sigh

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Well, I thought I’d have finished one of the fronts of my Perfin cardigan before we leave to visit my family, but alas, as I was doing the armhole shaping section, I realized that I had too many stitches in the “button band” portion, and not enough in the “body” portion:

Wrong stitch counts. Should've noticed sooner!

I briefly considered trying to drop stitches from that middle section, and reknit just that part, but that was going to be quite complicated, and I wasn’t actually all that happy with how my buttonholes had turned out, anyway, so that made deciding to rip pretty easy.

Rip rip rip.

At least I enjoy knitting the garter rib + garter double-eyelet stitch pattern, so it’s not TOO heartbreaking to have to knit it all over again.

Turning (part of) a sweater back into yarn.

And in truth, the ability to rip and reknit is something I’ve always loved about knitting. When I sew, I’m always quite intimidated, and I worry a lot that I’ll cut the fabric wrong and there’s really no going back once you do that. But if I knit a stitch pattern wrong? Worst case, I rip it out. The failure mode of knitting is just yarn, and I like yarn, and I enjoy turning yarn (back into) knitting, so it’s really not the end of the world.

Today is the Summer Solstice, and that’s always a bit of a weird one to celebrate for me, because it means that the days are getting darker from here on out. This year in particular, that feels metaphorically apt. But we can be lights for each other in the dark days. I wish everyone a peaceful summer of making and fighting for a better world.

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finished back!

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I finished the back of my Perfin cardigan this morning! It took quite a bit of concentration (and ripping and reknitting) to follow the directions for the box pleat and shoulder shaping; I’m really not used to magazine pattern-writing style, and it strikes me that in order to understand what a pattern is telling you to do, you almost have to think like the designer, and since I’m not a person who ever designs patterns for things knit in pieces, I already kind of fundamentally think in a different way. But of course that’s how it is – knitting patterns are just another form of communication, and this issue of “how do *I* describe something in a way that *you* will understand, and how do *you* understand what *I* meant?” is the fundamental challenge of communication. (And also something I wrote a dissertation about, ha!)

Anyway, how about I stop nerding out and just show a picture of that box pleat?

Box pleat!<

I’m really enjoying the texture of the stitch pattern, and I’m loving the color of this old stash yarn so much (thanks, 24 year old me!) – it’s got a little bit more of a greenish tint to it than fully shows up in the photos, and it’s definitely a very “me” color.

Perfin texture

We’re only a little over a week away from heading up to Wisconsin to visit my family, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be bringing any sweaters-in-progress on that trip just for practical packing reasons, so we’ll see how much more of this sweater I can knit before then! I plan to cast on for one of the fronts this afternoon.

Accidental self-timer shot

I’m really not used to knitting a sweater in pieces, and it feels really weird to just have a back of a sweater. I’m slightly dreading the process of seaming everything together, but even if it’s not something I’ll do very often, it’s a useful skill to practice, so bring it on!

and for my next sweater…

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I mentioned in a previous post that one of my goals for the foreseeable future was to turn as much of my stash as I could into sweaters. Here in Western NY, the climate is such that for at least half of the year (from October through April), it’s sweater-weather, at least for someone like me who is bad at thermoregulation. And even though I’ve already got a decent number of handknit sweaters, by late April, I’m getting really tired of the ones I have in rotation. I also have an absolutely ridiculous stash, some of which even pre-dates moving to NY. So making more sweaters from what I’ve got makes a lot of sense.

My next sweater: Perfin (from pompom mag)

When I saw the Perfin pattern in pompom magazine‘s Instagram feed, I was smitten; I really like this sort of “professor”-style cardigan (maybe because I *am* a professor?). And then I saw Vita de Vie, and I decided I’d buy a copy of the magazine (the first knitting magazine I’ve purchased in AGES!) because both looked like sweaters I’d like to wear. I’ve had a sweater’s worth of Knitpicks Telemark in “Tidepool Heather” in my stash for over a decade now, and though it was listed as a “sport” weight, it’s really more of a DK or even light worsted, so I thought it’d be perfect for Perfin (which calls for DK). And for Vita de Vie, I thought my beloved Beaverslide 2-ply Sport/Sock yarn would be perfect. I have 3 skeins in “Prairie Sandreed” in my stash that I think would be lovely in that pattern, but a couple of years ago, one of my cats got to one of them and “loved” it into a tangled, partially-felted mess. I spent a good chunk of yesterday detangling it and winding the parts of it that I could into balls, and in combination with the intact skeins, I think I will have enough for Vita de Vie, too! But back to Perfin, for now:

Perfin

I haven’t followed a magazine pattern in over a decade at this point, and I’ve almost never successfully finished a sweater that is knit in pieces (I think that honor goes to Demi, which I never wear, because as lovely as it is, it just doesn’t suit me), so this is going to be an adventure! I got tripped up by my lack of practice reading magazine-style pattern instructions (they’re…terse) and had to rip out my first attempt, but once I figured out what the pattern was asking me to do, it’s been smooth sailing! The stitch pattern is actually quite simple to memorize, so I can fly now!

Back to where I was on Perfin before I ripped it out because I was doing the decreases wrong.

I’m very curious how warm this sweater will actually be, given that it is mostly holes. But I like the look of the “mesh” (it reminds me of my Thalia shawl), and it IS wool, so I’m sure I’ll be able to wear it at least some of our colder months.

In a couple of weeks, we’ll be heading up to Wisconsin to visit my family, and I’m not sure what projects to bring with me – as much as I’d love to work on a sweater while I’m on vacation, I’m not sure that’s compatible with packing light, so my tentative plan is to knit as much as I can on sweaters until then, not touch my current Willow Cowl, and then work on Willow Cowls (since I have at least one other skein I’d like to turn into one) while I’m traveling. But we’ll see!

Gamaldags!

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Gamaldags is all done! And it’s chilly enough today that I actually WANT to be wearing it!

Gamaldags!

Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Gamaldags by Hélène Magnússon
Yarn: Lettlopi in Ash Grey, Spring Green Heather, Glacier Blue Heather, and custom-dyed hot pink, red, and yellow yarns from The Icelandic Knitter
Needles: Size 7 for the stockinette portions, and size 6 for the ribbing.
Time to knit: Just over 1 month

Gamaldags!

I am really happy with how it turned out. I experimented with a new-to-me button band finish this time; for the band with buttonholes, I used Kate Davies style i-cord button holes, which matched nicely with the i-cord bind-off I’d done on the button band. I really like the look of 1×1 rib bound off with a 2 stitch i-cord, and I’m really happy with how neat the buttonholes look, too!

Buttons!

The other thing I love is the 1×1 rib folded neckband, which is something I’ve added to a few other sweaters because I just love it so much – it looks great, but it’s also so very comfortable for me to wear! I really enjoy the little bit of added weight (hey, my kid didn’t get her Sensory Processing Disorder and need for deep pressure from nowhere!), and it feels sturdy without reducing the stretch.

1x1 rib neckline plus added shortrows

In that picture, you can also see where I added a set of short rows in the yellow + green stripe section just below the neckband. I *really* hate necklines that sag in the back (and remain eternally confused by tops and dresses with v-backs or scoop-backs…like, the thought of wearing a top like that literally sends shivers down my spine!) so I’ve learned that I sometimes need to stick in an extra set of short rows just below the neckband to counteract that.

Yay, Gamaldags!

I think this is a sweater that will get worn quite a bit in the colder month. The light grey combined with the bright colors fits into my wardrobe really well; the light blue, light green, and hot pink in particular are colors I wear frequently, and this sweater matches ALL of those. Hooray!