|The Livia Cardigan is sized from kids to adults and is a FREE download|
So with all the gift knitting delivered to grateful recipients and a strange sense of needing something new and exciting to start the year, what do us knitters typically turn to? Well, knitting of course!
And not just any knitting. January typically heralds the 'sweater cast on phenomenon', and is something I seem to fall prey to every year. I wonder if this sudden urge to cast on a large project is prompted by a rekindled sense of purpose and intent that the New Year always seems to bring, or if the colder weather triggers an inner need to knit cosy items to comfort ourselves with? Maybe, having knitted so much for other people, our selfish side decides it's time to pick up the needles and knit something just for 'me'.
Where before Christmas the urgency to complete lots of gifts drives me to heavier weight yarns and simple garter projects, the New Year sees me looking for a considerable challenge . . . in a lighter weight yarn that I can indulge in and spend time with. I find that I want cables, and complex stitch patterns - shaping, colourwork and charts, interesting construction and a canvas bag filled with lots of balls of yarn all eager to be knitted up into something extraordinary!
This poor sweater has quite a brief to meet. And in order to find the exact pattern to tick all of the boxes, I've been browsing the MillaMia adults women's patterns. These are my top picks - all cardigans!
First up is the Daniel Cardigan from our latest book Winter Knitting. A fairly simply shaped cardigan with a shawl collar and patch pockets, the real interest is in the fabulous fairisle section adorning the middle.
|The Daniel cardigan is warm, cosy and oversized - perfect for the chilly winter evenings|
Next is more fairisle in the form of the Kia Kimono from High Society. This cardigan is all about the pretty fairisle yoke and the interesting symmetrical opening and although there is a fair amount of straight stocking stitch the other elements will provide just enough interest to keep it moving along.
|The Kia Kimono has a beautiful stranded colourwork yoke which makes it interesting to for even the most experienced knitter|
With some pretty cable on each panel, shaping and rib edging the Charlie Cardigan from Country Escape is not the most difficult garment to knit, BUT it is a wonderfully versatile transitional piece and one that I can see me wearing right through to early summer.
|The Charlie Cardigan in Claret from Country Escape|
Last, but by no means least is my pick of the bunch - the Livia Cardigan. This lovely jacket meets the challenge element of my brief as it has some complex cabling all over the garment AND bobbles. It is knitted in pieces which gives it great fit and structure and best of all it's a FREE pattern (download it here). The sizing goes from child right up to adult so you could knit one for yourself and then another for a daughter or granddaughter once the selfish knitter has been appeased!
|The Livia Cardigan in Sable - cables and bobbles make it wonderfully textured and warm|
With 20 balls of MillaMia Naturally Soft Merino in Berry just sitting quietly in my stash, it seems a shame not to cast on right away doesn't it?
(posted by Max)