15 January 2013

This winter's project

Somehow (must have forgotton how difficult knitting patterns are!) I offered to knit a cardigan rather like the one worn by Starsky in Starsky & Hutch, the 1970's Cop Thriller series (see: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072567/ and http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/
It's the sort of design which has been out of fashion for several years, whilst everyone wore plain knitwear and distained pattern of any sort.  
But, possibly since the famous jumper worn by Detective Sarah Lund in the series The Killing, Nordic-type patterns have become all the rage (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_(Danish_TV_series).

Wool has arrived, all present and correst
The time-frame for this project is five weeks: 35 days.

Day 1:  The wool arrived yesterday and I've made a good start.  The rib was pretty straightforward - but the pattern, oh dear!  It's so complicated and requires lots of concentration.   The pattern was so difficult to read that I've written it out again, just noting down the size I'm doing. 

Pic shows my home-made instructions in the background

Starting the pattern has been time-consuming but I'm confident that it'll get easier.

Interest from the cats doesn't help at all.  But of course they love in playing with all the yarn.  After all, what other reason could there be for buying so much wool?!

Day 4:  Have had to undo it all as the tension square was inaccurate (only number of stitches was given, not number of rows as is in more modern patterns) and started again, here is the first sleeve so far.

Day 5: I've knitted quite a few rows on the second sleeve today, then did some more of the first sleeve, pattern complicated and rather mind boggling so I prefer to do a few rows at a time.

Day 8: Didn't do much over the weekend as had guests, so am very pleased to say that now one sleeve is finished, with the other one more than half way through.

Day 13:  Two sleeves finished, one of which has an error, will see how much it shows.  Have now started the back and front left.  The pattern at the bottom is far simpler than the one shown here, perhaps should have started with one of these, but never mind.

Incidentally, whilst I'm knitting this cardigan, David's busy kntting a blanket for a new member of the family.  Here's a photo of the first few rows.  As you can see it's quite a challenge, not an activity which can be carried out at the same time as watching TV!

Two sleeves (middle and right), with nearly completed back  (on the left)
Note that the bottom part, nearest the camera is just colour B!

Day 18: Back nearly finished when - catastrophe! - the bottom part was knitting using only yarn B (brown), instead of including some yarn C (chestnut)!

Day 27: After a few days away, I'm back to grindstone!  Have found some of the pattern confusing, cut out the different parts of the cardi and gone through them very carefully with a patient friend.  

Sometimes it seems that the writers of knitting patterns often assume things they don't write down.  In this instance it was because it was time to make the pocket but this wasn't given in the pattern until after several rows had been worked beyond where the change took place.  Here is the latest photo:
This pic shows the two sleeves (finished), back (nearly comleted) and the left front which has been worked up 'til the pocket.
This is a photo of 'our' guide dog. Tilly is growing up very fast.  At present she's attached to a family who will get her used to people and basic discipline, ready for the real training to be a guide dog.


And the baby blanket is coming along apace - probably something to do with my being away for a few days, so David could get on with knitting in peace.  It's now nearly 16" long! - and very, very wide:


Day 28:  Two fronts have now been knitted up to pocket level.  It's the first time I've knitted such a pocket and it's really straightforward: 
rhs and lhs both knitted up to the pocket level
Day 29 (Monday): Right side now completed!  Yipee!! Only the left side to finish, then the collar -  oh and the dreaded sewing-up - and the project will be done!  
rhs nearly complete
It seems to be using far less yarn than the pattern specified, so perhaps I could buy a little more and make a second cardi.  Anyone interested?!

Day |?? :  I've lost track of the time. We've had a week away, cruising around the Red Sea which was lovely and warm and it was great to be looked after for a week and not have to lift a finger!  but it was hard to come back to chilly England.  

Anyway, the cardigan is coming along apace.  Back, both fronts (complete with pockets) and both sleeves are now completed.  Now to block out these, then start sewing them together and then start knitting the cowl neck.  The garment seems to be amazingly big, so I hope the recipient is pleased!

Day?? plus 2: Now the neck band is nearly half finished ...  (A very experienced knitter told me yesterday that she used to knit the band at the same time as knitting the front sides - more complicated but saves sewing up later, and means that the band is the correct length.  )

Day ?? plus 3: Neck band half sewn onto the cardigan front side.  It's starting to look good!  Must put a photo on here soon.

Fig 73Day ?? plus 5: Neck band more or less finished and sewn on to sides and neck.  
I decided that it would look better to graft the two sides together, rather than finish them off and then sew them together.   Grafting's something I've never tackled before but I found a helpful article at this site: http://www.learn2knit.co.uk/knitting/joining.php

?? plus 6: Malcolm is helping me grafting the centre back collar: 

?? plus 10:  Cardigan all finished and sent off to lucky recipient.  Hope it doesn't get lost in the post after all that hard graft!


  1. Really impressed. It going to be really special.

  2. yep agree with robin she is going to SOOOO excited when she sees it!