Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Olympic Wrap-Up

Final Olympic challenge sweater pictures and notes.

The Cozy Cardigan, designed by Kathy Zimmerman, Vogue Winter 05-06. Rowan Magpie, nicely aged in stash, knit slightly looser than recommended gauge and blocked out to 15 st/4", 8 skeins.

Here is a better picture of the stitch pattern:

I was wondering if anyone would notice that I changed the buttons. Yes, I did change the buttons at the last minute. I don't like these as much as the original ones that I picked out (remember I only had six of those--and I needed eight), but after all that knitting, I wasn't going to let a last-minute-button-debacle keep me from finishing. To make a long story short, my goal in the beginning was to do this without injury and without making my family crazy, and driving an hour away for two buttons on Saturday would have bordered on the making-my-family-crazy part.

Thank you all for your moral support and for cheering me on! That was the best part, for me. Remember how I was worried in the beginning about the excessive amount of stockinette at the sides and shoulders? And you all reassured me? Well, it did turn out to be just fine, just like you said. See:

So, what did I learn from this experience?

1. I can make a freakin sweater in two weeks! (I did suprise myself a little).

2. I don't enjoy making a sweater in two weeks!

3. It is much easier to keep one project contained and organized than it is it to keep track of all the needles, patterns, and extra yarn for five or six things. I am constantly frustrated because I can't find things. With this sweater, I was very careful to keep my pattern, my extra yarn, my smaller needles for the ribbing all in one bin, so as not to lose any precious time. Hmmmm: must meditate on the possibilities of being more organized, with all my projects, (duh!)

4. I really like the variety of having several things going at once. And I like my system of having different projects to work on in different situations. I did NOT enjoy knitting this while watching 24, Survivor, and ice dancing scandals. There was quite a lot of this going on:

I had to ladder down to fix dozens of cables, those line thingies in the pattern, and worst of all: bobbles. This sweater must have had a hundred frickin bobbles. I forgot them right and left. And you can't ladder down to fix a bobble, because you won't have enough yarn to add it in. You must rip back. Fortunately, I never went more than six rows before I realized I forgot one. Examining your knitting every inch or so is key, in a pattern like this.

Here was the worst one:

You can't really tell it in the picture, but I was binding off. Binding off, on my last piece, when I saw that I missed that last bobble there, at the top left in the photo. Argh.

This pattern was very well written and I enjoyed it. The only thing I changed, and it is very minor, is I made the waist shaping less extreme than the pattern. The pattern called for seven decreases from the hip up to the waist, and I only did four. Seven decreases x four sides = 28 decreases, at 15 st/4 inches, is about 7.5 inches decreased at the waist. That seemed like a lot to me. Some of my recent sweaters, in worsted weight with waist shaping, have had 4 decreases per side which totals overall about 4" decreased from waist to hip. That's worked for me, so that's what I used here. Just FYI.

I seem to have a backlog of small FOs. A few accessories I made before the Olympics that I didn't get a chance to blog about, and a few UFOs I've gotten out and finished up. My goal is to have one small post each day for the next several days to show these. Ciao!


Blogger Shirley Goodwin said...

Well done, Emily! You can relax now.

Shirley In New Zealand

2:46 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

That is a very smart looking cardigan! Onto the One-Day list!

6:05 PM  
Blogger FemiKnitMafia said...

Dear Dog, It's Beautiful! Excellent. Congrats!

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

It looks wonderful! Congratulations.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful. I think the darker buttons define that line nicely...although I did like the lighter ones too. Here is a link to Liana's blog, she sews and knits and is knitting a bubble sweater too. If you scroll down to around Jan. 27 you will see where she started.


She works at a great speed too.

Thanks for sharing your knittings, I enjoy reading about them.

6:26 AM  
Blogger mary m. said...

Good job, Emily...that is definately your color (mine too)

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Helen said...

Hi Emily - that is a beautiful cardi and the colour is terrific - suits you so well!

As for the bobbles - I think there is a way to add them without un-knitting. Couldn't you just drop the one stitch down to the position of the bobble, and with a spare bit of yarn do your increasing and decreasing knitting into that stich and then pick the stitch back up again? (You might find it better to drop down 3 stitches and knit the bobble over the middle one to avoid any baggy stitches either side of the bobble.) It would mean some extra ends to sew in though...


11:56 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Nice sweater!! Amazing that you knit that in 2 weeks. Thanks for sharing your conclusions...

6:00 PM  

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