Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Handstrikket and the placket

A Handstrikket update. The yoke is coming right along albeit a little slow going; although I've completed the first decrease row, there are still TONS of stitches in each row. Fortunately, it's not boring to knit because of the colorwork. I'm almost out of the light blue yarn though so I ordered more last night and paid for fast shipping, too. I need to keep moving!

This photo is a little deceiving because I need a wider hanger to spread out the neckline; the way it is now, it looks low cut but it won't be. I haven't knitted the shoulders yet - what you're seeing at the top of the hanger is really the upper arms. But you get the drift.

It's interesting to compare the original and my updated version. I'm glad I omitted the patterning on the hip; I think it's beautiful but drawing attention to my giant derriere is never a good idea. The new yoke may need more to be longer than the original, so I might add another peerie or two at the top. For the uninitiated, a peerie is the Shetland word for little and means a colorwork motif that is one to five rows deep. Here is one of the peeries from the Handstrikket. Fair isle knitting is really just a series of different peeries knitted together.

Now, let me tell you what I've discovered about the neckline and the placket. I've never seen this technique before; if you have, please let me know. It's very interesting.

The original knitter finished the colorwork yoke and then created the neckline by knitting one inch in white, then a picot row, and then another inch. She the folded the neckline in half along the picot row and whip stitched it closed. At this point, you'd think that she would pick up stitches along the front of the sweater to make the placket. Not in this case. Instead, she cast on seven stitches and P2 K5 for the length of the sweater adding buttonholes as she went. When the placket was finished, she machine sewed the placket to the garment, sewing right in the ditch between the purl and knit stitches - you have to look hard to even find the thread! She then whip stitched down the two purls stitches to the sweater. Ingenious! It gives the cardigan a smooth front placket and finishes off the neckline, too. I'm going to try it. A novel approach, don't you think?

This has been such a fascinating project for me. I was thinking last night that this sweater is exactly what I've dreamed about making for years and years, ever since the late seventies when I was in college and fair isle yoke sweaters were all the rage. No self-respecting co-ed would have been without one! Now this middle-aged mamma won't be without one either.  


  1. It is lookin' right fine !
    Even though you are not in touch with the knitter of your original cardigan, she is still teaching you 1 on 1. She knew what she wanted and figured out a way to achieve it.
    Funny, isn't it..how the things we do last forever and go on from person to person..especially when they are of value.
    Thanks for this blog and sharing the wealth, Julie!


  2. Thanks, as always, for the great support, Teresa. You were my first reader and I'm gratified that you keep coming back. THANK YOU.

  3. I subscribed to the RSS feed..both for your bloggings and also new comments.

  4. Great! Everyone please subscribe so you know when I've blogged. Check out the links on the right side of this page. THANK YOU.

  5. I had never seen a placket made that way, but it's very interesting. Let us know how it goes when you attempt it ok? The sweater is looking great. I subscribe to your RSS feed but it seems I always end up seeing the posts a day or two after they are published hmmmmmmm, very very strange.