Sunday, March 7, 2010

Skool Daze

Something is amiss...

I started Icelandic Sweater Knitting school yesterday. There were five of us there for class and three of us were nurses, and one was an ER tech. I'm always surprised by how many health care professionals knit. It is great therapy.

There were several pattern pamphlets and one book to select from when choosing a pattern. My goal was to knit a cardigan because I want to learn to steek, but the one pattern that spoke to me, out of dozens I looked at, was a pullover sweater. I was taken in by the shades--all gray, black and white. Although I wanted the solid silvery ash shade of gray to knit the body, it wasn't in stock. I selected a gray that has slubs of black here and there throughout the yarn.

The public side of the swatch.

I knit a large swatch to see if it would work. The last think I want to do is look like a Dalmation or spotted English Setter when I'm done. I don't think it looks too bad. The slubs tend to migrate to the private side of the work on the swatch and to me, they don't appear (too) prominent on the public side.

The slubby private side of the swatch.

Obviously, this pattern required a bit of adaptation to make it into a cardigan. It starts at the bottom rib section and in the original pattern, is completely knit in the round. For a cardi, the waist is a rib that's knit back and forth, includes 16 extra stitches for a button band and once completed, the button band stitches go on a holder and the piece is joined to finish the body in the round. I'm using a completely different pattern in the book to accomplish this.

The pattern and my yarn choices.

Are you following me? Because to my mind, these adaptations and the use of 2 completely different patterns look like a recipe for disaster.

The pattern I have to follow.

I finished the waist in class and sat down yesterday afternoon to start the first chart. At that point, I immediately saw I forgot to make a button hole 8 rows back.

Rippit. Rippit. Rippit.

A very clever technique for steeking: The side by side purl stitches will be the guides for the 2 seams. The sewn stitches will travel down the middle of the purl bumps and then the sweater will be cut between the seams. Is this some fuzzy yarn or what?

By 7 PM, I had completed the waist for the second time, put the button bands on hold, cast on two purl stitches that are center front markers for steeking and completed chart #1.

Today will be for some mindless knitting in the round. Big needles, big yarn. No problems, right? What could go wrong?

Be sure to check in here tomorrow. I'll be hosting a special guest blogger and there will be a pretty fabulous give away.


Stephanie V said...

That's going to be lovely. Interesting how the slubs show up more on one side than the other. This sounds like more than therapy, though. A whole lot of creative thinking going on here.

Rudee said...

Stephanie, boucle yarns do this too. I saw a coat a friend knit awhile ago. She used the wrong side as the public side because the bumps of the boucle looked more interesting on the wrong side. In a busy boucle, you can hardly tell right from wrong side in stockinette stitch, but those bumps on the wrong side look beautiful.

Now, have a knot in your yarn? 99 times out of 100, it'll migrate to the public side just to mess with your head. This is why I don't like knitting with Noro. I hate all the weaving in of ends to avoid those knots!

Finding Pam said...

Rudee, you are so very talented. I wish I had the patience to knit or crochet.

Your friend Ruth sent a lovely gift to you. You are worth it. I hope it wraps you in comfort and love.

Miss 376 said...

I can't wait to see how you adapt this and do the steeking. This type of yarn is my DS2's favourite sort. He loves the flecks

Rose said...

Great looking sweater pattern(s). I have some Lopi (one or two skeins) so if you run out, let me know. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

OMG Rudee I am in know nothing land here. Always been curious about knitting, can crochet anything, but don't have the patience to start a whole new craft. Can't wait to see it finished.

Jackie said...

What a wonderful challange! I started one and it is still work in progress. Hum....maybe I will take it out and work on it . Enjoy your class, they are always a good time.

Rositta said...

It's going to be gorgeous sweater, I really like the pattern. I should have stuck to knitting today instead of baking. I ended up with an entire hot lemon meringue pie on the floor upside down, sigh. Knitting would have been safer

Brenda said...

The sweater is really pretty! Hope all goes well and you have fun with it.

Miss T said...

I do like the speckled yarn.