This is a post about a knitted sweater that took me for ever to finish. It is from the book Dikt i maskor (Poetry in stitches) by Solveig Hisdal.
I have only knitted one wearable sweater in my life (back in 2004), so finishing this cardigan and putting it on is a big thing for me. Actually, it’s huge! You would understand if you know how dead tired I’ve been with knitting this sweater for the last couple of months. After I finished the body I had to cast on for the first arm and then I understood I wasn’t even close to finishing my cardigan. The sleeves are really long and there are many stripes to be knitted, which led me directly to the boring job of fastening all those threads on the inside…
Poetry in stitches
I have said some bad things about this poor thing. It’s a cardigan but knitted on circular needles in the round which made the striping easy, but then you had to cut the front open! You sew two straight lines and cut between them, a really scary thing to do with knitwear! You also cut holes on both sides where the sleeves are sewn on. I have never done this before, but it wasn’t as difficult as I’d imagined.
I was convinced that it would never fit me, specially during the last weeks of knitting! That’s not a good feeling when you knit, it just drains your energy. I was feeling both sad and angry, but still determined to finish my darn cardigan and then put it away for ever. Hide it in a closet and never tell anyone about it! Have you ever had that feeling? I couldn’t quit knitting but I hated to knit it (for a while). And never ever did I finish! When all the parts were done I discovered what a huge project the “last touches” would be!
How to finish a cardigan
Fasten each loose thread left from all those stripes, cut open with your scissors and cast on more stitches for double knitted edges! On the sleeves I have knitted a lining at both ends. You now fold that excess fabric and attach it (sew) to the inside. Then knit the button-front, also knitted with lining! The double edges makes them sturdy and I think it’s kinda smart (though a lot more work). But when you knit the button-front you also have to match two sets of button-holes and that didn’t work out for me. On my cardigan they don’t line up very well, but hey – it works. I won’t rip it! Then pick up stitches around the neckline for the collar and knit it. Choose and sew in buttons and then you’re done!? Hmm… it looks like a pile of trash!
– Mooom, help me!
Drench it in water in the sink and let it dry flat, stretch it a bit and cross your fingers. That little trick is like magic!
It fits and I love it! I’m wearing it as I write this and the sleeves are striped in green, beige, red and pink! I’m also wearing my knitted socks today. Mmm…
And as if this wasn’t the nerdiest knit post ever, I’ve got more details on this sweater! What about…
Pattern: From the book Dikt i maskor (Poetry in stitches) by Solveig Hisdal that I’ve mentioned several times before. It’s on page 143 and called “kofta” (cardigan).
Cost: It was a cheap project, only 240 crowns for all that yarn! I still have plenty of yarn balls left. The buttons were found in mom’s drawer and the needles are mine.
Yarn: 2-thread 100 % itchy wool. 750 gram yarn according to the pattern (I have no idea how much I used).
Changes I made to the pattern: I did the S (small) size but casted on only 239 stitches instead of 263. The pattern includes knitted bobbles but I didn’t want those so I haven’t made any. They are not very modern those bubbles, and I don’t like the look of them.
Experience level: It’s a very easy pattern but with a lot of news to me, like the edge lining and cutting in a knitted garment (that wasn’t felted or anything). I’ve learned a lot of new things and my patience have been on trial several times. But one thing is clear, I don’t give up easy once I’m determined to finish!
The list of mistakes I’ve made is quite long, but if I don’t tell you I don’t think you would notice them? Well, just for fun, let’s list the mistakes here for you to enjoy!
* I shouldn’t have bought yarn this thin in the first place when I know how I love to knit with thicker yarn. And I should defiantly not have settled for cheap yarn on a sweater with this much work! You can see how the colors shifts and on the chest there is a whitish spot that does not look good.
* The edge lace on the sleeves and at the waist has a “yarn round needle” (omslag) thing in the pattern, but I didn’t know exactly how to do that. I made mine from the wrong direction, so the holes are not very defined. I was corrected by mom for the collar and front edges, so those look better.
* I used a mustard colored yarn around the waist for one stripe and that was a wee bit thicker than the other yarns used and it shows. That stripe is bubbly.
* I cut the holes for the sleeves to wide and had to sew them together under the arm.
* The double button holes don’t line up correctly, as I’ve mentioned.
* The front also bubbles! I followed the pattern but probably it’s to many stitches? I didn’t notice this until I’ve sewn it all together and buttoned it up.
I can’t remember if there were any more mistakes, but I think that’s enough anyway.
I’m already knitting on my next sweater in pink (!). Thick pink wool yarn that is yum yum to knit with.
Thanks for reading all the way here, there must be a knitting nerd inside of you too! ;-)