A little while back I was inspired to purchase a whole bunch of yarn from Knit Picks. OK, let’s be honest… there was a sale… that was my inspiration. I really wanted to make a sweater. I have had such issues with making things like sweaters because I either A don’t finish or B finish and HATE IT. I’m not sure if it has been because I haven’t measured myself properly or have had issues with gauge and tension or have had issues with the pattern sizing (or, or, or…) but things just have never worked out and I usually end up sad that I can’t enjoy what I’ve spent so much time creating. So this time I wanted to be so sure… SO SURE… that the sweater would work out. Gauge swatch, check. Measurements, check. Using the proper size in the pattern, check.
The yarn I’m using is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in the colour Dove Heather. I have also found some very cute buttons on Etsy. I’m totally in love with all of it. My choice for pattern is the Who Me? Cardigan by Courtney Kelley. It is featured on page 37 of the Knitscene magazine published in Fall 2010 with the pattern beginning on page 75. It is an amazing 4×4 rib pattern with pockets and I’m completely smitten.
I’ve been learning a lot lately about how I knit. I knit with the yarn held in my left hand (Standard Left-Hand Method) and I’ve been discovering my tension has been leading to a bit of a mess on the edges of my work (selvedge) when I purl. Basically, my purl stitches are all loose and it makes my stitches look uneven and sloppy at times. It really became apparent that this was an issue when working with ribbing because the last knit stitch before the purl stitches would end up loose and what should have been a crisp line was looking pretty bedraggled. So I consulted my copy of The Principles of Knitting: Methods and Techniques of Hand Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt and discovered that it is a bit harder to keep tension consistent when purling with my method of holding the yarn. Instead of completely changing the way I knit, I chose to try doing an extra pull on the yarn while purling. It has really paid off. The change in how the ribbing looks is remarkable and it has really helped me sort out the sloppy selvedge mess as well.
The new technique is still a work in progress and I’m a bit concerned that each of the pieces that I knit will look different from the others, but I really love that I’m already noticing neater stitching and edges in other projects that I’m working on as well. HAPPY BONUS.
The picture above shows some of the progress so far. I’ve got the Back and the Right Front completed and blocked as well as one unblocked sleeve. I’m working on the second sleeve right now and will then get to finishing the left front. The left front will require a little bit of thinking to properly place the button holes, but I’ve got the button placement all figured out on the right front so it shouldn’t be much more than sitting down and sorting it all out. Sewing everything together has been another challenge for me in the past, but one that I am determined to overcome with this sweater.
A sweater! That I love and can wear! AN ACTUAL, FUNCTIONAL SWEATER!!!