Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The flame is doused

My forearms are sore, the outside of my upper arms are sore, the fleshy muscle at the base of my left thumbs aches and cramps up if used too much, my pads of my left thumb and left forefinger are sore...it must mean that the Knitting Olympics are over! Thanks to the intrusion of life into my knitting schedule (including my father going through leukemia testing) I didn't complete my sweater as early as I had anticipated. In fact, I didn't finish this baby early at all but squeaked under the wire a la the Yarn Harlot. I didn’t stay up until 4am as the Harlot did, but I did stay awake past midnight both Friday night and Saturday before my aching arms forced me to set aside the sweater.

(Please excuse the cat. He insisted on being in the picture.)

I enjoyed knitting this sweater. I didn't enjoy having to untwist the two strands of yarn all the time, though. The lighter silk/wool blend continually wrapped itself around the heavier cotton strand. But I think the look of the two yarns together is quite lovely and am pleased with the resulting look.

Overall the knitting was straightforward. The only (comparatively) complicated part is the increases and decreases on the front pieces. The edges that are exposed (aka not part of the seams) are in three stitch garter stitch, and all increases or decreases are made inside the garter stitches. Toward the top of the piece, increases are happening on one side while decreases are happening on the other. The instructions refer to the sides as Side 1 and Side 2, because the pattern is written out for the right front with the left front instructions merely stating "reverse all shaping", so keeping track of which side is Side 1 and which side is Side 2 doesn't allow for mindless knitting.

The sewing together of the two front pieces was the most challenging part of the project. I had to think about what I was doing so that I wouldn’t make a mistake and sew the front side to the wrong back side. It was even more confusing when the first side was attached and I had to make sure the second side was properly sewn on. But at last! The sweater is done!

Now on to other projects.

I’ve finally decided on my color scheme for the Torino sweater. I’m not a blue person and I really don’t care for the bronze color used in the upper part of the pattern. As I perused the Heilo color card at the LYS, I thought it would be nice to use the colors of the Italian flag – which incidentally would go quite well with my wardrobe. So I’ve settled on off white for the body, deep forest green in place of the navy, forest green for the Norwegian blue, sage green for the soft blue, and dark red in place of the bronze. I plan to wear this sweater at Christmastime when I go home for the holidays, so there’s no burning need to start this project…and I have to get the yarn in anyway.

There is, however, a burning need to get started on the Wedding Ring Shawl. First I’m going to do some practice rows with the leftover cotton from my Knitting Olympics sweater. It’s a DK weight and, like the gossamer silk I’ll be using, doesn’t have give like wool.

Onward and upward!


At 6:24 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

It looks great ! I'd love to see it worn (hint hint!) Did you like the fit?

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Zooks said...

Elizabeth -- I didn't snap any pictures of myself wearing the sweater yet... :-) I'm not completely satisfied with the way the side seams came out so I am planning on pulling them apart and fixing it. (One reason why I may not participate in future KO's: I ended up having to rush through the sewing together which I think is a critical part of a successful sweater. But I digress.)

I especially need to examine how the top edges of the front pieces meet at the arm hole. I think I could have done a better job there, too.

But the fit is good overall. It's a little shorter than I expected, but I'm taking off a nagging extra ten pounds that will very much affect the apparent length of the sweater. Also, knowing the my undersides of upper arms have a little of that annoying extra flesh, I added four extra increase stitches (without adding extra rows) to the sleeves once I got past the elbows.

The yarns I chose knitted up into a nice fabric with good drape and perfect warmth for a springtime sweater.

All in all, I'm quite pleased with the finished project even before I make the additional tweaks.


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