Killybegs and Bundoran


Contemporary Irish Knits

This cardigan ‘Killybegs’ was the first design that was knitted for the book.  It was in fact finished when the book was barely an idea, rather than a reality!  The concept for this cardigan centered around creating a seemingly complex garment from the humble honeycomb stitch. The simple stitch pattern forms all the shaping for this cardigan.  Their is no waist shaping added, you can see how the honeycomb pattern (which has a ‘drawing in’ effect, as with all cables) is increased at the waist to form smooth organic waist shaping naturally.  It has the added bonus of creating a really interesting pattern using just the increases and decreases of the honeycomb repetition.

As you move up the body (did I forget to mention that it’s seamless worked from the bottom up!) you join the sleeves and the body together at the yoke.  I spent a really, really long time perfecting the decreases at the yoke.  All of the yoke decreases are worked into the honeycomb pattern to create a seamless honeycomb band around the yoke.  The back of the neck is raised a little at the very end using short rows and a neat, tidy I-cord finishes the neckline.

Speaking of I-cords, the bottom of the body is started using an I-cord cast-on.  This can be tricky to get right so I’d suggest experimenting with a swatch before you begin the garment to get it right.  If you just can’t get the first row to tighten up (this cast-on can create a loose first row) you have a couple of alternatives available.  The easiest to do is to work a provisional cast-on at the hem and then when you are working I-cord edging around the front you can work the I-cord edging along the bottom at the same time.

You can see here at the front I have opted for hook and eye closures.  This give a lovely smooth, clean finish.  If this isn’t your style just work I-cord buttonholes as you work the front edging instead.

The sleeves cuff also uses an I-cord cast-on and the honeycomb stitch to fit the cuff snugly at the wrist.

Once I had finished the Killybegs cardigan I started work on a complementary beret ‘Bundoran’.  This beret is also based on the honeycomb stitch with the crown decreases being worked into the honeycomb pattern.  After a few trial runs I opted to work the first few honeycomb repeats with spaces between, this helps to avoid the beret becoming too cable heavy.  There are two style options given in the book; a fitted style and a more slouchy style (shown here).

Both of these patterns are worked in Donegal Yarns ‘Aran Tweed’.  The texture and colors of this yarn are just a delight to work with and really complement the patterns.

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