This week I completed a project that I had long forgotten in my knitting bag.
I was really excited when I first started it because I considered the pattern I had chosen to be really pretty, elaborate and therefore a challenge. I was also thrilled because I had decided not to follow the original pattern instructions, but to make it a little more “me”.
The reason I had to leave it behind was that I had ran out of the yarn I was using (not that uncommon for me, I am one of those optimistic knitters who always believe that ‘leftovers’ will be more than enough to complete another project) and I had to wait to go back to Italy to get more. I had bought it on the street market so I wasn’t even sure I could find more, but I got lucky.
The pattern is from a really well known Italian magazine called Lana e Bimbi edited by Canetta, a company funded in 1881 who sells materials for knitting, crochet, embroidering; Canetta also owns Mani Di Fata, a publishing company that since 1925 provides magazines for all these hand made crafts.
I always admired their designs because I grew up with them. My grandmother bought their magazine and used their yarns, her sister was even more involved because she was also one of the official Canetta knitters (she knitted Canetta’s designs to be sold in their stores). During the Summer holidays we spent at least two months together in the Alps and their knitting intensified during that period. You can understand I started to love them for osmosis.
After my grandmother passed away I had to battle with my mother because we both wanted the sacred copies of this magazine that belonged to the elder females of our family. I won, amongst others, Lana e Bimbi 33 the issue which contains some of my first knitting projects from when I was a teenager.
I started to browse the magazine looking for inspiration and my attention was drawn to this model, here there is a picture of it.
I think it is lovely, but as you can see it may also scream OLD FASHION for many. I love classic stylish and maybe posh designs, but I am not a parent, and I probably stop at the aesthetic first impression of a baby garment without thinking about its practicality.
In this case, however, I tried to think how to find a compromise (afterall I knit for others).
First of all nowadays baby girls tend not to be dressed in pink. I personally don’t have any issue with colours and gender (if I like something I don’t think too much about it), but I know many do.
So off with the pink and on with white, a creamy white to be precise, appealing for a girl and maybe for a boy too.
Then I considered the stitch used to be beautiful, but a little too much, so I decided to knit the back in plain stockinette stitch to make the sweater a little lighter and less “girlish“.
Lastly, I modified the sleeves, again deciding to use stockinette stitch but including a band of the stitch used for the front of the cardigan.
I really love this cardigan and I hope to find someone who loves it as much as I do.
The question still remains, were my alterations enough to make it look more appealing to the modern mama or granma? Does it still look like something from a different century?
Let me know what you think about it!!
Bonus image, a detail of the stitch used