Sunday, 7 January 2018

Miette by Andi Satterlund - a two year project

I cast this on in Ukraine but realised the lace was too difficult at that time and stopped it.  I had considered using Malabrigo Rios (I ended up making my second simple sweater with it - here) but I thought the single colour that I had originally planned to use would indeed be nicer.  The yarn is Cascade Heathers 220, the colour is called iridescence, it is pale mauve from a distance but close up it's a rainbow and very beautiful. 

So I really cast on in 2016 while I was in Poland travelling with my cousin.  I got through the first 20 rows and then ran out of knitting time...until now.  I had progressed through increasingly challenging projects in Nepal and felt ready to tackle this monster!

This is a much harder project that the simple pullover I made before, and for that reason I'm glad I put so much time in between the two.  I had to relearn everything in Nepal - yarn overs, and ssk and all of it...maybe it will stick in my head this time?  The awesome thing is how my projects inadvertently were a progression of skills.  I started with the legwarmers, doing nothing new, but really needing my project to fit me.  Then I made the cowl which reminded me how to concentrate as you only have two rows of pattern but they are slightly offset.  After that I made the handwarmers and was really amazed how ok it was to do the thumb gusset and the thumb overall - plus those went into use RIGHT AWAY! The cables in my earwarmer made me more confident doing new things - so by the time I picked this back up my confidence had grown.

I picked this up at row 20, and with one week left in Nepal I was on a mission to get it done!!  I was a knitting machine!  I didn't finish it before leaving Pheriche - I had the body and one sleeve done and determined to finish the rest in Kathmandu.  As always with knitting, I have found that the minute you stop a project you doom it to potential eternity.




My colleagues in Pheriche totally laughed at the diminutive size of this thing.  They couldn't believe it was for me.  I made the XS and it's really small looking! But when I put it on, noting there were still no ribbing front bits, it seemed to stretch to fit.  So I guess blocking is when you really make something your size. 




I'm not sure what difficulty level people place this sweater at, but I believe it's relatively challenging for a beginner.  The lace rows mean that you are endlessly counting, ugh!  If you miss a stitch, you have to put it back into the right quadrant of the sweater.  I was totally mad at the single purl row at the bottom of the sweater, not realising it really is pattern!  And after that I didn't have the energy to figure out knitting and purling into my back loops, it was too hard, so I went with normal k2p2 for the bindings.  (During my last week in Pheriche I had no internet to check on things!)

 Also I thought the way the sleeves are continued makes it really hard to actually not have a hole in the armpit.  I assume this is beginner problems.  You only pick up two stitches at the bottom, then you knit those stitches together...on my first armpit that led to a massive hole.  I left a large yarn tail luckily so I kind of darned that thing shut while weaving in the ends.  I used a very short US 8 round needle for the sleeves and it was kind of a pain but I did the same with the second sleeve (not enough of a pain to switch to DPNs).  I didn't have a smaller needle for the sleeves so the cuffs were also done with US8.  I tried to be more clever about the second sleeve but even trying to pick up strategic stitches, there is a huge hole. It seems to me like you need to pick up 3-4 stitches to avoid having a hole.



I did get around to relearning purling in the back loops for my button bindings.  It is not all that easy and for some reason I had a real block at first but I got the hang of it.  However I don't think it looks better at all and it is *so much* harder than just purling, so I'm not convinced.  Or I'm doing it wrong?

The pattern read that I needed 7 buttons, which I already had gotten in Kathmandu, so I didn't double check.  It ends up you need 8 and I could have gotten one more!  I finally finished the bands after the holidays - didn't manage to finish it in Nepal, but I'm still really pleased it's done.  I feel more confident and ready to make larger sweater projects that will actually fill gaps in my wardrobe - I'm not really confident that I'll wear this much since it is best suited to going over dresses. 

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