Sunday, March 7, 2021

A knitting post? Don't mind if I do.

Enough with the heavy, navel-gazing topics already. I'm ready for a crafting break -- how about you?

In our last exciting episode, which was back in November, I introduced you to a gizmo called a Norwegian knitting thimble and showed you the project I was knitting with it: the Community Tunic, a pullover sweater with a colorwork yoke. You may also recall that the yellow-green yarn I picked for part of the colorwork was too pale and didn't provide enough contrast with the main color. And then I made an offhand comment to the effect that I was going to have to go over those stitches in duplicate stitch with a better green.

Now, it usually takes me about a month and a half to knit a sweater. I started the Community Tunic in October. Guess when I finished it? 

Give up? 


The holdup was those 14 rows of duplicate stitch. I needed a really bright light to make out the pale green against the gray, so I bought a new table lamp. That was in December, I think. Then I started going around and around, row by row. I got the fourth row partly done before I abandoned that line of attack. It seemed to be taking forever. Then I started working spoke by spoke, which was better, but still so tedious. 

Finally I signed myself up for Great Courses Plus so I could stream lectures to listen to while I worked at the sweater. And at last, I finished it the duplicate stitch. All that was left was to sew on the pockets I'd knitted weeks ago. Of course, I screwed that up, too.

The column of stitches in the circle on the right has five stitches between the bottom edge of the pocket and the start of the ribbing. The column in the circle on the left, alas, has only four stitches from bottom of pocket to top of ribbing. I'd managed to drop down a stitch without realizing it.

There's a saying among knitters: It's not a mistake -- it's a design element. 

A knitting friend picked up a similar saying at a conference: If a man riding by on a horse won't notice it, just keep going.

Normally I would have -- but not this time. Not after the yellow-green yoke debacle. I ripped back to where I'd made my mistake (it wasn't very far) and redid the sewing, carefully counting each column of stitches before taking each new stitch. 

It worked. Attaching the pockets took no time after that. And now the sweater is done -- and I still have time to wear it before it gets too hot. 

The green might be a little too bright compared to the purple, but I am not doing anything else to this sweater. I am done. 

I did finish one other project this winter: a blanket/wrap/thing that I wove on the ginormous loom. Here's what that looks like. It's really long.

Getting that done allowed me to fold up the ginormous loom and gain a bit of real estate in my bedroom, which made me happy. Getting that sweater done and off the couch, where it's been silently rebuking me since Samhain, also made me happy -- it cleared the decks so I can work on accessories for Flora, who arrived yesterday. 

Isn't she adorable? I was going to knit her a hat, but I don't think it will fit properly, given the shape of her head. However, lots of llamas wear pretty woven blankets  and baskets on their backs. And I happen to be extremely close friends with somebody who owns a loom. And I know of a store that sells cute baskets. 

(I haven't gone completely around the bend. I know that Flora's just a statue made out of resin. But she was too cute to pass up. Plus she's cheap to feed, she's potty trained, and the landlady can't complain that I have a pet in this pet-free building.)

The little blanket for her back will take no time at all to weave. I'l show you when it's done. 

These moments of crafty blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. I know it's been almost a year since we all went home, but keep wearing a mask and social distancing. We're almost out of the woods.


Jo-Anne Teal said...

Love the sweater and Flora :)) You did a great job with the duplicate stitching. And I admire your tenacity, Lynne. I'm really bad at finishing projects. That lack of focus is my excuse for never having made a wearable sweater in the many years I used to knit. Gosh I miss knitting!

Lynne Cantwell said...

Thanks, Jo, and sorry it took me so long to reply!

I have a friend who loves casting on a new project, but then gets distracted by another new project and starts that one, and then sees another new project and starts *that* one... I couldn't live like that. :D It bugs me to have unfinished projects sitting around, so I stick at them 'til they're done. Everybody's different, right?

Pam Lewis Kellam said...

Lynne, you wouldn't even want to see the counted cross-stitch projects I've abandoned when I decide I absolutely MUST have yet another kit!! But I'm going to try to do better this year...until I find all of my pattern books and magazines I subscribed to that are in boxes in storage anyway! Love your blog!

Lynne Cantwell said...

Pam, I may have to send you the counted cross stitch kit I started last summer and set aside. You can add it to your to-be-finished pile. :D

Thanks for the kind words on the blog!