It feels like a very long time since I blogged, it hasn’t really, but January really is a notoriously long month. I’m sure it’s got an extra 15 days or something. Anyway I’m not here to discuss the relativity of January, I’m here to show you my new cardigan!

This is the Blackwood cardigan from Helens Closet. And this review of the pattern is going to get confusing… by that I mean the whole experience was very hot and cold. So to give you an idea (if you’ve never come across it before), this is what the Blackwood should come out as…

I set out to make the longer version on the left… because I love a long cardigan.

Let’s start right at the beginning here. I don’t know whether it was the printing quality or what, but this was absolutely the worst PDF I have ever had the pleasure of sticking together… I genuinely felt angry after I had stuck it together. But I persisted, and I’m glad I did!

The pattern recommends a jersey with a good amount of stretch to it… and I decided to go another way. I had a boucle style jersey which had next to no stretch! It was also very thick which made some folding and pressing tricky… but I persevered!

Putting the pieces together was very easy! In this sense I really likes the pattern! Great instructions and simple construction!

I know what you’re thinking… there’s something missing from my cardigan, which is very clearly on the pattern illustration. Yes, I decided to not put on the bottom band. Well actually I did put it on, but then when I tried my coat over the top of it the cardigan hung down much lower than the coat. For that reason alone I decided to remove it. I think next time I’ll shorten the body a little so I can have it on… I like how it looks.

As I mentioned, the fabric was a little tricky to fold and press, which made adding the pockets difficult. But I did like how the pockets were constructed. But I would prefer them a little higher, which will happen anyway if I shorten the body.

Another problem I had was that this fabric is really scratchy…. ick! So, if you look closely at the above picture, you can see the lovely soft bamboo jersey lining I put in the sleeves! Boom, sorted!

There’s something I really like about this cardigan, and yet something I really don’t like at the same time. It was an experiment, and perhaps not the best first attempt at the Blackwood. The idea was to create a sort of jacket cardigan… not quite a coatdigan, a jackdigan. It does manage that! Yet I can’t get enthusiastic about it!

As far as the pattern goes, once you’ve got that PDF stuck together, it’s plain sailing! And yes I have another planned already. I would like it to get a bit closer to meeting at the front, I wonder whether going up a size or two would help with that?


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