I was in need of a white lace cardigan that would go with all my clothes. And, of course it should be knitted top down in one piece. So I designed one.
What: Lala / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 4.0 mm
From: Manos del Uruguay Fino, 200 g
Since I decided on the cardigan need two weeks before our summer trip to Scotland, I also desided that two weeks would be enough time to design, calculate and knit the cardigan. And, if one is a crazy enough knitting lady, one might actually finish the cardigan a few days before the trip.
Since I was in a hurry I had to optimize the time I had. One cannot design a cardigan without knitting a swatch but that takes time. Since the cardigan starts at the back of the neck with the shawl collar, I used the left side of the collar as my swatch. I chose the number of sts for the collar so it worked well with the lace pattern, knitted and blocked the little piece that would be the left side of the shawl collar. Handy, and quick! Though, it did look funny while knitting that the other side of the collar was all neat and blocked and the other wasn't.
Lala is a lace cardigan with shawl collar and raglan sleeves. It starts by knitting the left side of the collar, picking up sts and knitting the right side of the collar to the opposite direction. Then, you pick up some sts at the bottom edge of the collar and make room for the sleeves with raglan increases. There's no waist shaping, so once you leave the sleeve sts on hold, it's straight forward knitting.
The sleeves have no shaping as well. They're straight and a bit oversized. It makes them really comfy. The cuffs and the hem have a long twisted ribbing. The cardigan has buttons that took quite some time to choose. I love this kind of cardigans where you get to show off a few special buttons. I found my wooden buttons few years ago on Etsy.
As usual, the pattern has 9 sizes, XXS-XS-S (M1-M2-L1) L2-XL-XXL. You can purchase your copy by clicking the link below:
The yarn I used is Fino by Manos del Uruguay. Its 70 % merino and 30 % silk. It's fingering weight, although it has more meters, 450 m. I actually made my Lala with just two skeins!
I knitted the sample in size M2 so two skeins should be enough for the smaller sizes. For the M2 size, I'd recommend to buy three since we all have differing tensions and I only had a few meters left over. I thoroughly recommend the yarn. It's one of the softest I've ever knitted and feels like cotton candy. The silk gives it a nice shimmer and drape.
If the yarn and knitting were fun, writing the pattern wasn't. It took so much time to get all those charts finetuned. And I won't be writing another lace pattern any time soon. The pdf file is long because all of those charts but you can leave out the other sizes so you won't have too many pages to print. The pattern includes both charts and written instructions
My test knitters made so cute cardigans I might have to make a few more myself. The name of the cardigan comes from the fact that the lace reminds me of tulips. Lala means tulip in Bosnia.