I’ve been knitting again on this cardigan started last year, which went into hibernation due to other projects that came up, and quite frankly, was forgotten. Now near completion, I am in a total state of agitation, as I have had to knit the left, then the right button bands over, then bind off again & again. Soon it will be finished, and I can show you, after I get it all blocked a second time and buttons sewn on of course, some vintage buttons I bought from Knitterly in Petaluma last February, especially for this sweater …
They are wood, not sure what kind, but one thing is for sure, they are lacquered well. They were in the vintage odd bits bin, wired together and rather spendy. Twelve bux for twelve (and I will use nine), but you know, they were the only buttons of the seemingly thousands at Knitterly, which seemed to enhance the colors in the yoke. I’m so predictable to choose the natural materials when making things. What do you think? Shall I sew ’em on???
I’m performing cosmetic ‘surgury’ with a steam iron, on this badly fitting sweater. I’m doing things with moist rags I probably ought’nt, but I’m hopeful I can gently coax and block the fit into the right proportions for my shape. The couture of knitting, I’m finding is more and more important , as each project seems to have it’s own couturesque challenges. This one, as we know, has a whole nest of them !
Yesterday’s knitting walk was lovely. I followed Emma down in the meadow above the canyon (coyote-ville), and to our surprise, Emma spotted something very curious flapping in the breeze ahead.
Closer and closer, curiouser and curiouser !
Ah ha ! There has been someone who has been adorning the mountain with Tibetan Prayer Flags around here lately. The Masked Flagger has struck again ! They are admittedly quite a spectacle of artistic beauty, even bleached by the sun and wind-whipped to shreds.
♣ ♣ ♣
Now for a tune we just wrote, (first recording and very very rough, but the spirit is there!) A tune just so cheerful and hopeful sounding , and the prayer flags seemed so much to promise a real change and happy days ahead. Believe me when I tell you that everything is going to be Just Fine!
My thoughts about steeking are only that I am improving with each project. I am happy that I didn’t give up those first times when too many crocheted loops were making the edge ruffling out, or when I crocheted then tighter to compensate, and then distorting the edge as well. I’ve figured that similar to picking up stitches for the bands, that to crochet 3 rows and then skip a row, makes it seem to be just right, not too many, not too few.
Now, the big thing this time which I’m doing differently, is that I’m going to crochet the edges, finish it all off, then wash and block… all before cutting the steek. I can bet then that picking up stitches won’t be so difficult as I wouldn’t have varying length edges from mismatched tensions and washing/blocking with edges cut apart. Personally I think this discovery might be an improvement on the process of steeking.
I’m finding I’m liking this subtle contrast with Fair Isle. All earthy shades (even the red is very rusty) seem to melt into each other, even in every kind of light. Makes for a challenge seeing the pattern, but the affect is very pleasing and easy on the eyes. This cardigan is the second sweater that I’ve bordered with my hybrid rib & moss stitch edging, and which I love so much that I don’t see any end to using. In particular, the bound-off edge I use matches it perfectly, or mirrors the vikkel, making the rib nicely bordered by a braid on both sides. With the addition of the vikkel braid stitch, I feel my edging style is symmetric, pleasing , and finished.
The vikkel works so well as a transition between the ‘body’ and the ‘edge’ because it seems to cover up a sometimes awkward and messy decrease row transitioning into the rib band that seamless yoke sweaters tend to have. Next time I may try two rows of vikkel braid stitch. Or three ! The finish of the two short seems at the join of the body and arms, has become a matter of finer finishings for me. I always do a rough job of sewing seams from raw bound-off edges, but I do love the grafting idea, so I just transfer the stitches onto two short needles (or scrap yarn, or stitch holder) instead of binding off, so they’re all ready to graft together with no hassle. In fact, I think next time I will graft first thing so I’m not having to knit the whole yoke with the hardware hanging out of the armpits. Get it over and done with! Each time I do this grafting thing to bring the tiny seam together at the ‘arm pit’, I get better ( that is in theory, unless there’s a bit of a time lapse between the last, which in this case, may have been too long).
Practice makes perfect and I’m observing that once the stitches are taken off the needle and grafted together, that trying to take them apart to do over is courting disaster. So, rather than doing the grafting over, I’ll just leave it looking messy and smoosh out the bulky grafted seams when I wash and block.
Well, folks, I’m lost out in a field of redness again. “Really Red Cardigan” has been brought forth from simmering on the back burner as I knit up the Kilt Hose and my two nieces’ Mostly Green & Mostly Blue Pullovers. Again, just swimming in a beautiful sea of garnet red. Soon I’ll make it to a place where I make some decreases, or color changes, but for now, can you hear me calling in the distance ” Don’t expect me for dinner ” … and I can’t even decide which colors to put into the yoke yet ~ grey and black, or the earthy tones. Well, at about a thousand stitches per inch, I still have time to decide.