Sunday, February 12, 2006

You CAN do this!

Dear Cynthia,

I noticed today that you are making great progress in your project for the Knitting Olympics. I know what it is like to feel a little uneasy about the size of a sweater at the beginning. Sometimes I've been able to make myself feel better by putting the stitches on a lifeline (removing the needle) and getting a flat measurement...although, sometimes I've put the stitches on a lifeline and right then pulled the lifeline out to start over in a larger size. Anyway, if you are really really confident in your gauge, then all else is an illusion created by ribbing and the bit of a "cinch" the needles cause, right?? I hope??

Regarding steeks, thte knitting blogs seem to be filled with talk about them lately. I know that Wendy has discussed them, as well as the Yarn Harlot, though the most comprehensive information I've seen about them is on the "techniques" section in the sidebar of Eunny's site. You make me blush with your talk of my expertise in the area of steeks, unless, by "expertise", you mean that I "have knit with steeks twice in 41 years". When I made a Fair Isle vest using steeks, for each armhole I put something like 15 or 20 underarm stitches on a holder and then cast on four steek stitches, knit in alternating colors. At the end of the project, I think I machine stitched along the edges of the steeks prior to cutting (though given the stickiness of the yarn, machine stitching is supposed to be optional, but I take the extra measure), then picked up the armhole cuffs from just inside the machine stitching and from the 15 to 20 stitches on the holder.

On my current project, I will use what I've seen referred to as "Norwegian steeks", in which the body is knit in a tube from bottom to neckline. Then, some lines of machine stitching are sewn vertically on each side of the body and as deep as the sleeves are, and a line is cut between the stitching lines to make the sleeve opening. (Let me know if you want more details about how this is to be done.) Here I show the "tube" for the body of the Fana cardigan. I just cast off some stitches to begin the front neckline decreasing -- which means I'm not knitting in the round anymore. Now it's back and forth until I get to the top, about two more inches.

Stay the course, lady! I have complete confidence you will get a gold medal in the Knitting Olympics! And, I love the colors you are using!!

Warm regards,
Laura (aka YarnThrower)

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