What Would Cecily Do?

This Christmas, I will have been knitting for exactly 3 years and in that time I have discovered many creative and innovative knitters whom I admire greatly.

I’m a big fan of Ysolda, Carol Feller, Wendy Bernard and without a doubt, Cookie A. Plus, all those extreme knitters who go out there and knit on the fly without a pattern. These people influence me because they dare to challenge conventional styling and knitting construction. This is only the tip of the iceberg where knitting talent is concerned!

Another favourite of mine is Cecily Glowik Macdonald. I love her work. I would so love to knit her sweaters without the need to alter them, because in my mind, there really is no need to. Her simple approach to construction, her focus on shape and the added touches of femininity puts me in mind of Louisa Harding but without the shapelessness.

So, what’s holding me back? Nothing, except my body! I am built in such a way that if each human was bred for a particular purpose in life, mine would be to hold up door frames, jack a car up, prop-support a subsiding house… anything that requires a large back, strong legs and broad shoulders! Clearly I should have been a power-lifter. This is why I have reservations about knitting and wearing any of Cecily’s garments, because it is clear to me that they are not designed for a person with a large upper body and narrow hips like me.

So, this was my way of getting the ‘Cecily‘ look!

I designed a wrap-over top that accentuates the bust, takes the focus away from the shoulders and creates a waist (where none exists, in my case). A contrast colour yarn is featured using a lace pattern that has a wavy contour and the wrap cord is an i-cord sash.

A small piece of metalwork was used as an eyelet to allow the sash to go through the fabric. In fact, I could have just simply squeezed the sash through the knitting, but there was a danger of spoiling the surrounding stitches. Another way of doing it would have been to pull a stitch with a crochet hook, widen the hole and then blanket stitch the hole’s edge. This would purposefully form a hole and protect the other stitches at the same time…  but I will investigate that method another time.

The hemline was finished off with a lengthened picot bind off. Annoyingly, all the edges curled up quite a bit, but after wet blocking and laying it flat to dry, everything settled down correctly.

Interestingly, this cardigan came out better than I expected. I managed to calculate the yardage precisely (for a change) and with a bit of patience and minor frogging in places, I managed to pull off the entire look. The yarn I used was MadelineTosh 80/10/10 Merino, Cashmere, Nylon in sport weight. A really generous and forgiving yarn. It is thick and bouncy and extremely soft – a dream to knit with! I want some more of it!

How do I look? Do I still look like I could lift a truck with one arm, while pumping iron with the other? I don’t think so! 😉

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