Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sweater Sampler

Warning: This blog post contains nothing but knitting talk. If that offends you or does not does not interest you, please leave now. I cannot be held responsible for you reading it and getting quickly bored by knitting talk. You have been warned.

I just finished something that I started about a year and a half ago. It's the Sweater Sampler from The Sweater Workshop. It's been "on the needles" (as they say) since August of 2007. I knit on it for a few weeks and I put it away for a few months. Then I knit on it for a week or so and I put it away again for about a year. I just figured out how to do a YO2, and how it works, on Monday, so I was able to do the lace cast off and proceed to the last few bits.

This sampler is one of the most satisfying things I've ever knit. I did so many things that I've never done before, and I was able to be pretty fearless because it's just a big swatch. (And for anyone who is reading this and not understanding what it's for, it's just to look at and see what things look like. It's not a sleeve, nor could it be used as one.)

It feels like I've had this thing in my UFO bag (although I would never refer to it like that in polite company) forever. I'm so glad it's done. I hate having things in the bag that are just sitting there unfinished. They just hide there and then scream "boo!" at me every time I look inside the bag. I've got another "old friend" about two days from being finished that I need to pick up so that I can fix the mistake and complete it.

Here's some pictures of the sampler that I took of this afternoon.

You start with some very basic stuff so they can lull you into thinking you can complete it.

The button hole was the first new and challenging thing for me. It's so simple that it was a nice, low hurdle to get over and build my confidence with. (It could have been a bit neater.)

The afterthought pocket. I was really amazed how nice it looks in the end. It makes me want to put pockets in all my sweaters now. They can look totally geeky, but they're nice to have.

The inside of the pocket.

The knitted belt. (Everyone gets a knitted belt next Christmas!) And the
"correct" way to change color on a rib. (Who knew?)

Color work and swiss darning. (This is the only success
I've had with Swiss darning to date.)

Several rows of raised stripes. This is what made me put it down the first time. In the
end, the instructions are very clear and step by step. You just have
to read it slowly - and try it and rip it out and do it over.

Applied i-cord, the i-cord loop and a little i-cord rope for a closure. I learned i-cord about a year ago and I use it all the time now. It has to be used judiciously or it can look a little "granny."

The lace cast-off that put me off of this for a year. Mystery solved while sitting around a group of knitters and using their collective energy for support.

If you need a good "quick" tutorial on knitting techniques, this would be well worth your time to do. It's also go some patterns in the back. It's very Elizabeth Zimmerman in its approach, which I really appreciate. It makes me feel like it's time to do a sweater.

And there is a sweater in my bag "resting" now. How con-veen-ient. It's that Aran sweater I'm avoiding.


Anonymous said...

Personally, I enjoy reading your knitting blogs and seeing the pictures. This one was especially nice because it came so quickly past the one about my screw-up which hopefully will be soon forgotten! Love you! Kath

Anonymous said...

I have no idea who you are, and I linked to your blog from my friend, who also has no idea who you are, but we love you, anonymously, all the same.

Anonymous said...

Um, in case that post made you at all uneasy, we don't love you in a weird, stalk-y way. It's more an appreciative, boy, it's nice to know this guy exists in the world somewhere kind of way.

Team Knit said...

I love it! This is such a great idea, I love how many things you tried out on this giant swatch. That afterthought pocket is a new one for me, too.

- Julie