The Kinder Cardigan is the penultimate project in A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing With Knitted Fabrics and a lot of you might have already seen it in advertising for the 4 workshops coming up in which I’m teaching it (2 at MIY Workshop in Brighton and 2 in Sheffield).
It’s named after Kinder Scout – the highest point in the Peak District and is pronounced as in “kindergarten” not as in being kind! I’ve climbed Kinder Scout several times, from both the Manchester and Sheffield sides, it’s tough and it seems to have a climate all of its own that can change from minute to minute!
Falling from the top of Kinder Scout is Kinder Downfall, the tallest waterfall in the Peak District at a huge 30m!!
Kinder Scout is the site of the “mass trespass” of 1932 which was a co-ordinated mass protest of wilful trespassing on the open country of Kinder Scout which was then not open to public access. It was undertaken by approx. 400 ramblers to highlight the fact that these open areas of natural beauty were inaccessible for walking by the public. It worked like a dream (even though a few of the group were arrested), being described as:
“the most successful direct action in British history” Lord Roy Hattersley, 2007
Those of us that love the outdoors have a huge amount for which to thank this group of activists; this simple act led directly to the introduction of the Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000, which gives the public the right to walk on mapped access land and also helped to create the National Parks legislation in 1949. It also enabled the establishment of The Pennine Way and other long-distance footpaths that now criss cross this and other similar areas of open access land.
The event is perfectly summed up by the Kinder Visitor Centre Group:
“The trespass was controversial at the time, being seen as a working class struggle for the right to roam versus the rights of the wealthy to have exclusive use of moorlands for grouse shooting.”
True Northern grit at its finest I say!
But back to sewing!! The Kinder Cardigan will quickly earn its place as a key garment in your handmade wardrobe. With no fastenings and a simple banded edge-to-edge front opening, it’s the perfect place to start if you’re completely new to sewing with knitted fabrics or sewing in general. As with all the other projects, there are many ways make it:
- in different lengths from a short version cropped above the hips to a shin-skimming full length version
- with short or long sleeves
- with or without wonderfully deep patch pockets
- with a contrast panel for using up leftover fabric scraps and to add a pop of colour
- with or without cuffs.
Photos by Julian Ward © Cico Books
The Kinder Cardigan is super versatile and I didn’t realise what a Kinder Cardi shaped hole I had in my wardrobe until I started making them! Now I wonder what I wore before. Fabric choice is key to dressing the Kinder up or down. A brushed back or looped back sweatshirt version looks great with jeans or the Monsal Lounge Pants, make it in ponte roma for a slightly less casual look and a short sleeve cropped length version in any kind of lurex knit makes the perfect summer cover-up for nights out or special events.
Here’s how I’ve been wearing some of my early toiles for the Kinder: