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! ;-)
Du lyckades, och bra ocks?!
Och det ?r klart att jag l?ste ?nda till slutet, men s? ?r jag ju stickn?rd ocks?.
Anledningen till att framkanten ?r bubblig ?r f?rmodligen att det ?r f?r m?nga maskor. Om antalet varv du har p? 10 cm inte st?mmer med m?nstret, s? kan det bli s?.
Ett tips f?r framtida framkanter; plocka upp ungef?r 3 maskor p? 4 varv, det brukar bli bra.
Wow! A real sweater, and a gorgeous one, too! Way to go! Sounds like a really scary project to me ;-)
Wow, Hanna, what an achievement! I think it looks gorgeous and I can see how much work went into it. You should be very proud :)
Wow! This is beautiful. No wonder it took you forever, it’s so intricate. You really should feel proud.
I wanted to tell you something else, too. As you may remember I’ve gone to Korea to teach English, and I’ve been here three weeks now. It has been the most difficult and emotional experience of my life (I wonder sometimes why I wanted to come!), and I have relied on my journal to help me during the rough patches. I call my family as much as I can, but I can only cry on the phone so much and I don’t want to worry them, so I turn to writing and it helps more than I could have imagined. There is something that happens when you take the time to write down your feelings. It forces you to figure things out so that you can put them into words. What a comfort it can be.
Anyway, I thought of you the other day when I picked up my nearly finished journal to write something down. Maybe I’ll become a journal collector like you before the year is over :)
Wow, Hanna! That gorgeous sweater is worth all the trouble, it’s super gorgeous. Congrats for a craft well done. :)
I’m definitely a knitting nerd :o)
There are many ups and downs in a big project (and sometimes for me in a small project too!) but so long as it ends on an up that’s all the matters.
Really great cardigan.
This is AMAZINGLY beautiful! I’m sooooo envious of your knitting skills! Makes me want to bust out the needles and practice, practice, practice!!!
It’s a beautiful sweater, and no one will ever notice your mistakes, only marvel at how lovely it is. So cool that you finished it! Congrats!
I wouldn’t think of any other colour of your sweater than pink! *^v^* It’s beautiful and all those “mistakes” you are talking about can be regarded as “interesting features”. At least that’s what I always tell myself when I knit something “not totally absolutely as it was in the pattern”!… Great job and good luck with your next project! *^v^*
Hanna, den ?r verkligen j?ttefin. Gillar det d?r gr?na. Bra jobbat!
It’s just beautiful! You did a wonderful job. I haven’t tried a big sweater yet, only baby sweaters.
Koselig at du stakk innom hos meg! Her var det mye fint ? se p?. S?t jakke du har strikket. Ser du har gitt ut ei flott bok, gratulerer med den!
it’s gorgeous and totally worth it!
Congratulations on making it to the end. It’s a lovely cardigan. Wear it proudly!
Very pretty! I have yet to knit a sweater. What pattern is the new sweater you are now working on?
It’s a great sweater – congratulations! I enjoyed reading your post about your odyssey throug knitting. I’m with you – I don’t know if I’d be able to cut through my knitting like that … And really, those mistakes are things only you will notice. You should only look at all you did right!
WOWWWWWW. Mistakes or not, that sweater is mighty impressive. I’m in awe.
You rock!! So cool that you finally finished it!
Oj, vad fin din kofta blev. Och tio hurra f?r att du hade t?lamod att slutf?ra den, den sista str?ckan med montering och pillerill ?r alltid s? sv?r att g?ra tycker jag.
It really is beautiful – Of course you are your biggest critic. I say wear it proudly!
Du hittar p? en massa roliga saker och ting att g?ra, och jag blir j?tteinspirerad varje g?ng.
Kramar fr?n Ume
Wow, vilket m?sterverk! Jag ?r djupt imponerad… Och s?rskilt av att du delade med dig av misstagen ocks? (f?r de syns verkligen inte, nej). Bra jobbat, Hanna!
I just finished the sweater from the cover of that book (after starting it 8 years ago). The directions are not what they could be….
Gorgeous sweater! I too have been making a sweater from Poetry in Stitches for years (the green one with the blue vine and leaf pattern). Sometimes when I need to stay inspired I flip through the pages of the book. I’ve always flipped right by this sweater because I didn’t like the bobbles (so 1980s), but you’ve turned it into a thing of real beauty. I love it! Great job. It was worth the time invested. Thanks for the inspiration. Now to get back to my own WIP …
Great work! I have been working on a Poetry In Stitches cardigan for my daughter for over a year, and just finished knitting it today! I share your tiredness! The only thing keeping me going is the hope that it will still fit my sweater next winter! I appreciate your notes about assembly, because I am dreading cutting into this work after the time it took to complete! Congratulations on finishing your project and keep your fingers crossed for mine!
[…] Each knitted piece wants a post of its own. It demands it. It is not possible to file and finish a knitted big project like a sweater if it is not properly documented and blogged. This is what blogging has made with me after these four years. The sweater bugs my brain until I put it to rest by telling yo’all about it! So here you go! Yet another knitted wool sweater finished this year (the first one being the also pink Poetry in stitches cardigan)! It’s the second one this year though non have been started during 2008. They’ve been WIP’s for quite some time. It’s a lovely feeling to finish but I only wish the finished product would look more like I wanted it to look! […]
ABSOLUTELY LOVELY! : D
And I adore the colours you choose – what kind of yarn did you use?
thanks for your comment. As it says in the post I used 2-thread 100% itchy wool. This sweater uses 750 gram yarn according to the pattern but I have no idea how much I used. So any kind of thin wool will work, just do a swatch before you start knitting up the whole thing!
[…] Among the striped projects are two of my biggest craft projects this year. The Poetry cardigan was 2008’s most time consuming project. The Pink Quilt with stripes is the first big quilt I’ve ever finished. I love it! […]