Sunday, 3 April 2016

Andi Satterlund Cropped Sweater

When I started knitting this sweater (in October) it was with shaky hands because I had never bought so much such nice such expensive yarn for a project.  Seriously, I think I had high blood pressure for the first half of the body. 

Mind you, I've started a lot of knitting projects. I learnt to knit at 16 (my 12-year-old host sister in Finland taught me) and I made loads of those useless cotton squares, I made legwarmers for myself, I later made 1.5 socks.  That was in 2003 and I think the second sock is still on needles.  I forgot how to do the heel.  I knitted sad, anaemic scarves with the wrong size needles and that nobody wanted, because I couldn't resist buying beautiful wool...and thanks to New Zealand I knitted a bulky pullover sweater that shedded on all humanity, and which I gave to a friend who immediately lost it. 

So this project came with a promise - a wearable sweater.  That I would finish.  No matter what.  I cast on in Delft, put it in the round in Reykjavik (thanks so much to the Finnish lady in Storkurinn yarn store, without whom it would have stalled, permanently twisted.)  I knitted in Seattle, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hawaii and finally cast the body off in Ukraine.  At which point I discovered that my short cable was missing and there was no replacement.  I used the interim time to make some scarves (as you may have noticed) and practice short rows.  I guess I could say, this sweater (+ Ukraine!) finally turned me from someone who loves beautiful yarn but can't be trusted around it, into a knitter.  For which I am eternally grateful.

The Tuts+ tutorial was invaluable.  I went one section at a time and didn't look ahead too much, so I wouldn't get panicky.  Only a few new things are introduced at a time so it doesn't overwhelm.  Youtube was a big help since I didn't have anyone around to ask for advice most of the time.

I was on tenterhooks to wait months for access to the short cable needles, but when they arrived I took a break from the endless red scarf to do my first shoulder and it was amazing. The short rows were fun - not nearly as terrifying as they had been in my head, especially after the shock at learning that you take up stitches at an armhole/neckhole in a very unscientific way. (Youtube said - fold in half, fold in half again, place markers, estimate your stitches per quadrant.  Really???)  There are lots of little holes in my first underarm to prove that I didn't do these things very well.  How can I get rid of these holes? Also my second shoulder didn't really improve because I guess I hold my knitting differently than everyone and so the youtube videos don't all make sense. 

This is after blocking the sweater, but I don't see any difference...

By the time I finished the sweater my excitement had dwindled.  I guess because unlike sewing it's very clear what you're getting before it's done.  Let's see...I really should have done the extra-stretchy bind-off on the hem.  It's hard to get on and off because I did a normal hem bind-off.  It's very short.  I don't have any dresses to go with it.  In fact, as I looked through everything I have ever sewn, I realised I never achieved the simplest of sewing landmarks: the tried-and-true woven dress.  So unlike my dreams where I threw this sweater on and then swanned off into the sunset, I'm not really sure what to do with it.  

There's one good answer!  Sewing holiday in Munich is coming up soon : )  How much can I sew in a week?  What dresses should I sew to match my sweater?  And is there any way to switch the normal bindoff for the extra stretchy one?  I think I have enough rust coloured yarn left.  

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