Sinister Catdigan

PatternSinister Catdigan by Marna Gilligan
Dates7th February – 8th May 2020
MaterialsJohn Arbon Knit By Numbers 4ply
86 Purple – 272g
92 Teal – 55g
6 Grey – 39g

Neckband ribbing: 2.5mm
Cc1 : 3.0mm
Colourwork & body: 3.5mm
Hem ribbing: 3.0mm
RatingPattern: 4/5
Finished item: 3/5

Marna of An Caitin Beag has made a bit of a thing out of cat-themed products, and this one became a bit of a cult pattern. I got the pattern as a Christmas present and then set myself up with a steeking workshop at EYF 2019. I also bought the yarn and the buttons at the festival!

Everything ready, I of course then didn’t cast on for nearly another year. I swatched and then forgot to read my swatch notes, with the consequence that I started on smaller needles than I should have and, instead of frogging, decided to change up gradually over the course of the yoke. I don’t think it’s too noticeable, especially once blocked.

The pattern is fun and quite simple to knit, the colourwork is quite memorable and everything else is plain stockinette. I did start off too tight with my colourwork which has caused some puckering, but not too bad. The buttonbands were a pain to pick up and I ended up using a crochet hook and feeding stitches onto the needle, much easier! I also had to play around with the number of stitches to use for the buttonholes according to the buttons I had.

The steek itself went easily, but it was quite fiddly stitching it down with some ribbon, and it took a couple of attempts before I could do it without stretching out the edge.

The fit of the cardigan was (is) not really what I’d hoped for. It ended up quite oversized, especially in the yoke/shoulder area, with the result it would keep slipping off and I was constantly adjusting it. I knew this would mean it would inevitably end up at the back of the cupboard, passed over, so I decided to try shrinking it. I machine washed it on delicate in a laundry bag with a few other knits, and then started with the dry cycle on low temperature at 10 minute increments.

For the first couple of times nothing seemed to be happening, then after the third one it was just about on the point of starting to felt and had definitely shrunk. Now it doesn’t fall off but the sleeves are a tad shorter than I’d like, and the buttonband gapes over the bust if I do it up… I think it’s still more likely to get worn than before, and when I wash it again I’ll try stretching it a tiny bit more.

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