Friday, April 23, 2010

Go north, young man

Last night's knitting agenda: chop the Handstrikket sleeves and then start grafting them together. I pondered this all day long before deciding that I should practice the Kitchener stitch on two swatches before undertaking this enormous undertaking. Smart girl. After an hour and a half getting absolutely no where, I gave up and cast on for the Northman mittens.

I need to find a teacher, class, or guru to help me. Until then, I'm going to get the Handstrikket dry cleaned and see how it fits (one of my loyal readers, Yarn Rescuer, made this suggestion - thank you). Maybe by some miracle of God the sleeves will spontaneously shorten! I doubt it. But I've got to find someone to help me if I'm going to do this. I don't want to wreck this cardigan I truly love because I'm incredibly inept and inexperienced.

Yearning for instant gratification and frustration-free knitting, I started the gorgeous Northman mittens. I love how the Ultra Alpaca knits up on the size 3 needles. Wish I'd done the whole Handstrikket with the smaller needle size (although it would have taken forever to have finished). I love the color, the fair isle patterning, the yarn, the design, everything. Plus I got the cuff done in an evening. These babies are going to fly off my needles and I'm going to enjoy every single second of them.


I am by now a fairly accomplished colorwork knitter. I am confident I could complete almost any fair isle project. That means  it's time to improve some other knitting skills. Towards that end, I signed up for a Kathy Zimmerman cable sampler scarf class in May. I love Kathy's designs which almost always contain some gorgeous cabling or lace pattern that I'm too intimidated to try (like this updated classic cardigan). So on the appointed Saturday, I'm driving from west of DC to east of Pittsburgh and taking this afternoon class. Really looking forward to meeting Ms. Zimmerman, soaking up her wisdom, and then trying my hand at a cabled garment. Like maybe an upsized version of this gorgeous cardigan?

10 comments:

  1. I'll ask my mother (my own knitting mentor) her thoughts about shortening the sleeves, see if she's ever done something like that.

    Speaking of whom, my mother shoved the materials for my first stranded project into my hands at Christmas 2008. I absolutely love stranded knitting! I'm having such fun with it!

    All of my successful projects (and note that word, because it will become relevant soon) have been only two colors, however. I feel great with stranding two colors. I can strand two colors up a storm!

    I'm making my second attempt with using 3 colors in one row, however. So far it's going better than my first attempt which was a complete and utter ruin of a disaster. Still, I find that adding just 1 more color into the row just ups the complication factor exponentially.

    Any tips? I don't know the name of my knitting style because I'm not that sophisticated, mind you. I keep both yarns in my right hand, and pull the new color underneath the old one as I go.

    Trace

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  2. Wished I lived closer to you, Julie, so I could come over and help you with the Kitchenering. You are planning to snip above the sleeve increases, right? Got to make sure you have the same number of stitches on both sides to make it all work.

    Since I live half way across the country, I'll keep my fingers crossed that the dry cleaning works.

    The mittens are beautiful.

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  3. My mother said:

    I think she can unravel from the cuff up, CAREFULLY and pick up the stitches and knit the other direction - DOWN. I'd tell her to knit 4" or so on other needles to practice - (a couple of inches of her sweater sleeve pattern - then about four or six rows of her rib - and bind off - then UNRAVEL from the rib end - back thru her sleeve pattern - pick up and knit the other direction - (reversing her pattern - you know, if it's got decorative Scandinavian pattern there). I believe I've done that myself - on Dale legs for kiddy stuff.

    The stitches may look slightly off, but you can hardly see that.

    -------

    Trace

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  4. Oy -- more from my mother as she thinks of more things: She adds not to forget to account for your decreases in the sleeve toward the cuff no matter how you do this.

    Trace

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  5. Trace, I love you AND your mom! Thanks so much for all the advice. You guys might not know the official knitting terms, but you know your sh*t! I truly appreciate the wisdom.

    Ann, I wish you lived closer, too. If you did, I know just what you'd be doing this weekend: helping me fix this damn sweater!

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  6. I KNOW you will fall in love with...no....become addicted to cables!
    t_a

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  7. So does that mean you'll fall in love with stranded knitting, Teresa???? :-)

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  8. Come to Scranton (were only 6 hrs from Pittsburgh!) and see where th Office is located! lol and meet me for a sit and knit! and come to my favorite local yarn store! DO IT!!! :) lol I'm kidding of course but wouldn't it be nice! :)

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  9. Miss Katie, my sum goal in life is to go to Vermont this summer. If I do, I'll be heading up Route 81 and will have coffee with you. Promise! And we'll get some knitting in, too. I would love to meet you, girl. Now I'm going to look at your blog and see if you've posted any pics of that alleged sweater you're knitting. ;-)

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  10. I've visited Kathy's store. It's wonderful and so is she. It's situated in a lovely little town in the mountains.

    You'll have a great time!

    Deb in PA

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