Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The project that ate my time!

I finally finished a project. I say finally, but really, I have knit it one and a half times (at least), frogged it, and it spent a lot of time in time out-that was several short time outs, not one protracted time out. It's Shirley Paden's cardigan from VK S/S 2004, #11, knit in Elann's Camilla yarn.
To make this easier for you, I recommend-

1) Photo copy the chart and put it in a document protector. Use a Post-it to move up the chart as you work. Write down each row as you finish it. As soon as you finish it. Store the pen in the document protector so you don't have to look for one at the end of the row.

2) Buy deluxe post-its. The super sticky kind. This is no time for shoddy bargain post-its.

3) Mark the "right side of the garment" with a safety pin, a scrap of yarn, SOMETHING.

4) Since the entire garment is knit by the charts, I found I did better when I was alone.

5) Knitting the sweater body takes about 250 stitches a row. It could be that 2 rows may be all you can manage in a session, and then you have to put it away! This is why good record keeping is essential.

6) There were times when I picked it up and could not understand where I was in the pattern. Some days it took me 10 minutes to see it. If you can't see where you are in the chart, just sit with it in your lap. If you can't see it in 15 minutes, just put it down. It is not your day to work on it. I had trouble reading right to left, and then left to right on the pattern. This is true lace!

7) This is not a forgiving pattern. It's extremely linear, and a stitch out of place SHOWS. Fudging doesn't work well. Since the pattern changes every row, I found it difficult to memorize.

8) There is a big paradigm shift on the facing. Study the chart before you begin, and notice how it differs from the main chart-look at how the diagonal travels, and what happens in the wake of the stitches. (Yes, I reknit this portion.)

9) I knit facing A and facing B separately up to the slant points. Then I photocopied charts A and B and taped them together. Then, I worked them concurrently, using markers to designate the increase sector (which I just worked in rib).

10) It might be easier to knit the sleeves in the round. I think I would like it in wool.
Edited to add: I slipped the first and last stitch of every row on the collar and front opening to give myself a springboard for a 3 needle bindoff to attach the collar. It worked great.
I did the same thing at the under arm, and that about killed me. The jacket had a very narrow armscye (is that the right word??), and the sleeve top was fairly wide. I just about screwed myself there.


Anonymous said...

I happen to have that magazine, and had this pattern marked. Of course it was obviously a difficult one, so I marked it for "at some point".
Thank you so much for the detailed advice. I am saving it for when that point comes...


Cindy G said...

Yikes! And congratulations. And thanks for the warning, er, tips.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips, Bets. They look like they would help with any lace pattern but I can see essential for this one. Think I will wait until my last kid is out of the house before I attempt it. Meanwhile I will be on the look out when I'm browsing thru my knitting magazines for an easier Shirley Paden! Sandra

CatBookMom said...

I meant to comment at Elann, but y'know.... THe jacket is spectacular, and I hope you are justly proud of yourself for tackling it and finishing it in spite of all the tricky bits. Thanks for the tips, which are useful for other projects, too. The super-sticky post-its are my faves, too, and I also use tape flags to mark where I am in in a row.

Joan said...

Omigod. What a nightmare-ish knit. I'd rather build your new house. ;-p

smariek said...

That's pretty! I love how you give knitting tips for the project (just like you have before for other one). Looks like it'll be a long while before I tackle something like this though.