Saturday, November 9, 2013

“Where does virgin wool come from? The sheep that runs the fastest.” ~ Harry F. Banks

I couldn't resist my opening quote! Awhile back, I wrote about beginning a new project, the Top Down Icelandic Sweater.  It is done through a class on Craftsy.  The instructions include written pages that are supplemented by online video segments that can be repeated as frequently as you choose.  I have never done color-work before, nor worked with short rows.  And - it is actually a cardigan and is steeked up the center front - heaven help me when it's time to cut that!  Steeking involves knitting something in the round - such as a pullover, and then cutting straight up the center in order to put in a button band or zipper, or some other type of closure. Though I have looked ahead to that video segment, and the instructor seems quite fearless about it - we'll see!



Initially, the bulk of my yarn (Lopi Lettlopi. Icelandic wool), was on backorder, so I was able to only do the neck band.  The remainder of the wool arrived just before we headed to Cape Cod, so I was able to do the color-work portion while relaxing there.  Keeping a consistent tension while stranding the three different colors (or in my case - 3 shades of gray - I'll pass on how I might name my sweater after a popular book!) was a challenge, and I did a bit of ripping back when one portion got a bit puckered - but all in all, I found it much easier and more enjoyable to do that I had thought it would be!



I admit to being a fairly "safe" knitter! Learning new things through this sweater has been great - and so far, not overwhelming.  Up until this point, things have been quite clear, with the exception of the ribbing at the bottom of the body.  I learned the valuable lesson of not just relying on the written instructions, but to always look at the video portion before I being a new section.  That being said, I did find all parts of the ribbing instruction a bit confusing, as did others, as noted in the online discussion.  Another great thing about doing a project this way though is the online discussion - classmates from all over the world help each other out, and I was able to put my ribbing confusion aside and move forward.  Another lesson is to perhaps read through some of those discussion notes before you begin a new sections as well!


You can see the "steeking" seam up the center front.




As I took these photos, the first snow (or sleet as the case may be) began to fall . Sweater-wearing season is upon us!  I'll keep you posted as to its progress.

12 comments:

  1. Cute quote. You are doing a fine job on your sweater! The grays make it the kind of sweater that you will wear often. (As an experienced steeker, I can tell you that cutting your knitting will never be as nerve-racking again after the first time:-)

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    1. Thanks for your steeking support Carolyn! Your color work posts also helped me gain the confidence to attempt this project!

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  2. Beautiful, I love that sweater on Craftsy. Well done!! Clarice

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    1. Thank you Clarice - I am very happy with how it is progressing!

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  3. Excellent work, T.! Stunning pattern, gorgeous color choices and excellent craftsmanship. I'm looking forward to show and tell when it's finished. Steeking?...be brave! :)

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    1. Thanks Tierney! Perhaps you will hold my hand when I make that first snip!

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  4. This looks gorgeous, Tracy! I love the pattern and the colours you chose! They match perfectly, I think. I never heard about steeling! Look very forward to your reports!

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    1. Thank you Nancy! The only thing that I would say the colors (though I love them too) is that, for doing this the first time, they were so similar in shades that it was sometimes difficult to see the difference as I was working with them. If I were to choose again for a first time project, I would choose colors that were more distinctive from each other. I really do like how it looks though!

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    1. Thanks Renee, and thanks for helping me figure out how to read the chart!

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