A few months ago, I happened to revisit the Knitty First Fall 2012 issue and and re-discover an interesting design, Middlemarch. While not entirely my style of clothing, I was intrigued by the special technique, integrated lace, so I set out to knit it.
I chose to work with cotton instead of wool, in order to create a short sleeve all-season cardigan. At the time I was working with Schoppel-Wolle Osiris for Kimansi, and I was very pleased with how the yarn was behaving, so I chose Schoppel-Wolle Miro 4-fach (a very similar yarn) for the main body of Middlemarch. For the contrasting color, I used some cotton crochet thread I had in stash, which is significantly lighter than the fingering yarn that is called for.
Cotton yarns make this cardigan very easy to care for; it doesn’t need blocking. Some ironing is more than enough to block out the lace waistband.
The integrated lace technique is very very interesting. It basically is a way to knit lace with a ‘background’ and it seems a useful technique that can highlight color combinations & contrasts as well as wearable lace, without the need for sewing lining. I totally recommend reading through the technique on Knitty.
I performed several modifications. Most notable is the replacement of the buttons with an invisible zipper. It was my first time machine sewing an invisible zipper, so it was a good learning experience. I didn’t work the buttonbands at all, but instead worked the edges with single crochet.
I held both the MC and CC for the bottom edge ribbing together. I didn’t want to return to complete white afterwards and working the blue thread by itself also was not possible, so I came up with this solution. It looks quite good and does not interfere with the edge’s functionality. I also lengthened the sleeves by working more ribbing rows. Lastly, I worked the yoke edge with slip stitch crochet and crocheted some elastic thread in the inside to provide more stability and to prevent a stretch out while wearing the cardigan.
My gauge must have been a bit off, because the cardigan turned out a little too big. It is not unwearable, just not what I was expecting. for example, the whole waist area was supposed to be much narrower and form-fitting, and… it isn’t. Nevertheless, it was a good exploratory project and a great opportunity to learn and exercise new techniques!