Posted by: jinniver | May 27, 2009

Ecstasy, agony, and tedium

All I need are buttons…and Jeffrey’s Christmas Spices Cardigan is complete.  I. Am. Chuffed.

Christmas Spices Cardigan (5)
I think he likes it.

Amazingly, I had enough yarn.   I did cut it close–I’m not sure if there’s enough left of either color to knit more than a very small item or two with–but there was enough for the sweater even without the missing skein. I’m not sure if I’d’ve had enough if I hadn’t unraveled the last garter stitch stripe on the top of each sleeve, but the sleeves needed shortening anyway (I’d forgotten, when I extended them, that the dropped shoulder would require shorter sleeves than a sweater with fitted sleeves).  And as it is, the sleeves are a bit long right now, but they look cute rolled up…and he still might grow into them!

I was a little worried about how the collar and button bands were going to turn out.  I have limited experience with picking up and knitting, for one.  For another, I was going to have to do the calculations for the button bands myself.  The maximum sweater length in the pattern was 15″.  I’d knit this to 18″ (and, as you can see, needed every inch!).  So I crunched the numbers and determined I’d need 84 stitches for the button bands.  Then, as I was casting on, the placement of the stitches looked pretty obvious with the alternating garter and stockinette stripes.  So I just let the sweater tell me where to cast on stitches, and by the time I was done, I actually had 93.  Once I’d knit the first band, it was clear that was the perfect number–the band neither buckled nor ruffled.  Repeating that on the other side was a bit of a challenge, but in the end the only problem with my collar and bands are that the collar is a bit wonky on the bind off (a bit too loose).

Seaming took a lot less time than I expected.  I knew seaming up the side and down the sleeves would be easy since I had the stripes to keep me in line, but I thought sewing the sleeves on would prove challenging.  It didn’t.  So, the last thing I needed to do was find buttons.  I’ll save those as a surprise when they arrive (they were shipped yesterday), but I’ll tell you they’re wooden and handmade, and both beautiful yet simple enough to complement the sweater.  If they look as good in real life as they do in the picture, the seller has a customer for life!

So, that’s my ecstasy.  The agony is that I’m telling you about this via my husband’s computer…because mine is dead.  D. E. A. D.  Dead.  How dead?  We couldn’t get it to boot up using the Windows boot disk, nor could we run a diagnostic.  By the end of the call, the tech figured that the heat issue I’d mentioned offhandedly might be a bigger problem than he’d thought.  So Dell is overnighting a part to a local tech, who will come by to see what he can do.  So far Dell’s tech support gets a thumbs up from me, even if they couldn’t fix the problem yet…so at least that’s comforting.

I’m also losing myself and my computer-induced-sorrow in a little tedium.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit counter-intuitive, but when you’re knitting this much stockinette, your brain kinda shuts down.  See, I’ve cast on for my Februray Lady Sweater…and that’s a lot of stitches on the needle at a time.  I’m seeing a different (more positive!) side of sweaters knit in pieces and seamed, I assure you.  And I’m just past halfway through the increases (30 sets of rows, for my size).

Of course, anyone who’s already knit her FLS is probably wondering what stockinette I’m talking about, since the yoke of that sweater is in garter stitch.  I’ve decided instead to follow the lead of some of my fellow knitters are also endowed with…huge tracts of land, and knit the yoke in stockinette stitch to reduce the bulk.  I did the first 2″ in garter, to match what I’ll be doing on the sleeve cuff and bottom, and I’m liking the look so far.  The yarn is just wonderful, so soft and smooth.  As lightweight as it feels knit up, this will be a beautiful sweater I can wear well into the spring and in very early fall…once we move to a place that has spring and fall, that is.  And the color’s glorious, so I at least I have that consolation in my knitting!

3IG Wexford Merino Silk Just a Girl (2)



  1. Can’t wait to see the sweater with buttons.

  2. I love your FLS yarn; what is it? The color is divine!

    • The yarn is Three Irish Girls’ Wexford Merino Silk in the I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No colorway (one of the April colorways for the Stash Menagerie club). It’s the first time I jumped on the semi-solid alone and didn’t buy any of the variegated (although that was beautiful too).

  3. I love the February Lady Sweater Pattern — I might have to get some worsted weight yarn ( Three Irish Girls here I come) to knit it. Knit pics has a sale on yarn sifts, so I ordered one — now I’ll be able to ball up my beautiful Three Irish Girls yarns!


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