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October 21, 2011 / whirlingneedles

A Tale of Two Sweaters


Sweater the First:

Pattern: Sirdal Cardigan by Dale of Norway

Yarn: Dale of Norway Heilo, Charcoal and Cream

This is a traditional Norwegian-style cardigan, with patterning on the wrists, waist, and upper body and “lice” on the main body and sleeves. It features hems on the waist and cuffs. I knit it from the bottom to the shoulders in one tube, then steeked (EEK!!!) for the front opening, sleeve holes, and neck.

I started this back in May and worked on the very beginning of the hem at a knitting class a WEBS for very beginners. On this pattern, you work back and forth a bit for the hem facing before joining in the round to make the body. So I was working back and forth on a circular needle prior to joining, and one of the beginners asked what I was doing. I explained, and she gasped and said “Are you allowed to do that?”

“Do what?”

“Work back and forth on a circular work!” She turned to the teacher and asked, in a scandalized voice, “Is she allowed to do that?”

I assure you, I am allowed to do that! Even if I weren’t “allowed” to do it, I am the boss of my knitting, and you can’t stop me! So there.

The finished object:

A close-up of the chest patterning:

A close-up of the “forbidden” hem, button band, and steek facing. (The raw cut edges are hidden under the facing on the inside of the button band. I debated not doing this facing, as it was a lot of fiddly work to pick up, knit, and sew it down. I’m glad I did it, though, because I think it looks really nice and finished.)

I started this in May, but I didn’t finish it until last week. Why? Because just as I got the the part where I had to steek (EEK!!!) and sew everything up, it got really hot. Too hot to have a lap full of wool, and there was nothing else to be done on it that didn’t require having the whole thing in my lap. So the pieces of the sweater languished in a heap on my couch until it got cool enough not to have a heat stroke while working on it.

Sweater the second:

Pattern: Irish Moss by Alice Starmore

Yarn: Valley Yarns Northampton, Dark Olive Heather

This is a cabled pullover designed by Alice Starmore, from the book Aran Knitting. Again, knit in the round to the shoulders, then steeked (EEK!!!) for the arm and neck holes, with the sleeves picked up at the steeked (EEK!!!) edges and knit down to the wrists. (I knit the saddle shoulders separately and sewed them to the tops of the front and back prior to picking up stitches for the rest of the sleeves.) That’s actually not what the pattern calls for. The pattern calls for the front, back, and sleeves to be knit in pieces and sewn up. I like to face my patterns while I’m knitting them, and don’t particularly like to sew things up. (I’ll do it if I have to, but it’s not my favorite thing to do.) Even though the cables and traveling stitches are slow work, I think the final result was worth it.

A close-up of the center panel:

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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. RebeLovesBooks / Oct 21 2011 1:02 pm

    These look awesome! I love the first sweater especially, although I had to laugh when the other student asked if you were “allowed” to knit it that way (rolls eyes).

  2. Janey / Oct 22 2011 12:06 am

    Your cables look fantastic!
    Mine always have a hole on one side or the other – or both.

    Great work on both of the sweaters!

    • whirlingneedles / Oct 22 2011 7:31 am

      Thank you! Cables do take a bit of practice. I find that the materials matter a LOT with cables – wool is your friend. It will look stretched out a bit when I first do the cable, but will work itself out a bit after blocking.

  3. Anne / Oct 23 2011 8:49 pm

    Absolutely beautiful. Both pieces are works of art.

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