woman wearing the cardi is beautiful.
    And the magnolia blossoms are BEAUTIFUL


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