Cuddly Cardigan in Brushed Fleece

A couple of weeks ago I was writing about the new Spring and Summer 2015 yarns and designs looking out at a cold snowy landscape; this week I’m writing about Esk, a cardigan in Brushed Fleece designed by Martin Storey sitting in hot sunshine…….well I am in San Diego……although the photo’s were taken a week ago in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

My Esk Buttoned side Front View

If you are a regular reader of my posts you’ll have noticed that I tend to knit cardigans. This is because I live in Colorado where the temperature can fluctuate vastly in one day: -10°C to 20°C (14°F to 68°F). A cardigan allows me to layer and button-up when it is cold in the morning and then unbutton when it gets a bit warmer during the day but still need my arms covered or take off completely without messing up my hair……yes…I am vain!

You may recall from a previous post that while I visited Rowan Mill last year I tried on Martin Storey’s Esk. Here I am in Esk at the Mill……..

Esk on Me at Rowan Mill2

I loved the shade (Grotto 257) and the feel of the Brushed Fleece yarn but was not sure that the short length suited me. I asked some of my fellow ambassadors and they said I should make it longer, so I did.

My Esk Back View2

 The original design from the Brushed Fleece brochure, looks like this………

Esk

Esk by Martin Story

Would love to have knitted it with short sleeves also but I think they looked better with the short body length.

Not only did I make Esk longer but I also shaped it very slightly at the waist. I didn’t do this by decreasing and the increasing stitches but by gradually using smaller needles from a 6mm to 5.5mm to 5mm at the smallest part of my waist and then gradually back up to a 6mm. It worked really well and you can’t see a change in the needle size in the knitted fabric.

My Esk Open Front View

My Esk Back View

Brushed Fleece knits up to a very cuddly fabric. It is very light and lofty and so soft next to the skin. This is not surprising as consists of 65% extra fine merino wool, 30% baby alpaca and 5% polyamide. I just love that baby alpaca! It gives the yarn it’s soft and lofty quality. It is warm to wear but not excessively so which makes it great to wear on it’s own or to layer for extra warmth. I think my Esk cardigan will come in handy during the winter/spring weather transition.

The stitch that Martin Storey used for Esk is quite an interesting one and gives a lovely texture to the cardigan, making a stitch pattern that looks far more complicated than it really is. Here’s a closer look………

Esk Closeup

The stitch is created by inserting the right hand needle through the middle of a group of four stitches knit wise and pulling a larger than normal loop through, knitting the four stitches and then ‘casting-off’ the large stitch over these four stitches, in effect, wrapping the stitches. It makes it look a bit like cable from a distance. The wrapping of the stitches ‘pulls in’ the group of four stitches giving them a rippled effect. It is also incredibly easy to do and memorize which makes it a very quick especially as it is knitted on 6mm (10 US) needles. I completed my cardigan in about three weeks but would have been so much quicker if I wasn’t so busy with all the other things going on in my life. Wouldn’t it be nice to knit all day everyday without interruptions!

There are lots of other designs available using Brushed Fleece. Maybe you would prefer to knit a long-line cardigan like this one called Heart designed by Kim Hargreaves in her book titled North.

Heart North KH-1

Or this one called Drab, also by Kim Hargreaves from her book North. Not drab at all!

Drab North KH

Or, like me, you’d love to cuddle up in this oversized v-neck sweater called Cosy, also designed by Kim Hargreaves and in another of her books titled Still…………

Cosy

Or maybe you’d prefer something more fitted like this slipped rib stitch sweater called Neath from the Brushed Fleece brochure designed by Martin Storey………..

Neath

How about a really quick knit like this striped scarf with pom pom trim called Muddy from the book North designed by Kim Hargreaves using Brushed Fleece and Fur.

Muddy

Or this rib sweater called Trent from the Brushed Fleece brochure again designed by Martin Storey. It has a funnel neck and raglan full length sleeves and is suitable for the beginner knitter. I think this would look great on my husband, Neil.

Trent

And you can choose from these 12 shades……….

BrushedFleeceShadeCard

If you would like to read another post where I mention Brushed Fleece, the yarn Fur and other designs click here.

Maybe you have already knitted something using Brushed Fleece? I would love to know what you made and if you made any changes to the design. Please leave a comment at the bottom of this post; it’s great to share your techniques and ideas with me and my other readers!

Click on the links below to see all the designs from the brochures mentioned in this post.

North

Still

Brushed Fleece Brochure

And if you would like to go directly to my post about the new Spring/Summer 2015 yarns and designs, click here.

I try to post images of my latest knitting projects on my What Colours Make Facebook page. Click What Colours Make to take you there. If you do take a look….while you are there please “Like” my page if you like it!

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Happy knitting!

16 thoughts on “Cuddly Cardigan in Brushed Fleece

  1. Hi Esther!
    I love your longer version of Esk too. Can you tell me how many balls you used to make it please? I am very tempted to knit it for myself over the Christmas hols.
    Thank you
    Love Judy

  2. Just discovered your blog. I love how you used smaller needles for shaping, I’d never heard that before. I like my clothes not snug, just a little fitted. I’m fairly new at knitting, and making my first cardigan. I’m going to try this shaping with smaller needles. About how far down the cardigan before you changed to the smaller needles, and about how many rows would you say you knitted for each of the smaller sized needles? Here in hot and humid Houston, because of the full blast of airconditioning, it is always freezing cold when you enter a building, restaurant, office, cinema, or mall, so I like bringing along a cardigan.

    • I know what you mean Yan….you always need a cardigan because of the freezing air conditioning. All the questions you are asking are exactly what you do need to consider when attempting waist shaping. However, there is no definitive answer I can give you as I need to know the type of yarn you are using, the tension gauge, the pattern, the stitch and some of your measurements. I will send you an email and see if I can get some more details from you and then get you waist shaping 🙂

  3. It’s lovely. Great color, after the dark winter days one needs bright colorful things to feel happy. I’m trying to knit ‘eloise’ (magazine 57) it’s a Marie Wallin design, I hope I can crochet the flowers like in the magazine . I knit a lot, I crochet seldom …. we’ll see.
    Kind Regards

    Fabienne

    • Thanks Fabienne. I intend to knit Eloisa too! I have some Panama in pink. Like you my crochet skills are nowhere as good as my knitting skills but I hope to be successful. I know I will probably arrange the flowers more symmetrically around the neck though. I think it will be a lovely little top without the flowers too!

  4. Your Esk is beautiful. I prefer it to the original, as I too could not wear the short version. Your alterations have made a gorgeous cardigan. Thank you for sharing.

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