Monthly Archives: December 2004

Finished object equals happy knitter.

Hmm. Some people appear to have committed to a three-month YNBA – for me, that would mean buying no knitting anything until…March 24. Yikes. An extra 23 days. Let’s see how the next forty-nine go, shall we? It’s actually not so bad so far, although you only realize how many yarn shop e-mail lists you’re on when you have to delete the e-mails without reading them. But in shockingly happy news, I have won sock yarn from Susan by correctly guessing the size of her sock yarn stash without going over. When she admitted she was keeping yarn in her desk drawer at work, I knew I had a good shot. Thanks, Susan! [Note that there is no injunction against winning yarn during the YNBA, just purchasing it. Thank goodness!]

I wanted this to be the post in which I showed you completed pictures of the Multidirectional Scarf. Though I had my doubts, a head cold and a fierce bout of knitting Sunday produced something lovely. Project specs: About 380 yards (most of two 200+ yard skeins) of DZined worsted weight wool/hemp/mohair blend, knitted on size 5 needles (ball band calls for sizes 6-8, and I knit loosely) produced a six foot Multidirectional Scarf. I used the alternate ending provided in the pattern that makes the last triangle symmetrical, and I wove in my ends using duplicate stitch, more or less. Fun fact: I gave away my pattern not once but twice because local knitters admired my scarf. Hee.

So that makes four things still on the needles for those playing along at home (Lush sweater, Cabled Rib Cardigan, Cherry Tree Hill socks and Age of Aquarius Hat); I’m tempted to pick up the hat or the cabled cardigan, because the hat would go quickly and Knit One Purl Too’s stash distribution staff (aka my husband) wants a sweater (now!), but I may do something radical. Ready? Read on.

The project that has languished the longest on the needles is the Lush sweater; swatched for on January 27th of this year. Longtime readers will note that I first started this sweater after I decided that I did not like the top-down raglan in Ballybrae that suffered from my ahem developing knitting technique (read: I made a heap of mistakes I could sort of see, but wasn’t yet savvy enough to fix). Unfinished sweaters? 2 Completed garments? 0. Zero! This is the great embarrassment of my knitting life, that I’ve yet to complete a sweater. I have most of the back and a sleeve done, but I am again having quality control issues – the Lush sweater has some “operator errors”. I have no desire to give in to my perfectionist tendencies, but could I make the sweater better and have a learning experience at the same time?

Here is my plan:

1. Cast on front and back stitches; mark the side seam placement after
ribbing is complete.
2. Knit to the armholes; make phoney seams.
3. From armholes to shoulders, knit front and back separately, back and forth, casting off for armholes.
4. I think there’s minor casting-off for neck shaping at this point.
Cast off stitches for front and back neck, but leave shoulder stitches
live for 3-needle bindoff.
5. In original pattern, sleeves are knit cuff up and inserted into
shoulders; I could do it up or down, I suppose.
6. Bind off shoulders. Pick up stitches around neck edge for turtleneck; knit turtleneck.

Can you tell what I’m doing? That’s right – reworking the pattern so the sweater is knit from the bottom up in the round. I’ve had a hankering to do a sweater in the round since I started knitting, and this plan lets me do that while still checking something off my list of unfinished objects. It’s like two steps backward to take a leap forward, but I feel good about re-starting a sweater I know will turn out better in the end.

Significantly, after re-reading Knitting Without Tears and The “I Hate to Finish Sweaters” Guide to Finishing Sweaters this past week I realized I just plain understood more of it. Amazing what a year of knitting experience will add to your brain. For reference, here are part one and part two of Jenna Wilson’s excellent series for Knitty on the vagaries of sleeve shaping. making sure the sleeves fit properly will be the most challenging part of this plan – and I think I’m ready. Can I finish a sweater – any sweater – before March 24?

The bonus link is back: For future reference, here is an Irish Hiking Scarf pattern, seen at Trish’s place.