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Monday, 29 August 2011

Steek It!!!!

I've been thinking about what I said the last time about not being able to knit a cardigan in one piece, in the round. I actually think you *can* sewing a steek into it and cutting down the front. Like I've read in several places, steeking is "not for the faint of heart". After all, it involves spending countless hours and days knitting and then actually cutting the piece open. You could mess it up! It would be so disheartening if it didn't work out!

After my cardigan is finished (I'm still about 3/4 of the way done with the first sleeve, then I have to figure out the reverse directions for the right front, not to mention learn how to do buttonholes!) I think I'll do something that has a steek in it. Maybe just a swatch....;-)

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Cardigan Bravery

I finally decided a few months ago to knit something I've never attempted before....a cardigan. Last winter I searched high and low in the stores for a particular cardigan and I couldn't find it. My sister had previously extolled the virtues of knitting my own and therefore getting exactly what I wanted. It's a good theory but have you seen the price of wool these days??? And yes, I wanted to make it out of wool because I wanted it to be the warmest it could possibly be. I've heard good things about wool!

Many years ago I photocopied a pattern out of a knitting book and then promptly filed it away. I don't even know what the cardigan is called. I guess it's just a generic, stockinette stitch sweater. That's good! I assumed it would be easy.

It's one of those ones where you knit each element of the sweater separately and then you sew it all together. I guess cardigans have to be done that way.....I mean, you can't knit it in one piece, can you??

Anyway, many months ago I went to a yarn store in Leslieville and told the shopkeeper what I wanted to make and could she direct me to the best yarn for the project? Yes, she could and did.

It was beautiful handpainted yarn by Tanis Fibre Arts in the colourway Stormy. It's got different shades of blue and some greys thrown in. I instantly fell in love with it. I didn't even think to look at the price tag, because if I *had*, I most certainly would have balked at the price. Nineteen dollars a hank and I needed 5 of them!

I started knitting during the recent heat wave if you can believe it.  I escaped the sweatbox apartment I live in with my husband and spent my days in the A/C comfort of Starbucks, sipping on an iced coffee (or 2!) and knitting. I went there every day.

The back of the sweater is the first part that you knit. I started and restarted about 5 times. I even got about 4 inches knitted then decided to unravel it because it had mistakes in it that I just couldn't fix by picking up stitches. I think it was my tension that got all loose and eventually I finished the back but those mistakes are still there. Anyway, here it is:

I think I ran into some errata in the pattern because it didn't seem to instruct me on what to do with the final live I just binded (bound?) them off. Maybe I didn't understand the directions but there was no one to ask and I didn't know how to ask the internet. Maybe I will if I run into that problem again. I was even thinking of unravelling this piece and starting over. Who knows, I still might.

Here is the left front, still in progress: