Monday, March 12, 2007

A tale four and a half years in the making

In the Fall of 2002, October if I remember correctly, I began knitting the Dale of Norway 2002 Utah Olympics Sweater. In fact, I signed up for a class. It was my first sweater. My first stranded knitting attempt. The first time I had spent so much for yarn (Falk), pattern and class.

So I went to class and learned how to carry a yarn in each hand. How you should check several times to make sure your join isn't twisted. How to read a pattern in the round. Oh and to keep checking my gauge.

The first 6 week class wasn't long enough so I signed up for a second 6 weeks. I knit and I knit. When I got to the complicated part of the pattern I'd make sure I had a good hour where I would not be disturbed and knit and knit.

Sleeves were knit. All that remained was to join the shoulders and knit the neckline.

After a while, other projects began to tempt me and the Utah Sweater lived in a basket beside the sofa.

After a few years of living next to the sofa, it moved to the guest room.

In the winter of 2006, the Winter Olympic Knit-a-long was announced. I knew what I would do! I'd finish Utah 2002! I rethought putting in a zipper (I can duplicate stitch over those stitches) and decided on a different neckline. And I watched the Olympics

And I did it!!
the frontFront See the mountains and snowflakes and trees

backBack the kids holding hands and the Olympic flame?

finishedand the sleeves

But then I needed to steek for the sleeves. And that means using a sewing machine (just not sure about the crochet steek) Sewing machines scare me. That needle going up and down, bobbins, different stitches....nope not for me.

So in February 2007...yep a year later....Guild Secretary Jackie (Norwegian knitter extraordinaire) agreed to demonstrate Steeking at the March Guild meeting.

Jokingly I said "If you need something to steek, let me know" And guess what...She did! So she took home the sweater and sewed in the armholes.

outsideSee the white thread outlining the armhole?

insideAnd from the inside of the sweater

And at the meeting Jackie talked about what she had done, how she measured, how to leave an inch or so at the shoulder, how the wool will help hold the stitches together.....Jackie

And then I cut.....cutting

And in a matter of seconds me croppedArmhole!

And yesterday while watching the first disk of BBC/PBS Duchess of Duke Street, I sewed in sleeves. sleeves attached And they fit in perfectly.

And then I tried it on.......let me tell you about gauge. You should really pay attention to it. The bottom of the sweater is big.....and the top is small. But I knew that before the cutting began. I know what size I wear. And I knew if I tinked it would never be knit again. And I needed to finish it.

So my next steps will be to wet the top and pull and tug and tug and pull until the wool relaxes a bit. But I'm in no rush. Spring is around the corner and besides, this October it will be 5 years and that might be a good way to celebrate an anniversary!