Posted by: christinelaennec | May 14, 2012

Betty’s cardigan

Allow me to introduce you to my neighbour Betty:

Betty’s cardigan:  “Tender” by Kim Hargreaves, knit in Kidsilk Haze mohair/silk.

Betty has been a dear friend to me over the past few years.  She’s had me over for many cups-of-tea-and-sympathy, and she’s given me very good advice.  She herself has seen plenty in her life:  she was widowed very young, suddenly left on her own with young children to raise.  She knows what it’s like to lie awake at night worrying about how on earth things will ever come right.  But to meet her you’d never guess:  she’s so vibrant and funny and generous.  She’s great company and a wonderful conversationalist – happy to discuss how to care for alpines, or the intricacies of family relationships, or novels about women living in very different societies from our own.

She’s also a very elegant woman, who loves to discuss the finer points of clothes design and construction with me.  You know, the kind of friend that whisks her jacket off and turns it inside out to have a good look at the seams.  She always shows an interest in what’s on my knitting needles, and so I offered to knit her something – whatever her heart desired.  She chose this beautiful cardigan designed by Kim Hargreaves.  I modified the pattern by adding a wee ruffle at the ends of the sleeves, and also sewing clear beads just under the edge of the hems, to keep them from turning up and to give a little flash of glamour such as befits Betty.

I’ve had such a good time knitting it – it came to England with me, including to the V & A.  Betty is so pleased to have a cardigan made to her measurements, and I’m so happy it turned out as she’d wanted it.  Doesn’t she just look fab?



  1. Oh, so elegant! What a choice! It looks very warm but light as a feather too and the colour is lovely! And I’m sure it must be a blessing to have such a good friend for a neighbour. 🙂

  2. I meant to say “what a GOOD choice”! Oh dear, xx

  3. What a super gift, for a valued neighbour. The world needs more people like Betty, and your good self.

  4. How good that you have a friend. The cardigan and your friend are both beautiful. I am sorry I didnt comment on your last post but it just moved me so much I could not think of the words to say.

  5. Its a wonderful gift, and so suits betty …beautiful

  6. Betty looks fantastic, very stylish, and what great neighbours you both are to each other. Your knitting is amazing.

  7. What an elegant sweater! So very nice to meet a good friend like Betty.
    A friend like that is one to truly treasure. I’m glad to know that you have
    such a wonderful friend (I bet you are to her, too!!).

  8. She is an elegant lady and looks lovely in the beautiful sweater you have knitted! You are an amazing knitter!

  9. Oh, what a lovely sweater on a lovely lady! A friend like Betty is a true treasure. She must feel very much the same about you. Your beautiful sweater is such a sweet gesture of friendship. xx

  10. She sure looks fab! 🙂 So elegant and happy.
    That is a beautiful sweater, indeed.

  11. I agree with all comments above! And I want to add: your wee ruffles are the first thing — okay, the second thing; Betty’s lovely smile was the first — I noticed in the photo. Perfect! I know Betty will treasure it for its beauty and usefulness, but also because it comes from you.

  12. What a glamorous neighbour you have, and so kind and wise by what you write. The cardigan turned out fab and looks stunning on Betty. That colours is perfect for her…well done you for modifying it to make it ‘your design’.
    Hugs from me xx

  13. It looks lovely on her! The perfect colour! I hadn’t realised the ruffles and beads were your own invention – a fabulous and glamorous touch!

  14. Very cool. Is it felted?

  15. what a wonderful gift. You did a fabulous job….for what sounds like a fabulous lady. She sounds like a blessing in your life. God is so good to send us friends to help and inspire. They make the journey through life so much more wonderful!

  16. Dear All,

    Thanks so much for your extremely kind comments. Betty is a truly beautiful person, as you can probably see for yourselves. I am indeed very lucky to have her as a friend. I always feel she gives me far more than I give her, hence my desire to make her a sweater.

    Roobeedoo – The ruffle along the bottom of the cardigan is in the pattern, I just added a smaller one to the sleeves as well. (And also the beads.)

    Kelly – no, it isn’t felted. The mohair yarn makes a rather ethereal fabric, but because it’s so hairy (although not scratchy), it probably would easily felt if handled the wrong way.

    As Tina says, it’s both warm and also light as a feather.

  17. Christine–it’s been donkey’s years since I’ve written! I will aim to call you soon over a weekend. Much to catch up on from both sides–the top coast of Scotland and the left coast of America!


    • Great to hear from you, and it would be great to catch up. Thanks, Bruce x

  18. what a gorgeous cardy! I admire your knitting capabilities greatly. I do all right knitting all the bits but putting it together so that it looks right is always a bit of a problem. you have done a marvellous job with Betty’s cardigan. i was wondering if the sleeves are a different color than the front. from the picture, it looks like they are more heathery-grey.

    • ajb, I used to balk at the construction part of knitting projects, but do you know I went to a day-long workshop on finishing and it taught me SO much that I can honestly say I really enjoy the sewing-together part now! I’m glad you like Betty’s cardi. The reason the sleeves look like they’re a different colour is that the cardigan is rather transparent, and Betty was wearing a short-sleeved top on underneath.

  19. She looks wonderful.
    What a beautiful gift. Friendship like this is a true treasure.

    • Suzy, you’re so right, and I do treasure our friendship.

  20. What a blessing to have a neighbour that is also a good friend. And how very elegant she is. The cardigan is gorgeous. I really like the subtle ruffles and beading. nice touch.

    • Thank you Luciana! Yes, it’s great to know she’s nearby.

  21. a beautiful cardigan for a beautiful woman, lucky she and lucky you 🙂

    • Hello, Dorit! I’m so pleased you came by. Thanks for the nice comment.

  22. What a beautiful woman, lovely friend and thoughtful gift.

  23. Christine, this is absolutely beautiful!! There is nothing quite like an expertly hand-crafted gift.

  24. […] morning was the first Sunday in Advent.  Because it was treacherously icy out, I took my neighbour Betty to church in the car.  We usually both walk, but neither of us wanted to take any chances of her […]

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