Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cardigans and class

As I expected, I had another glorious knitting class with Kathy Zimmerman on Saturday. This time, she taught us how to make sweaters customized for our bodies. We started by taking lots of measurements of our bodies and then took the same measurements of garments that we think fit well. We then built schematics for our very own perfect sweaters.

For my target design, I decided to use the Augusta Sweater from the soon-to-be-released New England Knits. Why? Because so many of you contacted me after my last posting to tell me you loved it. Who am I to argue? I love the design, too. I'm going to whip it up in the Berroco Peruvia I already have in my stash - what a concept!

Unfortunately, Interweave didn't send me the book in time for the class. I ordered it directly from them at full price - instead of at Amazon where I could have saved ten bucks - so that it would get here fast. But after spending $5.39 for shipping, the company sent me the book parcel post. Parcel post takes up to nine days! For that amount, I should have gotten it via Priority Mail in two days.  Ridiculous. I hate companies that charge exorbitant shipping and handling charges. It's dishonest. Tell me what something really costs because it just pisses me off when I discover the ruse!

So, I ended up building a schematic that matches what I think the Augusta Cardigan will look like. I assumed the semi-obvious: set-in sleeves, knitted from the bottom up, using aran weight yarn. But I decided that mine will have a gentle A-line fit since that's the way my body is.

Speaking of the A-line fit, Kathy suggested putting the additional increases in the purl stitches that surround the cables. I'd never thought of this; I'd always assumed they should be done at the side seams. What a great idea.

Kathy also suggested that I try designs with set in sleeves and side seams (I know my friend Teresa is gagging now) because she thinks I'll get a better fit than the round yoke sweaters I usually make. We'll see how the Augusta turns out and how it fits.

This week, despite all the great inspiration, I've been trying to finish up the Handstrikket. Last night I completed the stockinette - grace of fricking God! I need to knit about an inch and a half in DK weight Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light for the hem and then sew it up. After that, it's the plackets, buttonholes, and buttons and then it's is FINIS. Cannot wait.

I'm not sure what I'll do when I'm finished. I've still got another Northman mitten to make so I might make a detour and finish this up. I like doing short projects in between the long ones for some instant gratification. Then I think I'll work on the Augusta.
But I've got another delight in the wings. When I was at Kathy Zimmerman's yarn store, I made a HUGE splurge and bought enough Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande to make New England Knit's Melrose Peacoat. I want a knitted coat I can wear to walk the beloved Moose. This will be beautiful. My plan is to knit the center seed stitch sections wider to match my wider body; make the right and left seed stitch sections the same width so there isn't a gape when the coat is buttoned; use four sets of woven leather buttons; and make the sweater about 30 inches long.

I knitted up a swatch of this miraculously soft yarn. So delicious I could eat it for dinner. Or curl up and suck my thumb with this little swatch, it is so soft. The next time I need a baby present, I'm making a blanket out of this alpaca delight.
Or maybe a extra-warm doggie sweater for my wonderful pug.
So that's my latest, girls. Oh, and I'm thinking about going back to Kathy Zimmerman for a finishing class in August. I still haven't mastered the Kitchener stitch and would love some professional instruction in seaming (stop groaning, Teresa!). Kathy's yarn shop is my Mecca. Glad to have found a wonderful place to go when I need to get away and learn something new.


  1. You're Back! And had a grande time too I see!
    I am jealous of you and your Augusta. Love those cables.
    The HandStr... is almost done! Great teaching project. You'll appreciate it when you wear it because of all the labor put into it.
    Many plans and lots on your plate for Autumn knitting....and...another workshop.
    Fun galore!

  2. The book is $18.97 at

    I won't buy from Amazon because they sell subscriptions to cock fighting and dog fighting magazines.