The sweater was intended to be a quick little knit, and a perfect little cardigan for chilly summer nights. It never intended to be a warm cardigan for late fall wear. But the cardigan somehow took five months to complete and I now have a charming little summer sweater all ready to wear in late October in Wisconsin. Sigh, the best laid plans.
However, it is still a cute little summer sweater, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Mostly, I was impressed that it could go two shapeless pieces of fabric, neither one remotely resembling an article of clothing (ok, husband said it kind of looked like a giant thong), into a perfectly wearable sweater.
In other words, it transformed from two of these:
|The first side, knitted, but unblocked.|
Most non-knitters, and some knitters don’t realize the amount of work that can go into a finished piece of clothing even after the main part of the knitting is done.
The first step in the process of finishing most freshly knit goods is a nice soak in warm water and wool wash. I usually use Soak Wash, which requires no rinsing and smells absolutely wonderful. I’m also a fan of Kookaburra Wool Wash as well. This particular sweater got a bath in Kookaburra.
Then you wrap each piece in a bath towel, carefully rolling up the towel. I usually walk across the towel a couple of times to squeeze some more water out of it. After that both towels go into the washing machine and ran through the spin cycle.
After the bath, it is time to block the sweater. Usually this is only done with natural fibers, as blocking acrylic doesn’t really work all that well. The method used for this sweater is called wet blocking, because you pin it out when the knitted pieces are still wet and let them dry that way (creative name, right?). There are other methods of blocking, but wet blocking is usually what I use whenever the knit fabric will allow.
|All pinned out.|
|My brilliant idea.|
Then came the back seam. This pattern called for leaving the back stitches live, and grafting them together using a method called the Kitchener stitch. I’ve used the Kitchener stitch for the toes of socks before, but never on this scale. The first part of the back looks a little wonky, but by the end I was pretty good at it. Then, I used applied I-cord to add trim around the neck. Applied I-cord is tedious, but gives a very nice edge. I whip stitched the bottom hem, and the piece was ready to block again.
So, the piece went back into the sink, was wrapped in a towel, and took another spin in the washing machine. Then it went back upstairs to the mattress. Thankfully, it looked a lot more like a cardigan when I pinned it out this time.
The sweater was knit out of Stroll Tonal from Knit Picks. The colorway is called Pearlescent. It combines shades of ivory, light grey, and medium grey as well as some light shades of platinum and silver. It is actually a pretty combination of neutral grey tones with some warm undertones. In some light, it appears to have some hints of a pinkish undertones, but in other light seems to be purely grey tones. It is a hard color to accurately capture on camera. In my opinion, the color is closest in the picture where Minerva is sitting on the sweater pieces or in this last picture.
I’m taking a brief break from large projects and making myself some new fingerless gloves, using Eunny Jang’s Endpaper Mitts pattern. I’m also determined to finish husband’s hunting socks before the opening of deer gun season (practically a holiday in Wisconsin). Then maybe I’ll start thinking about Christmas knitting…maybe.