Archive for the 'A Morn in May' Category

The sweater found

November 4, 2009

a new home yesterday. I wore it and as I was sitting in a meeting I could almost feel it “grow.” By the time I finished petting the horses and feeding them treats, the cuffs were getting hard to keep out of the way.

I drove to town, thinking about the sweater and the talented knitter, Claire, I was going to have lunch with. Hmmm. She knits gorgeous shawls (that sold like hotcakes at the Taos Wool Festival in early October). She’s taller than me. This would be a good color for her. Perhaps she would consider a trade?

Yes! Well, tentatively yes. I am giving her some time with the sweater to decide if she really likes it enough to trade. I know I love her shawls because I look at them every time she’s out and about offering them for sale. I just can’t justify buying one of them because, well, I’m a knitter. How can a knitter with an unmentionable amount of lace yarn and shawl patterns justify buying a shawl? Somehow though, as much as I love shawls and lace yarn, I just never seem to get around to knitting one. I would feel guilty buying a shawl. But, a trade. That’s another story!

Besides, the sweater looks really nice on her! See:


Don’t you agree it looks great?


It’s done!

November 2, 2009

Well, almost. It still has to dry and I have to sew the buttons on. And perhaps, tack down that ribbon strip.

After I washed it, it grew and grew and grew. I couldn’t believe how huge it was. The arms were over 24 inches long! I tried patting it all into place and squishing it in and shortening it up.


I messed with it for quite a while yesterday and again this morning. At least I have a nice view from the sunroom where it’s drying.


It looked kind of OK on the fronts, but the back was all scrunched weird and it just wasn’t right. So I threw the sweater and the towels it was drying on into the dryer for about 15 minutes. Maybe even a little longer.

Much, much better!


Stitches evened up and the texture smoothed out. The texture isn’t as overwhelming as I feared it might be. Of course, I won’t really be able to tell until it’s bone dry and I try it on.


I positioned the buttons over the buttonholes to get the “effect” of when they are sewn on. I like the buttons.


I still have to decide if that ribbon (see previous post) is useful inside the bind-off around the bands and collar. It did not get weird in the washing. It’s just fine. But is it a benefit? I don’t know. It doesn’t seem to be a detriment. Maybe I should leave it because if I pull it out, It would be a bear to put it back in later if I decided I really did need some stabilization along the button bands.


The collar seems to lay just fine with it in. Probably would lay just fine without it too.

Do I like the sweater? Am I pleased with the result? Would I recommend the pattern?

As far as the first two questions go, I always have this love/hate relationship with my knitting. I love the yarn; I love the pattern. I hate the finished product. However, I just pulled out two of my last season’s projects out last week (Refined Raglan and Textured Raglan) and was totally delighted and surprised at how well they fit and how nice they felt on. I’m not saying they are fantastic sweaters or anything like that. But, I’m not ashamed to be seen in public wearing either one. I even got a complement on Refined Raglan when I wore it to town.

As far as this one? Well, right now, I do not want to burn it. That’s a good sign.

Would I recommend the pattern? Yes. It is well-written. I found the knitting to be entertaining with all the do this every 8 rows and this every 16 and this every 4th or 5th or whatevers. Yet, it was repetitious enough to be able to learn the stitch pattern. I would describe it as a moderately challenging knit.

It is a very clever design (designed by Deborah Newton for Classic Elite). If you think that someday, you would like to try your hand at sweater design, I highly recommend knitting this one to see how it was shaped. The shaping is very well-done in this pattern. It is hidden, yet at the same time, not at all hidden. The shaping becomes part of the design. Nice. Kudos to Newton on this one.

Stop me before I

October 30, 2009

do something stupid. If that’s how this looks to you.

I made a couple of modifications in the blue cardigan.

1. I decided after reading a post by b r o o k l y n t w e e d to use a twisted rib for the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater. Jared Flood said, “I also opted for twisted stitch ribbing at the waist band and ankle-cuffs – a choice made to achieve a bit more elasticity – a great little perk of knitting things through the back loops.”

In my brain, I casually omitted the next part of what he says about stumpy limbs. I wanted stretch around the bottom of the sweater. Sounded good. When I got to the sleeves, it was a no-brainer to use the same ribbing on the cuffs. I also looked at my favorite sweater. (No, I did not knit it. So, no hesitation whatsoever in saying it is a magnificent sweater; it’s an Irish handknit.) It has twisted rib cuffs and a twisted rib lower hem.

So, twisted rib it was. I merrily proceeded onward. Then, I could hardly switch to a different ribbing for the button bands. This leads to choice two.

2. I changed the collar to a shawl collar of my own invention since I couldn’t find a pattern for one. All my knitting patterns were packed at that point, so I just sallied forth. It uses twisted rib — to match the bottom and the cuffs.

Twisted rib shawl collar took some time. A really long time. On to choice three.

3. On both the bottom and sleeve cuffs, since I had ribbing, I did a kitchner sewn bind off. Looks good, is stretchy, works well with twisted rib.

Here’s the problem. I don’t want stretchy button bands. That seems wrong. It also seems wrong to use a different bind off along the front of the sweater. So, what I am doing is this:


I looked for a grosgrain ribbon, but I wasn’t sure how to make button holes in it for the button hole side and it didn’t make sense to put it on one side and not the other. The store did have this tiny little satin ribbon in a good color, so I bought it and I am just laying inside the sewn bind off.

I figured I will need to tack it down at the top of the button bands:


So, I’ve left myself a little loop on either side of one stitch where I can sew the ribbon to itself to keep the front band from stretching. Then, I can arrange the collar with the ribbon as loosely or as firmly inside as it wants to block. I’ll tack it again when I get around to the other side at the top of the band and finally, after it’s all done, I’ll tack it down at the bottoms of each of the front button bands. All you should see is a little blip of ribbon at each of the four tack points.

Is this stupid? Will I have problems washing the sweater with the satin ribbon inside? Will it want to curl up or stretch or something when it’s wet?

I don’t think the ribbon will show more than the tiniest bit here and there:


You can see a tiny glimpse about four stitches in from the bottom edge of the photo.

What do people normally do to stabilize button bands? Besides of course the obvious: plan ahead and do not use an exceptionally stretchy stitch as the button band foundation and bind off. Your thoughts, please.