It’s getting pretty Intense in here…

Oh, argh, I am frustrated with my green sweater and I’ve barely even started it. I wanted to knit this:

from Top-Down Knits by Ann Budd
Basic Brioche Cardigan from Top-Down Knits by Ann Budd

It’s knit using the brioche stitch.  Brioche is a really cool stitch that’s very warm and kind of puffy…sort of 3D if that makes any sense.

Before casting on for the sweater, I cast on to do a gauge check and to learn how to do the stitch.

First stumbling block: I couldn’t figure out how to do the brioche stitch.

So in desperation (or chutzpah), I wrote to Ms. Budd! And she wrote back! What a lovely person she is! She explained how to do the stitch. The lightbulb went off and I was out of the gate & galloping! Yay!
Once I had the stitch under my belt, I cast on the sweater.

Second stumbling block: short rows. The sweater is knit from the top down and has set-in sleeves. The pattern calls for shaping the shoulder using short rows. Now, I’ve done short rows with varying levels of success when decreasing and shaping the gusset in a sock. But I’ve never done them when you have to wrap the stitch and then knit it on the way back and you’re not decreasing at the same time (and if that sounds crazy, it’s probably because I barely know what I’m talking about).

By the time I had the shoulder shaped, one side was 6 stitches wider than the other and had a pretty severe odd jog in it. And also, I’d messed up a bit on the Brioche stitch, so it was pretty sloppy.

Can you say riiiiiipppp it out?

This sweater pattern is currently over my head. That’s a fact. It isn’t the pattern’s problem – Ann Budd is a renowned knitter and pattern designer. The problem is that I am not up to the same speed as the pattern.

the Grace cardigan from Finish-free Knits by Kristen TenDyke

So…I also have this other pattern:

I really like it. It has some interesting features and it also has set-in sleeves.

But this pattern doesn’t require shoulder shaping with short rows (yay!)

Actually, there are new skills I can learn from this pattern. Skills I can then apply to knitting the brioche cardigan.

Since I just don’t have the skills to knit the Basic Brioche cardigan yet, and since I will gain some skills and a lot of confidence by knitting this simpler (but also challenging) Grace cardigan, I think that’s what I’m going to do.

I’ll save Ann Budd’s Basic Brioche for a future date when I have a bit more experience.

I don’t think it’s a cop out.

It’s like doing a difficult yoga pose using modifications and props to help out until you’re ready to tackle the full pose.


IIntense Side Stretch pose

Parsvottanasana (parsh-voh-tahn-AHS-anna)

If you need help with this pose, support yourself on the back of a kitchen chair, or use yoga blocks or even a couple of soup cans.

For those who spend a lot of time sitting at the sewing machine, or knitting (!), or at a desk, this is a great stretch for the hamstrings. If you’ve been sitting for awhile, go ahead and get up, hold onto the back of the chair for support and give those legs a good stretch. They’ll thank you for it!




  1. I don’t think that’s a cop out either. It’s actually a rare person who can admit something is beyond their abilities at this time. Yay, you, for recognizing that and finding another sweater that is also quite lovely. Balancing in yoga – will it teach one to balance in life? =)

I'd love to hear your thoughts!