Sarahs Knitting Sweaters: Rick-rack Nightmare

*This post is part of a knit-along series with my dear friend, Sarah. Check out all her posts, plus our previous joint shawl project on her site, One Last Stitch!

After Sarah’s visit earlier this month, I was itching to get our new Amors Arrow sweater project on the needles. It felt like I was on summer break, and there was just so much time spread before me to knit all of the things! Unfortunately, I still had a good chunk of my final teaching portfolio to finish up, and was forced to wait. I am happy to announce that I submitted my portfolio on Friday and have nothing further to distract me from important knitting!

Despite my then-looming portfolio, I actually cast on last Wednesday. I couldn’t resist, plus I had been invited to attend a new knitting group at Starlight Knitting Society with Stephanie, a mutual friend of both Sarahs 🙂 I figured it would be safer if I cast on surrounded by other knitters, this being my first real sweater and all (except a pesky cardigan from college…more on that another time).

While Sarah was in town we went to Yarnia, and I chose one of their house blends for the main body color of the sweater (pictured above). It’s a lovely cinnamon-copper-brown sport weight blend of bamboo, wool, and silk.

I’m knitting the medium size, so after casting on the 216 stitches I joined in the round and started the rick-rack ribbing prescribed in the pattern. Now, as much as I am a huge fan of Yarnia’s unique un-plied custom blends, they can be a serious pain at the beginning of a new project. Catching all the strands with each new stitch can be trying, and if the first knitted row is anything other than basic knit or purl stitches getting all the way around the first row is nothing short of a nightmare. Rick-rack ribbing is NOT basic. Rick-rack ribbing plus multi-stranded yarn equals my knitting nightmare.

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In this pic I have knit about 20-30 stitches, in about 2 hours time. It was a bit painful.

After struggling for a while I almost considered ditching the rick-rack in favor of a tried and true basic rib. But I decided I want this thing to be pretty and delicate and lacy and nice, and basic ribbing is not any of those things. So, I soldiered on. With Steph’s encouragement (read: teacher voice) I was able to make it about a third of the way around at knit night. During one of my frequent breaks I picked out this lovely peachy-pink for the lace shoulders.

 

The first row took me a full three days, but I finally got all the way around! After the first row, things hummed along nicely over the weekend, and I will start the stockinette (most humble and blessed of stitches!) today. So excited to this turns out!

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