I was so lucky to test knit Becky Sorensen's latest pattern release. One of the perks of being BFFs with a knitwear designer is that I get all the sneak peeks. I've not designed a pattern ever, other than a few crochet patterns. I get to see behind the scenes, how much goes into each design and how long it takes! When I first saw the sketch of the Fluff Nugget, I fell in love. Then, once I saw Becky's finished garment, I knew that it would be so wearable! Pick up your copy of the Fluff Nugget here: https://linktr.ee/sopranoknits
So, when Becky mentioned that she got gauge with 3 strands of mohair/silk lace weight held together, I knew I had to test knit! I'd recently bought some in to try to dye, so it was like fate. I dyed up 6 skeins of my new Fluffy Lace base, in a beautiful blue colour called Potion of Vitality.
I swatched as soon as my yarn was dry and was surprised to learn that I had to use the recommended needle size. I have knit a lot of Becky's patterns and I know that she knits much looser than I do. I usually have to go up 2 needle sizes to achieve gauge, but apparently not with the Fluff Nugget! So I cast on the 3rd size - and this pattern is fully size-inclusive, so you can ALL knit it without having to do extra maths!
This was my first attempt at 1-colour brioche. I'd done 2-colour brioche a fair amount, but I was pleased to learn how easy 1-colour brioche actually is. Because it's a cardigan, it's knit back and forth. This means, with brioche, you don't have to purl at all! I sped through the body, on my 6mm needles. When I read that I'd have to be doing short rows in brioche, I was worried. I had no idea how it'd work BUT Becky is a champion and has made video tutorials for any of the parts in her patterns that may be difficult. They're so clear and easy-to-follow and this is why I love her patterns.
Learning to do brioche on magic loop for the sleeves was a little difficult and I made a couple of mistakes, but that just shows that it's handmade, right? I haven't knit a balloon sleeve before. A lot of the garments I've chosen to knit have had fitted sleeves, but now I want to knit ALL the balloon sleeves! They're just so loose and comfy. And the joys of these sleeves, is that they still fit comfortably under a coat.
I picked up the button band as instructed, and realised I was 40 (!!) stitches short. Once I measured the row gauge, it turns out instead of the 18 sts per 10cm, I only had 15. I definitely got gauge on my swatch, so I must have relaxed as I knit... But I knit the button band and did my tubular cast off, believing that blocking would fix everything. It doesn't. It was such an extreme high-low effect and I knew I wouldn't wear it like that.
So instead of throwing it into the "naughty corner" and being annoyed at it, I immediately (after filming a podcast!) cut off the button band and tried again. So I picked up the recommended sts for the ribbing, but then I picked up every a stitch for every row of the brioche section, for a total of 164 sts. It knit back quickly and I'm SO GLAD that I did it because now I never want to take the thing off at all. I completed it with 3 big sparkly buttons and it's amazing.
I am very aware that this is the most-luxurious (and maybe expensive??) cardigan I own and have knit, but it's so light and airy. I feel like it'll be perfect for a chilly summer evening in the garden. You don't have to knit your Fluff Nugget out of mohair though. So many of the testers used different yarns, and the cardi was designed out of Nutiden, which is a pencil roving yarn. For more info about knitting with pencil roving, Becky made a very informative video:
If you would like to knit yourself a Fluff Nugget, the pattern is available now! You can pick up a copy on both PayHip and on Ravelry. Here is a link to Becky's LinkTree so you can choose where you'd like to buy your pattern: https://linktr.ee/sopranoknits