Saturday, January 03, 2009

It's a Personal Experiment, Not a Resolution

I'm not one for making New Year's Resolutions. That said, this morning I decided to perform an experiment.

I need a new cardigan. The ones I have are becoming a little threadbare and worn out. I've found a pattern I really like. I have enough of the right weight of yarn to make it. Now, I'd like to see if I can stick to one project, to see it to completion without starting or picking up another project. I'm not talking about little things like wrist warmers (they'll be done today) or a toddler hat as "another project". Those are minor diversions. I'm talking about things like more shawls.

Can I make myself a cardigan in a reasonable length of time, concentrating mainly on that cardi? It isn't as big or as involved as the Butterfly dress. I'd like to be able to wear it before winter morphs itself into blazing summer.

There you have it... a personal experiment... a resolution if you will. If I can do it on this project, I can do it on other projects, which means I may be able to finally finish up some of the projects still on my needles.

So, which pattern, you ask? The Ropes and Picots Cardigan from Interweave Knits. Click on the link to see pictures. It's a style I really like, similar to a cardigan I tried on at my Mom's (a gift to her from one of my sisters; I liked it so much, I drew out the schematics). Therefore, I know it will suit me.

I have the yarn already. It's Berroco's Ultra Alpaca Light, in denim blue. I'm using 4.0 mm needles, which puts my gauge slightly out, but the feel of the fabric is just right. Because of that, I'm making one size larger than I normally would have had my gauge been bang on. That makes it sound like I've already started, doesn't it? I have.

Not only have I started, I've already made a slight change to the pattern. The pattern calls for an invisible provisional cast on. That cast on has you casting on stitches with a needle and waste yarn, then picking up the stitches from the waste yarn and knitting those stitches together with the stitches on your needle, making a picot hem. Very pretty. Very fiddly. Very not-me.

I've always muddled up that cast on; it has to be my least favourite cast on. That said, if you use a spare circular instead of waste yarn, you have a lot more stability and you don't have to pick up the stitches; they're already on a needle.

Allow me to illustrate:


Here you can see both the straight needle and the circular. On the straight needle is the blue yarn, the circ has black, ready to be hemmed together with no stitches picked up, dropped or otherwise mutilated.


When you fold the fabric in half, bringing the two needles together, you can begin stitching them together. Stitch and go!


And when all the stitches have been used up, you have...


The completed picot hem. No waste yarn. No mess. No fuss. Just the way I like it.

(My apologies to those of you who can't see the pics. I went back to Flickr for this set; it's just easier to set the pics up.)

Now, on with my experiment. Ok, maybe it is a sort of resolution. Just don't tell anyone. I'll let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

  1. I love this!!!! I love the look of a picot hem but always seem to miss a stitch and it goes wonky. This is great!