I was about to put my sweater on this morning, the “Levenwick” cardigan knitting pattern, a top-down raglan design by Gudrun Johnston, mentioned way back in September, when I remembered that I hadn’t written about its finish. Christmas came in between Levenwick and a whole bunch of other knitting, so it was side-tracked for quite a while, but finally finished in early February, and I wear it all the time. (Here, it looks a little lop-sided, March’s wind is blowing this morning.) Read on….
Gudrun had knit the cardigan pattern with Jared Flood’s “Shelter” yarn, wonderful shades, glorious yarn, but a little rich for my yarn budget. So I chose Plymouth Yarn’s “Paca Tweed,” which was a little like “back to the future” in that it reminded me of the many times I had knit with Lopi Lite when the children were younger. It’s a nice, soft rich yarn, easy to work with, in an array of warm colors for winter.
The Levenwick pattern in reverse stockinette stitch was so much fun and gave me just the challenge I needed to keep my interest. I learned several new stitch patterns, knitting the top-down raglan design. The first challenge was the “invisible increase purl-wise,” which didn’t seem at first glance invisible at all. But after checking the forum on Ravelry, I found other knitters with the same complaint, and in the end, it worked beautifully into the design. The technical terms in the pattern are so well explained, that you really can’t miss.
The invisible increase purl-wise is done by inserting the right hand needle from the top down into the purl bump below the first purl stitch on the left needle, purl that stitch, then purl the next one. Sounds easy, but was a whole new kettle of fish to me and interesting.
The other really new thing was the i-cord bind off. You begin by casting on 3 stitches in front of the stitches to be bound off, using the backward loop method. Knit two of the new stitches and SSK the other new stitch with one of the original stitches, then slip 3 stitches back to the left hand needle and repeat from “Knit two…” Always work on the RS, pulling the yarn from left to right across the back, just like a simple i-cord. You finish with three stitches and bind off with a slip 1, K2tog, PSSO. Here you see the sleeve edge bound off, using the i-cord bind off. You will also use it on the hem.
The little pocket was fun, too!
Things I would do differently, should I knit Levenwick again:
1. Increase the sleeve length. While the pattern calls for the trendy 3/4 length sleeves, I don’t like tugging at my sleeve under a coat, so I would lengthen the sleeves 3 to 4 inches. But the shorter sleeve length looks so much more stylish worn alone with skirts and jeans. So, I’m torn.
2. Find more horn buttons. These, I had purchased long ago at Windsor Button in Boston. I removed them from an old handmade sweater that I don’t wear much any more. Horn buttons are expensive, but really set off this colorway yarn and sweater design. When the sweater is buttoned, using just three buttons, the sweater appears an asymmetrical design, which is one I enjoy wearing. When buttoned all the way down, the cardigan is even though.
3. I would knit the sweater a little larger, too. My sweater fits as it should in the pattern photo, but I might like it a little looser so that it is easily worn over another top.
All in all, I really enjoyed knitting Gudrun Johnston’s “Levenwick” pattern, it posed a few new challenges and not the same old, same old. You can purchase the Levenwick pattern on Ravelry as a pdf download, at Tangled-yarn in the UK, or at Brooklyn Tweed, where you can also purchase the prescribed yarn, “Shelter.”
Read about another just finished project, Charlotte’s Fair Isle, a free pattern from Icelandic Yarns.