sweater

When the going gets tough

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When the going gets tough - the tough cast on for a new project. In fact, to be more specific they cast on for a colourwork sweater.

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of a soothing garter stitch project but sometimes you experience challenges in your daily life. The kind of stuff that can really send your brain into a tizzy. The kind of stuff that, if you are prone to overthinking, like me, has your brain spinning with endless "what-if's" or "if only's" - you know the kind of things I mean.

At times like this for me garter stitch just doesn't cut it. I need to direct all that brain energy into something more focussed, something to keep it occupied and stop me from going round and around in ever decreasing circles.

And recently for me, that meant casting on for a colourwork sweater. I've had the Laine magazine No3 in my hot little hands for a while now, poring over the glorious patterns. Really I want to knit them all but realistically that will have to wait. But a colourwork yoked sweater has been high on my list for some time and Treysta with it's patterned yoke and simple clean lines fitted the bill perfectly.

Luckily I had vast amounts of West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley aran yarn which matched the gauge I needed (I originally bought it for a sweater for DH which didn't work out) and I was easily able to supplement the dark grey with a few balls of contrasting yarn from Isla of Brit Yarn.

After that it was just a simple of matter of casting on and going for it. Because I had been unwell I had the perfect excuse to sit in bed (doting husband and kids in attendance) and just knit. And I have to say that it was sheer heaven. With a snoozing cat at my feet, a supply of snacks courtesy of the aforementioned kids and no distractions my brain welcomed the opportunity to focus on something positive and constructive.

I would never have thought that I could knit an entire colourwork yoke in a little over 24 hours - but apparently I can given the right circumstances - and an unlimited supply of biscuits. Who knew?

 

 

 

Nearly there

Fuelled entirely by caffeine and a desire to meet my revised stash dash goals. 

This morning I am determined that the body of the Windswept sweater will be off the needles and then I can dig out my trusty short circulars for the sleeves. I have learnt long ago that sleeve knitting and I can never really be firm friends and the only way that I can battle though them is to treat them like a plain vanilla sock and knit them on small circulars.

It's very strange when you think about it. Give me a lovely sock yarn and small circs and I'll merrily knit on them until the cows come home. Give me a sleeve on small circs and I hate and loathe knitting on it. I think it's the twisting and the untangling that comes along with having a sweater body attached to it. No matter what I try to I always seem to end up wrestling the rest of the garment as I try to knit.

A while ago I heard the Knitmore Girls talking about sweater knitting and I'm pretty sure that Jasmine mentioned that she knits the sleeves of sweaters right after the yoke and sleeve separation has happened. At that point there is hardly any sweater body to get in the way so you can knit the sleeves unencumbered and then go back and do the body,

That sounds like a fine plan and one that I wished I had remembered at the time. 

Next time... next time.

Stash dash: Or the quiet revaluation of goals

Windswept sweater in progress. Yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed, colourway Scree

Windswept sweater in progress. Yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed, colourway Scree

As you may remember from the blog last week I have been quietly contemplating my rather rash 10K goal for stash dash, after the somewhat depressing discovery that my crocheted, stripe blanket was rather smaller than I remembered it being.

As a result I took to rootling under the bed for some (very) long-neglected WIPs and came up trumps with this one. It is a Windswept sweater - pattern by Tin Can Knits which I started well over a year ago. All was going swimmingly with it as I recall. I had done the yoke, which is worked flat, separated for the sleeves and even sorted out the tricky overlap section to start working the body in the round.

Then, for reasons best known to my past self I had set the project aside without noting where I was on the lace panel chart (because of course I'm normally so good at doing that - not). When the time came for me to pick it up again, of course I couldn't remember what line was I up to so I did what I normally do and hope for the best. That didn't work, obviously and after another round I realised that I had totally messed it up.

I did what every normal, sane knitter would do with such a project. I stuffed it under the bed and went to cast on a shawl instead.

I'm pleased to report that this has a happy ending anyway. To my shame it really only took about 10 minutes to tink back, fix the lace panel and work out where I was - once I had a strong cup of coffee under my belt.

So, now I'm firmly back on track, steaming my way down the body and contemplating devious means of knitting the sleeves two at a time (to avoid my usual bout of sleeve paralysis). It may not get me to my 10K goal but it might help me to a respectable 7K with a bit of luck and a following wind.