Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Knit In Progress: Islay

Back in April I saw on Instagram and Facebook that Gudrun Johnston had released a beautiful new cardigan pattern called Islay (named after an island on the west coast of Scotland). I fell in love with it immediately. I loved it so much that I kept the Ravelry pattern page open on my browser for days. I would stare at the photos wistfully, wishing I was knitting it now, but knew I had no right casting on a new project - especially when I already had two other garments on the needles. How am I suppose to get anything done around here if I keep casting on new projects? Not to mention that my hands still aren't feeling 100% (more like 50%) and so I don't see any knitting marathons happening any time soon. So why should I even consider casting on another garment?  


Well, you know how it is. Anyhoo, fast forward a few days (weeks?) later and Gudrun Johnston announces that she's going to host an Islay KAL. I'm not sure if this is the Universe's way of telling me that it's ok, I should cast on this cardigan or if I'm simply grasping at straws trying to find reasons to cast on this cardigan. I'm going to say it's probably a little bit of both. Regardless, since this is me talking here and I'm seemingly the most indecisive person on the planet, I had to overthink think about whether or not if I should join the KAL and if this would just be putting unnecessary stress and pressure on myself. And would I be causing harm to my hands by forcing myself to knit this cardigan up in a month...when I have a lot of other things that are also hand-intensive. 

The cardigan and the KAL weighed on my mind for what seems like eternity. Finally I decided, what the heck, why not? The supposed deadline of July 1st was more for those who wanted to be in the running for the grand prize. I, on the other hand, just wanted a reason to cast on the cardigan. It's amazing how much I can stress myself out by overthinking things! Which brings me to another matter that I had to overthink: yarn choices. Colour choices, to be more exact.

I wanted to knit from stash (even though I was really tempted to purchase some SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash Sport from my LYS, as I have yet to try that base from the SGY lineup), and have a very limited amount of sport weight in sweater quantities. No matter what I knit, I usually have a ton of yarn leftover, so this eliminated a few yarns. In the end I came out of the stash with some Bugga by Cephalopod Yarns and some BFL by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I was completely undecided about which colour to chose (surprise, surprise). In the end I went with the Bugga in the super stunning Charaxes Tiridate colourway:

This colour is so rich, so saturated that I had a hard time trying to pick up the gorgeous tidbits of tonal colouring within it. Once in a while I'll get a flash of a lighter blue, kind of like a deep cyan, and those are my favourite bits to knit up. I think it just adds so much depth and interest. Hence why I love knitting with hand-dyed tonals for garments.

So far the yarn has been a delight to knit with, it's slightly crunchy but that's due to the dye. I've only ever knit with Bugga once before this project, and that was for a shawl (I just searched for the post about this shawl and realized that I have not blogged about it!! Yikes!!) and once it was washed and blocked the yarn really softened up and felt incredibly silky and cuddle-y. I haven't been able to knit too much on this cardigan due to my hands and because my Kiddo has requested that I knit him something (!!! YESSSS!!!). So as of today I'm about 3.5" into this bottom up cardi. I'm hoping my hands will be up to the challenge of putting in some serious work on this knit over the weekend, which also happens to be a long weekend. On top of that, the Kiddo has a Pro-D day on Friday. I highly doubt I'll be able to get much work done with him around. So glad that knitting is portable!!

I really can't say too much about the pattern at the moment since I don't have much knit up, but if it's anything like Gudrun's other patterns then I can safely say it'll be nothing but a wonderful knitting experience. The one and only other pattern I've ever knit of Gudrun's was Audrey in Unst, which is hands down one of the best patterns I've ever knit from. Seriously. Gudrun knows how to write a very thorough, well-written pattern and thought out every single detail for you without confusing you with excessive and massive blocks of text. Audrey was such a joy to knit that it made me look forward to knitting up Islay.  

To keep up with my cardigan progress you can check out my Instagram feed, but I'll make sure to pop in from time to time and post updates here when I've actually got some more knitting accomplished!

In the meantime, Happy Knitting Friends! 


  1. Interesting that your bugga has a crunchy texture! I've knit with a TON of bugga and it's usually baby-bum-soft from all the cashmere. My guess is that the dark blue color is the cause, like you suggested. That's going to be a lovely cardi!

  2. love the colour! And that KAL was definitely a sign- you and Islay were meant to be!


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