Inside Crochet: Pleated Cardigan

I have often written about following people around the street, studying their knitwear.  I can't help it...its a compulsion. A jumper, hat or cardigan catches my eye and I am off - singularly focussed on figuring out how it was made. I have been known to trip over children, dogs and lampposts as I mentally deconstruct the knit or crochetwear. crochet 2 The Pleated Cardigan is no exception - inspired by one seen on the school run, I walked slowly behind the woman as she herded her children to the car, hoping I would seem less stalkerish than I felt. It wasn't her cardigan I actually liked as such, but a small detail of a gather at the waistband. I knew I needed to use that element in a design a bit more fitted and wearable than the oversized supermarket jumper the woman was wearing.  Loose and flowing at the back with  pleats gathering the waist just a shade above the natural waistline - a style that tends to be more flattering, accentuating a smaller (for most of us) part of the figure. Three quarter length lantern sleeves finish it off with a nod to practicality.

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And the yarn, oh the yarn.  Jeanette Sloan Silk Alpaca 4ply is just divine.  I really think that Jeanette has got it right with this yarn - it works up like a cloud - soft and luscious. The seamed, set in sleeves give the cardi just the right amount of structure - needed in such a drapey elegant yarn.

Much of my drive in designing is that I want to make things that are going to be used and worn and loved.  Be under no illusion, a cardigan out of 4ply silk-alpaca yarn is a commitment, both in terms of time and expense, but its designed to be a wardrobe staple. It is the type of thing that can be dressed up for work with a pencil skirt and blouse or over jeans for the weekend. Its flattering shape means that the work you put in is paid off with something, I hope, special.

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Inside Crochet Issue 46 is out now.

Photos copyright Britt Spring.

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