Sunday, March 22, 2009

A slightly strange sweater

I think I'm finally working on a knitting project whose progress deserves to be blogged about. In fact I've meant to blog about it since I cast on on Thursday but knitting kept getting in the way. Luckily I ran out of yarn and had to search my stash which gave me a good reason to set the knitting down, take some photos and write this blog post.

First a bit of background. When I dyed the Falklands handspun blue I was planning to knit it up into a sweater for Ken. To that end I knit up a striped swatch using the Falklands and some aran weight blue tweedy wool I had left over from knitting my Juno sweater (which still needs to be properly blogged). I liked the swatch but wasn't completely crazy about the stripes. The two yarns worked really well together, though, and it was a great way to use the thicker skein of Falklands.
Bumming around Ravelry I discovered these two sweaters (Ravelry links) and fell in love. I decided to knit myself a yoke sweater with the Faulklands for the yoke and cuffs and the navy tweed for the rest.

I had one problem however; the yarns knit up best on a 5.5 mm needle and although I had two pairs of straight needles in this size I lacked circulars and dpns. I didn't want to buy more needles so I decided to stick with straights. I wanted to knit this sweater from the top down so that I could adjust edgings and cuffs and over all length based on how much yarn I had left. I therefore decided to knit a top down sweater with side seams and underarm seams.

On Thursday I cast on for the yoke which I was knitting all in one piece. I started by following Barbara Walker's top down instructions. I wasn't sure whether to change the rate of increase (4 stitches every row) since I was knitting garter stitch rather than stockinette. I knit and ripped several times while adjusting the increases and the number of stitches cast on. By the end of Thursday's knit night I had decided on using the same rate of increases and following the Walker pattern had produced this:
On Friday I ripped all of my work out and started again without the extra neckline shaping. I increased 8 stitches every wrong side row and soon had the yoke portion completed. Part way through the yoke I had too many stitches to fit comfortably on one needle. Since I had two pairs of straight needles, I put half of the stitches on one needle, half on the other and then knit them using a third. It was just like knitting on DPNs while working flat rather than in the round.
Since the yarn is thick, the pattern simple and the needles big this project is just flying along. The fronts and back are basically done and I'm just working on the sleeves. If all goes well (and I don't have to go searching through my stash again for more of the leftover yarn) I think this sweater will be done in a couple of days.
Back to knitting for me.

1 comment:

Briley said...

What a process you have gone through. I can't wait to see the finished sweater!