About a year ago, I started test knitting something for someone who, being abnormally talented and busy, was never able to send me the rest of the pattern after the lower back. And so the little black cardigan was stuffed into a canvas bag to sit in the wardrobe, awaiting instructions – where it could have happily stayed, except I have this new job to start in four weeks’ time, and a little black cardigan would be exactly the thing to get me office-worthy (well, nearly).

So I got resourceful with tape-measure, pencil, and paper (also, a calculator: the atrophy of my maths skills is one of my rewards for throwing away the last decade of my life on humanities) and worked out my own pattern for the top half and the arms.

I’m pleased with the way the increases on the sleeves cause the ribs to radiate out from the central stem.

Underarm grafting is mysteriously pleasurably.

The yoke decreases are designed to produce a set-in sleeve. I take a macabre satisfaction in watching the ribs flow senselessly to their destruction at the join…

… and even more pleasure in seeing the armhole rise out of the fabric, a strange aperture which draws you in by its guiding lines.

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