Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Giving birth

Like so many projects that take a while to complete and deliver, knitting and finishing a knitted object can be clumsily likened to a pregnancy and birth.

You conceive an idea, you germinate it by casting on, you suffer through the trials of knitting (growing) it (or, you romp through it like some women do their pregnancies) and in the end, you give birth and cut the umbilical cord of your “baby” by snipping the final yarn strand off the final seam.

I’ve just “given birth” to this:

That’s my second Slanting Gretel Tee (pattern from the Fall 2009 issue of Interweave Knits).  It’s for my sister who very annoyingly liked mine so much that she requested one for herself (why couldn’t she choose something I hadn’t knitted yet?).  The yarn is Little Wool Co’s DK-weight, machine-washable 100% wool in Forest.

Grizzling aside, I am very pleased with how it has turned out.

A word of caution for those thinking of knitting this for themselves:  it could be my bad pattern reading skills, but it is my second time around, and I swear I read the damn pattern line by line. The row count for decreases in the seed stitch part appears wrong to me. By the time you decrease all the rows noted in the chart, you realise you’ve still got at least 20 spare stitches hanging around. In the end I just kept decreasing regularly until I ended up with the 8 stitches I was supposed to have, and thankfully it doesn’t look at all wrong. But it was quite a stressful thing to endure at the time.  I experienced the same situation when I knitted it the first time.

Putting on some winter kit to present the tee in suitable format for a photograph made me so nostalgic for winter. I know you lovely readers in the Northern Hemisphere are just about fed up with all that snow and cold weather – send it my way please! I’m sick of this warm weather!

I think the central cable is my favourite bit. It’s so pretty.

This photo is pre-blocking, so the stitches haven’t ‘settled’ yet.

Anyway, I’m on to something else!

I think I’ve got that startitis bug that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (Yarn Harlot) so hilariously described in a recent post.

I have attempted to control this situation by allowing myself free range to peruse and dream over my pattern sources.  I then generated a whole list patterns I liked, then looked at them again, and narrowed the options down to a smaller ‘really-like’ list.  Next, I researched the patterns on Ravelry (does it look good on a real person?) and tested yarn against pattern (do I have something in my collection that will suit the pattern?).  By this stage, I had weeded out a few more ‘desired projects’.

The remaining list is now matched with yarn, and now comes the thinking about whether I can really knit it, and do I really need it, and how will it look once it’s done.  Then if it’s still firing the imagination, and it seems that I really do need it, I cast on.  I think it saves a whole lot of UFOs lying around the house, but it gives me free creative range to at least think about possible projects, play with my yarn, and allow my imagination a bit of fun.

After much consideration, I have decided to knit that cardigan I’ve been talking about:

She doesn’t look like much at the moment, but I’m very happy with her. I decided against the Debbie Bliss patterns in the end. The swatch was a real pain to do, and the very thought of an entire stressful project like that was quite off-putting. Knitting is pleasurable, not torturous!

I wanted something cabled and patterned, but the pattern I’ve gone for is actually all stocking stitch.

Why have I gone for the exact opposite of what I originally imagined?  Well, it has become my relief project, for knitting at night after the young man has gone to bed, and it’s too dark to see my other more demanding ‘compulsory’ projects, or I’m too tired to concentrate enough.

The look of the Gooseberry Cardigan (pattern in Interweave Knits, Weekend 2009) was quite compelling, especially after I looked it up on Ravelry and saw that it looked even nicer on real people. Plus it’s a dead-easy knit, and a top-down project!

And it’s in the yarn I originally wanted to use: Little Wool Co’s super yummy pure wool naturals in DK weight.  In contrast to the super-slip machine-washable version from LWC, this yarn is crunchy, and springy, and airy, and just how wool should be.  I’m totally in love with the texture of this yarn.  It reminds me of wholemeal bread as compared to a croissant, for example.

It will be warm and cosy, and perfect as a cardigan. The wool will soften with washing and wear, it won’t pill, and it will last me for a very long time and still look gorgeous. Happy, happy, happy!!

I hope you are having a good weekend wherever you are.

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Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

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