Sarahs Knitting Sweaters: Holes

*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.

Since I last posted I have been working up a froth of pink lace. The arrow pattern is pretty fun: complex enough to be interesting, but not so crazy that it prohibits conversation. I rolled along pretty quickly and finished the prescribed 20cm lace panel about a ten days ago.

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Then came the head hole. I knew it was going to take more concentration to count the bind of and cast on, and I really just didn’t feel like doing it. So I procrastinated. I spent a full week totally ignoring all things knitted. I’m still being faithfully monogamous, so I didn’t even switch projects, I just did other things. I got some planning done for the fall and read more of my current novel. After a week I was itching to knit again, and I knew it was time to sit down and make a big hole.

So I did. Things seemed to be going fine; I followed the instructions exactly. Knit 3 lace repeats, bind of 40 stitches, knit three more lace repeats. So far, so good. Then purl to giant gap, cast on 40 stitches using cable cast on, and voila! A perfectly nice hole is created!

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After binding off for the head hole there is some definite puckering in the middle.

But, there was a bit of a problem. After binding off my 40 stitches thing seemed a bit tight to me, but I figured that would work itself out in the cast on. Not so. This is how big–or should I say small–the hole was.

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Unless I could shrink my head to fit through, there was no way this was going to work. I needed help. I took the sweater to knit night and Steph (friend of the blogger/s) came to the rescue. I tinked back two rows and started over. Steph showed me a super stretchy bind off method she learned (similar to this one), which seemed to go well. Things were looking up. We searched YouTube for a good elastic cast on, and found this video tutorial. The woman in the video yanks her yarn like she’s angry at it, but the method worked like a dream. Here’s the finished result, complete with my awkward hand for size comparison.

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I tested it, and my head fits through, no trouble at all! I’m pretty pleased, and I think after blocking it will look really nice. I have just 20cm more of lace and a bit of crochet before this sweater is done!

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Sarahs Knitting Sweaters: Yarn Chicken

*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.

I have been working diligently on my sweater, between bouts of prodigious organizing (see previous posts on my blog referencing the Great Purge of ’16). For once I’m knitting “monogamously”, only focusing on this one project for now. I delighted in the stockinette decreases after my ribbing fiasco, and was ploughing through the increase section when I started getting worried.

This pattern, while lovely and generally very clear, does not list anything about the actual amount of yarn needed. It gives gauge, weight, and suggested yarns, but says nothing of how many yards or grams one might need. When I bought the yarn I guessed that I would have just enough, and I have never actually used up an entire Yarnia cone before.

As I was nearing the last third of the increase sections, I looked at my yarn cone, and I looked at the pattern, again and again, and it seemed inevitable that I would run out. I had hardly anything left on the cone, and a good 10 rows of stockinette increases plus the sweetheart short rows still to knit. I am not the kind to play yarn chicken and hope for the best. I require confidence and consistency. I am 15 minutes early to everything, just in case I might be late. I once showed up late for a class in college and was in tears, distraught that I had not honored the time commitments I had made at the beginning of the semester. I do not run out of yarn lightly, and I wasn’t about to take a chance.

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Some park knitting, with just a few yards left on the cone.

Since Yarnia is a custom store, I had hoped they might be able to wind me just a bit more of the Chubasco blend I had chosen for this sweater. Unfortunately, they were out of the wool strand, and nothing similar matched the color, so I had to buy a whole new 400-ish yard cone of the copper sport weight. I got a good discount since it was one of only two cones left, but I was disappointed to buy a whole cone for just a few yards.

I took my knitting on the road while visiting family, and did the first half of the sweetheart neck…and I didn’t run out of yarn. It was close, but I still had some on the cone. I waited to return to Portland to finish the second half…and I didn’t run out of yarn, even after purling across the full row. I’m done with the body of the sweater and have this much yarn left on my original cone!

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I’m not sure if I can return or exchange the second cone I bought, but if I can’t I will pass it on to another knitter who will appreciate a serious quantity of a seriously gorgeous yarn. On to the pink lace!