Kirsti Knits

Time - such a precious Gift is it; To work, to read, and Yes, to knit. - Minnie Gertz

Monday, February 27, 2006

Gold!

So here it is. The finished Threadybear. I got the final ends woven in at 4:05pm, showed it off to gathered SnB'ers, and then gave it a basic block with a steam iron over a tea towel before going to bed last night. As per usual, click on the photos for a link to a larger image.





The front of the sweater.
The inside, showing off the nice neat stranding.
Here's a close up of the second sleeve (the left one in the picture above). I did a somewhat better job of picking up the stitches, so it's sitting closer to the top of the shoulder. This will lie flat when I spread it out, unlike the other sleeve, which has a small bump to it. So that's one more thing I learned: how important it is to really make sure that your picked up stitches go all the way to the top and aren't one row short.
The other thing that you can hopefully see from the above picture is that the left sleeve has a nicer curve to the bottom of it (I think). When doing the decreases for this sleeve, I left the first and last stitch of the row, and did my decreases on the two stitches outside of that. The first sleeve, I just decreased right at the edges, and so the line isn't quite as nice. Yet another thing learned. The pattern itself doesn't give any specific instructions about type of decreases; it just states to "decrease one stitch at the start and end of every third round". I used paired decreases (ssk at the start, k2t at the end) which I'm trusting made it look more even than if I'd just knitted 2 stitches together each time.
And here was the other scary thing, the thing that made me fear on Saturday that I wouldn't finish. This is how much yarn was left at the end. Count it: 5 balls and one tiny thread. The sweater used 7 colours. The middle shade of the browns, I ended up having to tie the final 1cm long end from the last stitch to another yarn tail to get it to hold while I bound off the cuff. I don't know whether I just used too much yarn weaving in ends, or knit too loosely .... but if anyone else is making this sweater, be very very frugal with the two darkest shades for your main colour (F and G on the chart).

What else did I learn? Let's see: if you're cutting steeks, you don't need to be anal and weave your new yarn ends in past the steek, because once it's cut down the middle, all you'll have done is added unnecessary thickness to the other side of the sweater. In fact, Bethany, who is also knitting Threadybear, found a great article by Lucy Neatby on steeks, where she suggests swapping colours during the first half of the steek and just knotting the ends together. Of course, I didn't do this research, and so only read this after I'd finished knitting and cutting both my steeks. Oh well. Again, this project was all about the learning.

Now it's back to my 2 socks on 2 circs (yay!), my jaywalker socks, and a poncho for a friend's daughter who's about to turn two. The conversation went something like this.

    S: Here's the invitation to E's party. Gifts are entirely optional, but she needs a new poncho, and she really likes purple.
    Me: Oooohkay then.
Actually, it's not that bad. Although I've always hated the idea of knitted (or crocheted for that matter) ponchos for adults, they do look sort of cute on little girls. And Lynne at City Knits found me a nice pattern by Knitting Pure and Simple for a hooded poncho (scroll down about two thirds of the way down the page, and it's on the left hand side), and I've got some chunky purple Plymouth Encore and am well underway. It's pretty simple stockinette, with symmetrical increases, the same kind as the Jaywalker socks, to make the V shaping. It won't show up quite so much in a solid purple, but I couldn't find any variegated stuff that was the right colour. March 11th is my deadline for that, and then it'll be more socks for my Sockapaloooza pal. I've picked out the yarn, and almost decided on a pattern, so want to get started on that soon too.

So much knitting, so little time. But at least I got my Olympic medal. Thanks to Matt at Threadbear for coming up with the pattern and kit; to everyone for the support - real life and virtual - ; and to Terry for not going completely crazy wondering why I was obsessing and spending so much time on something that won't even be worn by a real person. And of course, to the Yarn Harlot herself for coming up with this crazy idea in the first place.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger allisonmariecat said...

Your sweater is amazing! Congratulations!

 
At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Joanne said...

Your bear's sweater is very cute. Congratulations for winning Gold in the knitting olympics!!

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger helen said...

oh Kirsti, your sweater is fabulous! i think your reasons for sleeve #2 are why it looks better. but a teddy bear will love it anyway ;) when knitting flat, i always do increases one stitch in because it gives you a smooth line to sew, and in the round, i guess it would help shape it. very nie! and thanks for the steeking article

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger Annie said...

That sweater is amazing!

 
At 4:33 PM, Blogger Trillian42 said...

It looks amazing! What incredible work you did on that sweater.

 
At 4:41 PM, Blogger Areli said...

Wow! That is one impressive little sweater! Congratulations!

 
At 5:03 PM, Blogger Bethany said...

Congratulations on the finished sweater! I'm concerned about running out of yarn too!!!

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger Larjmarj said...

Bravo!! I think it looks great and you survived those steeking steeks!!

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Dixie said...

You so, so, so deserve the gold! I'm so proud of you! That sweater is terrific!

 
At 3:18 AM, Anonymous twig said...

What a gorgeous sweater! That definitely deserves a gold medal. I barely got through a felted bag in my 16 days. I can't imagine doing that sweater. Of course if I did, I'd end up tieing the child to the couch so he/she didn't get dirt on it, or play in it, or spill food on it, etc.

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger Jerry & Maxy said...

Wow! You certain;y earned Gold!! I was impressed with your Cmas hats, but this - this sweater is amazing! Will you frame it? Or buy a bearto wear it and put it on display - yes, that's how proud I think you should be :).

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger Jerry & Maxy said...

Sorry for all the typos in that comment.

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

Love the sweater!!!!!!

Ok, I am on the 5th scarf........I love it!!!!!!

J

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger Mrs.Curvy said...

Oh Kirsti, the bear sweater is grogeous!! Worderful work you did. You should be very proud of yourself!

 
At 12:05 AM, Blogger Sharon said...

Well done, you must be very proud of your achievement.

 
At 2:56 AM, Blogger CynCyn said...

wow. sweater is absolutely stunning. I stumbled over here from Joanne's blog (Keep Talking). So... how far is Threadbear from Royal Oak? (i'll be making that drive myself in May)

 

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