Sweaterday: Swimming Along

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I made a lot of progress on my I∂unn sweater this week. I brought four balls of yarn (which miraculously arrived the night before I left—a mailperson dropped them off around 7 PM, well after my regular mail had been delivered—I’m not sure what happened there), and knit all four of them, which amounted to a great deal of knitting being accomplished.

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I added some waist shaping, which is missing from the cardigan, working three sets of 4 stitch decreases and increases that begin about an inch below the divide for the arms. I placed the back increases and decreases on the back, not along the sides of the body, which I think makes for a slightly more flattering fit on me. I’m really close to starting the ribbing at the bottom—I may have that to show you next week, but since I ran out of yarn, I shipped the sweater back to myself, along with some Christmas presents I’d received, so it all depends on when that box arrives and how much I’m able to knit before next Saturday.

Today’s the last Sweaterday for 2012! I hope to be able to continue posting regularly on Saturdays for a while in the new year, as at some point I’ll be working on Heidi Kirrmaier’s Rain Dance as part of the Sweater Odyssey knitalong.

But now I’m going to go play in Central Park.

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Sweaterday: Belated Edition

sweaterday

This weekend got away from me in a variety of ways, so I didn’t get around to posting this on Saturday. Or Sunday. But I wanted to show you all the progress I’ve made on my Roam Tunic, and how I went a little bit crazy after last week’s launch of the new Knitty issue.

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Look! It’s the front of a sweater! Taking two+ days to dry! I know some people have mentioned in their Ravelry knits that they converted this to an in-the-round knit. I didn’t, and let me explain why: As much as I love knitting in the round and don’t enjoy purling, the sweater, as written, (I think) requires seams. If you knit it in the suggested yarn, which is 100% alpaca, you want the stability and the support that seams provide. Alpaca stretches. It doesn’t have the memory that wool does (it definitely has more than any plant fiber out there). The shoulder join and the seaming of this sweater will help it keep its shape for a good long while. In a similar vein, it’s knit in a chunky yarn. Regardless of the fiber content (and mine is 100% wool) that’s going to be a heavy sweater. Weight + yarn = stretching. While knitting this in the round isn’t a disaster and it’s not a wrong decision, I don’t think it’s necessarily the best decision.

(If you’re concerned about bulky seams, Amy included a note in the pattern about splitting your yarn into fewer plies to reduce bulk, and this plan works.)

As much as I followed the pattern in most ways, in other ways, I went off into Crazy Panda Land.

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Bulky yarn takes FOREVER to dry. The front of the sweater, which I washed and laid out on Saturday morning, felt dry this morning. I don’t know if it was completely dry (and I didn’t exactly wait for it to be completely dry before I seamed everything up because I’m super impatient like that). But this is why I blocked it in pieces—if it took two days for one layer to dry, how long would it take for two layers to dry?

And then, because I find knitting on additions to sweaters that are already seamed to be really aggravating, I knit the collar and the sleeves separately. Because for me, sewing these pieces on is a lot less annoying, and indeed, a little therapeutic, than trying to twist the entire sweater around and around as I knit the collar in the round.

This is one of the beautiful things about knitting. Yes, if you follow a pattern, the journey is sort of predetermined, but there’s always room for excursions and day trips and sitting in fields reading poetry.

You know what I mean.

So in addition to making loads of progress on my Roam Tunic (…finishing it, actually, and hoping to get final shots on Friday before I leave for the holidays, because I do not want to take a bulky vest-tunic to Florida), I fell head over heels for Iðunn when the new Knitty Winter 2012 launched last week. (I think it’s pronounced i-thoon, “i” like “it” and “th” like “the,” but that’s based on a Wikipedia article on ð or “eth,” so.) I had two balls in contrasting colors of the Istex Lett-Lopi that my parents bought for me when they were in Iceland this summer, so I immediately printed out the pattern and came home to cast on.

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I made it that far before I ran out of the lighter purple color, and even though I ordered more yarn last Tuesday, it still hasn’t arrived. From Wyoming. Supposedly it shipped out on Saturday (!!!) and as of this morning was in Denver (which, PS, means it pretty much bypassed me entirely, as I’m closer to Wyoming than I am to Denver). I’m hoping it arrives before I leave to go home, so I can show my parents that I do knit the yarn they bring me, but that means it has to show up either today or tomorrow.

So far it’s knitting up quickly. As soon as I finish the colorwork yoke I think I’ll be ready to split for the arms and body, and if I can get the yarn in time, this will make a great project to knit while I’m traveling.

Sweaterday: Stonecutter’s Cardigan

As I mentioned on Thursday, one of my goals for November is to knit the Stonecutter’s Cardigan by Amy Christoffers. I’m off to a pretty good start, thanks to a three hour work meeting (yes, I am able to knit through meetings at work, as long as I pay attention, and this meeting didn’t require that much attention).

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I would guess that I’m about 4″ into the body (the pattern starts with stockinette pocket linings, those are done too). This pattern is addictive. It’s taken me about an hour to write this post because I keep putting the computer down to knit one more row.

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However exciting and addictive it is to knit, I’m not sure how exciting it is to read about it at the moment, so that’s it for this week’s Sweaterday post! Hope your weekend is going wonderfully.