A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to have the chance to review a kit from We are knitters.
I chose the beautiful, practical and cosy Shimo cardigan in The Petite Wool which is a beautifully soft 100% Peruvian wool. It’s available in over 20 colours and I choose Navy Blue.
My kit arrived 5 days after I ordered it and this is what I received in the box:
5 100g balls of The Petite Wool
8mm wooden needles
A label for my finished cardigan
A sheet of fun stickers
I couldn’t wait to get started so I ignored all the jobs I was supposed to be doing and cast on straight away.
The Shimo cardigan has a fancy lacey border around the bottom so, unless you start with the sleeves you are straight into the pattern. In the booklet instructions the lacy border is given as a chart. I photocopied the chart, enlarging it slightly (120%) so that I could draw on it, crossing out the lines as I did them.
This kit is classed as intermediate and that seems right to me. I am an experienced knitter, I’ve been knitting since I was a child and over the years I’ve tackled cable, fairisle and lacey designs as well as nice plain and simple things. I had to concentrate on the pattern sections but it was all very do-able.
I couldn’t frog any rows of the pattern though, if I made a mistake I had to undo the lot and start again - luckily that only happened once! I’ve never been able to undo a lacey pattern though, I lose all those yarn overs!
I did make a couple of diversions from the original pattern design:
I started the bottom of the back and sides with 2 rows of knit (garter stitch) instead of them being stocking stitch. I thought it might help it not to roll up as stocking stitch has a tendency to roll a bit sometimes.
The original pattern has a square neckline but I fancied more of a v neck so I tweaked the pattern just a little. just by decreasing one every 5 rows on the neck edge from row 71 onwards. When I came to do the edging I just picked up stitches evenly along my sloped edge as directed by the pattern.
On the back where there was an off centre diamond of pattern higher up that I missed out. I’m just not a fan of asymmetric things, I’ve no idea why but I like symmetry and it was an easy tweak!
The lacey pattern was quite bunched when my knitting was finished but as soon as I’d sewn it together I blocked it very gently and the lacey design emerged beautifully.
I’m generally a UK size 10 and I knitted my Shimo cardigan in the S/M size. It’s a great fit and a lovely length.
It’s a little bit to warm here right now for such a cosy cardie in the daytime, but it’s been great already for cooler evenings outside and I know come the autumn and winter I’ll get lots of wear from it. The dark blue means it will go with everything!
I’ve really enjoyed my experience trying out this We are Knitters kit. The yarn feels so luxurious and was a dream to knit with. I’ve always loved the feel of wooden needles, I like the warmth they have compared to metal needles. I did have to be careful when sewing the cardigan together that I didn’t tug too hard on the natural wool and tear it. I work mostly with cotton or acrylic mix yarns so I can be a bit rough on them, this soft pure wool needed handling with a little more care!
For me the only drawback here, and this is going to make me sound really old fashioned, was the photos online and on the kit bag didn’t really show the cardigan off very well. They are arty photos and look great but compared to the ‘bam! there it is, this is a cardigan’ type photos that you get with more traditional knitting patterns it was hard to see what shape and fit the finished garment was going to be. The way round that is to look on Instagram and #weareknitters and #shimocardigan, I found quite a few people who have shared their makes and that really helped me see what I was aiming for.
Talking of photos do you want to see some photoshoot outtakes? Of course you do!! In the second one I was going for the ‘ooo this is so cosy’ look, I’m not sure WHAT was happening in the first one! Suffice to say I didn’t miss my calling to be a fashion model that’s for sure!!
We are Knitters kits are not cheap, but the whole experience of the kit is very luxurious and I’m SO pleased with my resulting cardigan. A kit like this would make an amazing gift for a special friend who knits - someone who you know would properly appriciate what they had!