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Sydney isn’t all blue skies and sunshine. We’ve already had a few rather chilly days so I’m really pleased that I went ahead and knitted this cardigan. It’s Lipstick by Joji Locatelli and I’ve had my eye on it for a while but kept thinking that it was perhaps a little warm for this climate. Not so. Not so at all!Red cardigan - front

And I had seen some lovely yarn, so, well, how could I not knit it? After knitting 800 metres of laceweight yarn, this project in 10-ply/worsted/aran (depending on where you come from) grew at a most satisfying rate. Lipstick is an interesting mix of textures with twisted rib on the shoulders, mesh/lace blocks on the sleeves and smooth stocking stitch for the body. Even that isn’t tedious because the front panels are in reverse stocking stitch with a little twisted stitch in-between. The yarn is Morris and Sons Empire. It’s 100% merino and comes in lots of lovely colours, some of which like this red, are also available a ’twist’ variety of two different coloured plies.

I wanted to make changes to the original design and have long sleeves so for Yarn Management Purposes I knitted the button bands and neckband before doing the sleeves.  This was an excellent idea as ‘pick up and knit’ is always my least favourite bit about cardigans. This time I got them out the way and could look forward to more interesting knitting. This cardigan is seamless and I had joined for the underarms at a length that made the armholes two sizes larger so that I could be sure of wearing clothes underneath. So I then picked up the corresponding number of stitches for that size. I shortened the knitted the mesh/lace blocks by half-an-inch and then switched to stocking stitch. I decreased in that first round and then twice more after 8 rounds and then every six rounds until I almost reached wrist length. I finished with the rows of ribbing as in the pattern.

Since this only needs four buttons, I chose something special. These are printed coconut buttons and came from this lovely button shop, Buttons Buttons Buttons down at The Rocks. I was there for ages with my cardigan lying on a glass cabinet while I tried various options. The red colour is actually a bit tricky to match so I also considered various metal buttons – modern and traditional – before choosing these.close up buttons on red cardigan

This cardigan is the second one of Joji’s designs that I’ve made and, once again, as with my Neon cardigan, the pattern was a pleasure to knit from. It was easy to follow. There are references with stitch counts so you can check you’re on track. Instructions are clear – for example “repeat rows 3 to 6 two more times”. That more certainly avoids any ambiguity. Abbreviations are clearly explained (e.g. m1l or m1r). I’m sure I’ll be knitting more of Joji’s designs in the future but for now I’m going to enjoy wearing lipstick!

red cardigan - back

Red cardigan - side view