Kildalton – restyled

Hello! How is your weekend going? There’s been some lovely weather over the past few days, but some weirdly changeable spells too – and in such typical west-of-Scotland conditions, a good cardigan is essential.

My reworked, restyled Kildalton

This is my new Kildalton, a design you may remember from one of my favourite collections, Inspired by Islay. When originally creating this design, rather than the drop-sleeve construction that’s often used for cabled garments, I wanted to create a tailored, form-fitting interpretation of an otherwise familiarly ‘traditional’ looking cardi, with top-down, set-in sleeves. We designed the sample for Mel to wear, and she modelled it beautifully, in the churchyard at Kildalton. I really enjoyed styling Mel’s outfit, and recall that around that time I was obsessed with a particular womenswear colour palette that I only ever seemed to see in collections from Danish and German designers (and, perhaps not co-incidentally, Danish television programmes) which combined rusty oranges with deep burgundies and fuschias – shades in which Mel always looks amazing.

Mel’s wearing Kildalton’s second size in these images – modelling the cardigan with very slight positive ease – a fit which, because of the garment’s panel placement, allows the cardigan to nip in at the waist and flare out slightly at the hip.

Worn like this, Kildalton fits wonderfully neatly, but I have wondered over the years if, with its wide front bands and panels, this garment might also lend itself to being worn open, and knitted with much more positive ease.

And now I know that yes, it does work this way!

This is the fourth size, and I’m wearing my new Kildalton with 7½in (19cm) positive ease.

The fit is nicely roomy, and the cardigan hangs well from the shoulders, while remaining comfortably wrappable.

Unlike Mel’s sample (which fastens neatly, with buttonholes integrated into the front bands) the buttons I’ve stitched on here are for decoration only, since I’m intending to wear my Kildalton open.

It’s a cardigan which, I think, looks particularly pleasing from the back.

Kildalton is a pattern I was pleased with at the time, and it has been so interesting to return to it, and discover how versatile a garment it is, with a very different look and feel. I remain a big fan of neatly fitting cardigans, but I certainly now enjoy knitting, designing, and wearing oversized garments far more than I used to – all styles have their place!

If you’d like to knit yourself an easy-fitting Kildalton, select a size with at least 6 inches (15 cm) and up to 10 inches (25.5cm) positive ease above your actual bust measurement. Adding buttonholes and / or buttons is your choice! There are detailed swatching instructions in the pattern (over cables, and reverse stockinette) and you might find it useful to go up a size when working the sleeves (I always find my gauge tightens considerably when working short-row set-in sleeves for some reason).

But if you’d prefer your Kildalton to fit neatly and snugly, just like Mel’s, just knit the cardigan with very slight positive ease (half an inch to an inch (2.5cm))

Worked up in the natural, undyed crowdie shade of our Schiehallion yarn, my Kildalton has perhaps a more traditional feel than Mel’s original sample (which was worked up in the glorious Highland Coo shade of our old Buachaille yarn) but the front bands and set-in sleeves still give my cardigan a shape that’s more tailored than simply slouchy. I just love the easy vibe of this garment – and know it is going to see lot of wear over the next few months – particularly when the weather’s coming and going like today!

If you’d like to knit yourself a crowdie Kildalton, we now have kits in the shop.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!