Friday Field Work: Darling Emma…on Fire

Oh, she got both feet on the ground, and she’s burning it down. Oh, she got her head in the clouds, and she’s not backing down. This girl is on fire…

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So, I have a confession to make. I’ve never read Jane Austen *cue disgusted gasps*. I have Emma sitting around somewhere at my house, but I don’t even think I’ve picked it up. However, if this cardigan is anything like the character of Emma Woodhouse then she must have been a girl on fire. This thing makes me feel fierce! Rawr!

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Hah, notice the leopard print duct tape I used to repair the heel of that flat.

Darling Emma is another perfect design by Joji Locatelli. I love all of her work. All of her designs manage to be elegant, interesting, sturdy, and most importantly, functional. Specifically, the woman knows how to design a cardigan and I love me some cardigans.

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This knit originally calls for fingering weight yarn (Madeline Tosh Merino Light seems to be the most popular) and is knit on US4 and US2. However, because I am a glutton for punishment, I decided to knit this in a lace weight on a size US3. Thats right, all 1,600 yards of this thing. Surprised my fingers didn’t fall off. I used 3 skeins of Prism Euroflax lace weight color way Ember.

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I’m pleased to say that I didn’t find any errata in the pattern. The instructions are clear, well written and any issues I had were simply due to me either a.knitting too late at night, b.reading the pattern zoomed in on my iPad and skipping sections (derp), or c.having brain farts in which I forgot how to knit entirely.

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Mods:

1. I knit the entire cardigan on US3 with a lace weight yarn. It’s important to note that linen has a different feel and shape than other lace weight yarns. If you want a lace weight cardi, consider that linen will not be soft and fluffy and the entire garment will be heavier and have more hang on it than say, merino or alpaca/silk (click the links to see examples of cardi knit out of these fibers) However, linen will soften up as you knit and pull the yarn through your fingers as well as with wear and cleaning. Linen also isn’t as warm. I live in Arkansas, so for Oct-Nov I really wont need any heavy duty coverage. Don’t get me wrong, this knit and a nice shawl keep me comfortable in chilly morning weather, but I doubt I’d be able to wear this out in December without a heavy overcoat. Knitting this cardigan in fingering weight merino would be a much cozier and warmer knit. Or you could knit it in a sport weight for a coat! Go check out the projects section for this knit, a lot of ladies have made this cardi a lot of different ways. Go be inspired!

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Bought my shawl pin from HandHeld Knitting 🙂

2. I originally tried to knit my sleeves as instructed by the pattern, but I just wasn’t feeling it. The garter stitch cuff in  linen was not flattering at all. I ripped my sleeves back (which was painful) and instead knit them until they fell, without stretching, to the top knuckle of my thumb. Then I purled three rows and bound off very loosely.

IMG_26473. No ties at the back. Partially because after finally finishing, I honestly couldn’t bring myself to knit on this anymore, partially because my boss recommended that I not add them. It’s perfect the way it is. There’s about a 50:50 ratio of ladies on Ravelry who added ties or not.  I think it looks good either way, just go with what you feel!

IMG_26384. Finishing. I did not wet block this. Instead, I gave it a very thorough once over with a steamer. I hung the cardigan up and went over the lace very carefully to get it to open up. Also, I steamed the sleeves heavily so that I could get just a few more centimeters of length on them. As a result, the sleeves hang a little past my second set of knuckles, which I love.

A note about gauge: I am a very loose knitter. This has it’s pros and cons, but for this knit I think it was mostly a pro. This cardigan is long. I’m 5’8” and it hangs  past my knees. I attribute that to a combination of the weight of the yarn,my loose gauge, and heavy steaming. My gauge on this is about an inch per 8 rows.

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Overall, the only suggestion I have is that you carefully consider your yarn and what kind of cardigan you want before casting on and to check out all the different projects on Ravelry. Do you want a decorative layer? Do you want warmth and coziness? Do you want something down to your knees or your hips?

Thats it! If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message on Ravelry or email Joji Locatelli, she is very nice (can you tell I make a habit of emailing designers?) Also, one of my friends took these photos of me (Thank you, Morgan!) and lets just say not all of them were as elegant as the ones in the post. Start your weekend off with a giggle…

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IMG_2651Happy knitting! 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Friday Field Work: Darling Emma…on Fire

  1. Beautiful cardi, beautiful girl.

    I spend several days a week under studio lights (teaching a technical class via satellite television), and I’m always on the lookout for something to wear on camera. I think this cardigan might work in place of a hot confining blazer, and still look professional, depending on the yarn choice. Maybe hip-length with three-quarter sleeves…hmm. Worth thinking about. *places pattern in Ravelry queue*

    BTW, I had never read Austen until, um, three years ago? Whenever it was that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out: I read that book, then I read Austen’s original. It was good, but I still prefer Wuthering Heights. Give me Bronte angst over Austen manners! 🙂

    • Glad to have given you an idea! I feel like I couldn’t let myself read the Zombie parody of Jane Austen without first reading her actual work. Thats just me though. I don’t really like English lit from that time period is the issue.
      I prefer more early British Empire set stories than anything else really. Its not Jane Austen, it’s me!

  2. HOORAY! It’s amazing!!! Congrats on making it through SO MUCH LACE. I’ve never read Jane Austen too. However, I will have no qualms about skipping straight to the zombie version because I’ve already purchased that as an ebook and I hope to get to it soon.

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