Time for the Fun Part!
I just tried all three pieces on (ok, well, it was kinda awkward since they’re not attached yet) and have concluded that it’s time to pull this act together.
The sleeves could be an inch too long, but the cute garter stitch cuff folds back and still looks great. So there’s some leeway there! The original pattern called for CO 4o for the sleeves and I thought they were too wide. I backed off to CO 32. This called for extra increasing to get to the final stitch count (to make the yoke work). I should have increased every 6 rows instead of every 8. That’s why the sleeves are long! If I like this sweater as much as I think I will, I may use this template again. Next time, the CO for the cuffs will be 36.
I love the weight of this yarn. It’s City Tweed HW from Knit Picks in the Jacquard colorway. I can tell that the sweater will feel substantial. I bought 7 balls but it’s looking like I will use less than 6.
OK, off to make the Big Join and get started on the cable yoke!
Edit: this is from a pattern by Ann Budd. See previous post.
Thanks to this sweater and the Esther socks, I’m getting some good experience with hemming. The socks provided my first experience with a picot edging. I used a provisional cast-on, folded the hem over and used a round of K2TOGs to knit the cast-on stitches together with the stitches on the needles. I used the same technique for the first sleeve of the sweater, but I didn’t do a picot edging at the folding point, just a straight row of purl stitches.
For the body of the sweater, I decided to try a sewn hem. Based on what I read at on the Two Strands blog (see my previous post), sewing is supposed to produce a less-noticeable hem. I knitted the appropriate rounds (plus a few extra) and spent the rest of my weekend knitting time trying to figure out how to sew it neatly together! I was having difficulty recognizing which purl bump to pick up and then aligning it with the cast-on stitches correctly. Part of the problem is that I can’t refer to the stitches that are already done because the hem obscures them. Another problem is that I’m using dark yarn (harder to see in general). I guess it would easiest if there were a color change right where I wanted to put the hem (note to self for future planning!). I ended up running a stretch of waste yarn around the project to highlight the stitches I want to hem:
Each stitch is easy to see against the contrasting color. I have a long way to go before I can see how it all comes out …
Here’s a pic of the finished sleeve, btw:
One sleeve of Norblu is almost finished!
The accelerated increase ended at exactly the right length, so I’ve been able to work on the stranded decoration over a straight 72 stitches. Since this is a 12-stitch pattern, that’s perfect!
I had a general idea of the color arrangement I wanted, but it’s often the case that I don’t like my ideas once I see them “in action”! Before I got started, I decided to draw it out. I had a vague memory of some online knitting chart paper and, sure enough, this page from a Japanese site called Tata & Tatao allows you to enter your stitch and row gauge and then print out a sheet that’s close to the dimensions of your knitting. While in Philly yesterday, I bought a set of colored markers ($2 at Five Below!) and I did some experimenting last night. I think this was definitely worthwhile. I felt comfortable going forward with the stranded work and I’m happy with the result. It was nice to double-check the size of the pattern too. I wanted 5″ (because that’s how much I have left to finish the sleeve) but if that looked too small, I could rip back a few rows and add some more striping or something.
The decorative pattern comes from Jessica Tromp’s wonderful site of Norwegian (and other) knitting charts. I picked a fairly simple motif (cuz I’m new at it) and made it fancier with more colors. OK, so that’s where I got the “Nor” in the sweater’s working name … what about “blu”? When I finally settled on the yarn colors, I realized that what they have in common is “blue”. There is no blue in the sweater, but each of the colors has blue as a component. I think this sweater will look especially good with denim and navy blue!
Oh, lookie what I found a few minutes ago: Monkster Gets Stranded A free pattern for a Norwegian-style bottom-up raglan sweater for a Teddy Bear. Is that the cutest thing, or what?? If you’re wanting to try the techniques before committing to a real Monster size, maybe this is the way to go! I noticed that the next post describes hemming in detail too. Hah, shoulda found this site a week ago! It looks like a keeper …