Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The commonality of Knitters' New Year's Resolutions

Each January the knitting blogs and tweets are full of woolly New Year's resolutions, top of the lists, To Complete All Those Unfinished Objects. And coming in at a very close second place, Knit From Stash.   I am no different.  In September last year I took this beautiful Juno Fibre Arts, Buffy in Grassland on holiday with me.

Juno among the pelagoniums

After the tricky task of winding a skein into a ball without swift or wool winder (yes I did have JTH but he hates holding skeins, I always get exasperated and its much better if I tackle it alone) I knitted a large swatch incorporating all the stitches in the pattern

swatch in the sun under the plumbago

I am making the Princess Twinset Cardigan from Susan Crawford's book Coronation Knits.  Although the yarn the pattern calls for is 4 ply and so is the Juno no two makes of yarn are the same. You know I am not a very good swatcher (if truth be told I hate it and avoid when ever I can) but I do swatch when I am diverging from the pattern instructions, and that includes testing any pattern stitches.  

The project was an all round stash buster, I bought the yarn at a Unravel at the Farnham Maltings earlier in the year (the next Unravel is 21-13 Feb) and the pattern book while on a knitting day out with friends in Oxford in the summer.

While we were away in September I cast on.

first button hole at 6 rows in

Anyone who is a regular reader will know that I avoid sewing up as much as I can by one piece knitting wherever possible.   In this case I cast on the fronts and back in one piece knitting up to the armholes then dividing and knitting the three pieces separately.  The front bands are knitted in the twisted stitch pattern (I love the way the button holes sit neatly in the centre of the twists).  The twisted pattern features on the shoulders, cuffs and in a large panel on the back

cabled bar code
I reached the underarm while still on holiday and then stopped...  Family stuff and Christmas knitting intervened so it was put away in The Knitting Black Hole, under a table that sits beside our sofa.

And so it became no1 on my list of UFOs to finish in 2014.  Despite the little diversion into vintage knitting patterns (and that's not over yet) I am making good progress.  I am very grateful for the warning in the instructions for the fronts that the knitter should read to the end of the instructions before embarking on the front shaping.  

It seemed confusing at first, "cast off this and that at the armhole  at the same time the other on the front edge then all change to a different rate of decreasing".  Lots of changes and lots of row counting.  Then I hit on the idea of marking the place at which the decreases end - so all I had to do was forge ahead decreasing both ends of the row on the fronts until I hit the markers.  That way I could also check the stitch count in advance.  Is there nothing worse than  getting to the end of the decreases (so you think!) and have the wrong number of stitches.

PM to mark end of decs

 I finished the back and fronts at knitting group last night

the body all done

And cast on the sleeves.  This is rather more tricky as continuing my non-seaming technique I am knitting both sleeves at the same time, much in the way you would for top down two at a time socks.  

two at a time tangled sleeves

It's a bit tangled at the moment but it should straighten out as the knitting lengthens.  

Now I know I usually only blog about items I have finished (in fact I apologise if I give the impression of being 'more knitterly than thou' ) and this is far from finished but given that I can knit a pair of socks in two weeks and sleeves are roughly similar in work involved (take away heel turning and add length and width)  I am hoping to have the cardi done by the end of January, fingers crossed.



PS do you have a knitting black hole (or several)?  If you do please do tell in the comments



Anita said...

Hi Catherine,
I totally love that yarn, it looks silky soft to knit with. I'm with you on the stitching up things....don't like it!! lol I'm a bit naughty when it comes to putting buttons on too. I must have about 6 baby tops that need buttons.
Cheers, Anita.

Quinn said...

Love the colors in that yarn!

Gracie Saylor said...

Your not wanting to seem "more knitterly than thou" got a chuckle from me, Catherine. You don't seem that way at all to me, but you are more skilled and accomplished than me, so I find it particularly encouraging that you share your process of knitting with us. As you demonstrate the tasks in stages I dare to think I might be able to complete the projects I tackle as well. I have a baby sock on circular needles that I have tucked away to finish someday, and a hat on circular needles that I have tucked away as well. I was trying to use the magic loop method and will get back to that one day :) Thanks for posting!

Annie Cholewa said...

Love this yarn!

I barely seem to have time to knit at all at the moment ... that was my knitting resolution ... knit more!

Knitrageous said...

I didn't do resolutions this year. I tried a word of the year instead. But I'm aware of a lot of UFOs I need to take care of. I finish the knitting and don't work in the ends!