Once again I’ve been struggling to get pictures uploaded to the blog. After stumbling in circles for umteen tries over several days, finally success.
Does anyone remember the cotton summery pullover/sweaters my friend MC and I decided to knit-along with a year ago spring? Somewhere along the way I’d finished the front side but then it drifted to the bottom of the project bag and rested. Until about a month ago I realized that a good friend’s May birthday was soon coming and it be perfect for her. If it was finished in time.
Other than the little baby sweater for Faith 19 months ago, and the Red Sweater KAL top-down raglan sweater finished last autumn, this is only my third sweater and the first time I’ve encountered decreasing on the shoulders and the eventually joining the shoulder seams after both sides were knit.
The pattern writer assumed knitters would know that when she wrote “Working both sides at once, bind off 3 sts from each neck edge 6 times., AT SAME TIME (Pattern words in bold) after 1″ of neck shaping has been worked, bid off from each armhole edge 10 sts twice, 11 sts once.”
Now this make perfect sense to a seasoned knitter but very little to me. Deducing that I was to be binding off at the neck I blithely bound 3 sts both going out and coming back. It took fiddling around to come up with smooth bind-off when coming back to the neck side but, by George, I got it finished and all the loose ends on that side woven in before starting to knit the back side which was exactly the same.
This is when a lapse of at least nine months took place before digging the yarn, pattern and front from the bottom of the bag. In those nine-some months my knitting has finally sped up, a little. Hey, 20 stitches per minute is a vast improvement over the previous slug pace of 12 spm! You know what helped speed it up? (Other than a seemingly endless Red Sweater, a 242 stitch/row lace shawl and a few pairs of socks) I began knitting looser. Unconsciously. As without realizing the looser, faster knitting changed gauge. It was 2/3rds up the backside and laid it out over the front to measure and compare when I saw how different they were, not only in measure and gauge but in feel. The looser gauge makes for a softer feel. But with less than a week left in which to finish it and mail it off I continued upwards.
Remember the shoulder decreases? By this time I’d learned that one decreases only on the forward direction which meant that the front side has half as many rows as it should have, making a shallow neck line. Since both sides are the same the front became the back and the correctly decreased side is now the front.
Following the instructions the sweater was blocked before knitting in the ribbed neckband and sleeve-bands and sewing the seams. (Is this common?)
I diligently, and labouriously, picked up stitches and worked a 1″ neckband. It looked wonky so I tried it on (sorry about the blurry picture!):
This is a summery pullover but the ribbed neck looked heavy and simply too big. I ripped it out Sunday afternoon, crocheted a simple bind-off around the neck and did the same for the arms instead of the ribbed arm-bands pattern called for.
Doesn’t this look better? (Please ignore the fact that raising the arm to take the picture set the pullover off center.)
The picture still doesn’t capture the true jewel tones of the cotton yarn.
Last picture shows the colors.
Since it’s cotton and I wanted to be certain that my friend could toss it in the washer without worries, I washed it on a normal setting, cold water, regular soap. Then it was hung out to dry with the bottom gently tugged into shape.
Pattern: Short-Sleeved Ribbed Pullover by Katarina Ronnlund-Linden
Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer ’87
Yarn: Plymouth Cotton Fantasy Naturale
Needles: Jenkins wooden Circulars US7 & US5 24″L
Finished May 5,08
Overall I’m quite pleased with it. The cotton should get softer with each washing and yet stay durable and comfortable. It would be nice to knit another one someday – for myself. If so, I’d use something with a bit more drape and softer hand, maybe try a bamboo yarn or rayon/cotton blend.
After hanging from the branch and drying all morning it was wrapped in tissue and sent merrily on its way to my friend in Texas. Happy Birthday T!
Of course I had to celebrate – with a haircut. 🙂
Before, with Faith who has a fistful of newly delivered hand-dyed silk. (That girl has refined taste.) And After haircut.