I have once again been bitten by the sweater bug. Usually, this bug bite just involves a slight itching, solved by a liberal application of reminding myself of how much I hate, hate, hate seaming. Did I mention that I hate it? Nowadays, this reminder comes in the form of reviewing my stupid mistakes on the Estes Vest, chronicled on this very blog. Unfamiliar with seaming, I slipped the first stitch of every row, making mattress stitch unfeasible for the seaming. Very unpleasant.
Those who followed the Estes saga might remember that one of the reasons I wanted to knit it was because it had no sleeves. This fact appeared perfect, as sleeves seem like the main hassle of knitting a sweater. All that pinning and easing and making sure that the stitches line up. And even picking up stitches from the shoulder for the sleeve seems hard- you have to pick up, what, every 3rd stitch or something like that? Sadly, though, I really like sleeves. Sleeves are warm. Can’t make a sweater without sleeves. What to do?
I received Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Without Tears from a friend for Christmas. Elizabeth Zimmerman is known for many things, including her blunt and amusing writing style and her famous cast off. But she also invented (or unvented) the bottom-up seamless sweater. Seamless! Knit all in the round, except for a few rows at the back of the neck.
I’m dying to make myself one of these. Zimmerman has instructions for a yoke, a raglan, and a saddle shoulder sweater. They’re all based on percentages so they easily scale to different sizes with a minimum of math. What I really want is a nice comfy cardigan to wear on nights when I’m a little chilly around the house; something that looks nice but is, essentially, comfort clothing. I’m thinking that I will make a raglan sweater then cut a steek up the front and make it a cardigan with some buttons. I’ll put some cabling around the bottom and up the front (maybe the back) and sleeves. I’m really excited to start this project, even knowing that by the time I’m done with it, it’ll probably be too warm to wear, because that’s just the way things work.
Of course, I also have a pair of Fair Isle gloves that I’m dying to knit. I have them all charted out and the yarn sitting upstairs. And I’ve got two designs that are destined for submissions to Knotions and a UK magazine, Yarn Forward. Sorry I can’t share with you what they are yet. But I can say that they’re fabulous. I’d like to submit something to Knitty too, but I haven’t gotten a good idea yet. And not only do I have those projects to start/finish, I have a crocheted blanket that I started last January that I’d like to finish some time this year and I need a new cowl for skiing since the one I made two years ago has felted to be too small. And I really want to knit a scarf/cowl with this Misti Alpaca that my brother-in-law gave me before it gets too warm. And a new hat, a white and blue version of the Fireflake Hat…
I can do all that before the weather changes, right?
Of course, the weather is against me. Right now it’s 53 degrees outside. And sunny! Is this Seattle or not?! I’m going to have to migrate north just to be able to wear my knitwear soon. But it does mean that I can ride my bike more often, which is nice. As you can see, I’m very conflicted about this weather thing.
Either way, I guess if I want to be able to justify adding a cardigan to my pile of projects, I’d better get back to knitting! (And I’d better knit fast!)