Sunday, September 17, 2006

Norwegians Rock!

At least when it comes to sweater construction! I took my class at my LYS yesterday and it was given by the amazing Therese Chynoweth, Technical Knitter at Dale of Norway and designer. That woman has forgot more about knitting than I will EVER learn. She's friendly and so willing to share every 'trick' she's learned. Trust me, some of the things she shared were invaluble. Such as:

1. When sewing on a sleeve, begin at the top of the shoulder and sleeve. Pull HALF of your darning yarn through and then stitch one half of the sleeve on at a time, from the top down. Doh! This totally helps keep it even and ensures you have enough yarn.

2. To block, soak your woolen, lay it out on a towel and roll it up like a tootsie roll. Place the roll in the your washing machine and let your machine go through it's spin cycle. THEN block the item out on a board. If wrinkles to occur, use an iron to steam them out. Don't press, just use the steam.

3. You need 3 wraps around the top of the sleeve worth of yarn to have enough to put it on.

These are just a FEW of the jewels that I can remember.
Now I know you are dying to see what the sweater looks like, aren't you? :)

Here's what I started with, my completed homework.

Then I sewed around the steeks. Which was a bit scary at first. I had visions of my bobbin eating my sweater..and the feed-dogs jamming and chewing a hole in the middle of it...oi...ruining my brand new sewing machine in the process. Yep, my last poor little Kenmore was dropped when we moved. Right on the wheel thing. It did a great job for me for over 12 years. I don't sew much, so I refuse to buy some expensive computerized thing I don't need. This is a great machine for $150. Good for home decor, patching things and apparently steeks! Yay!

But I did it.

The class was terrifying. I, unfortunately, did not bring my camera..and I think I'm glad. I swear I was pale when Therese said to 'CUT YOUR STEEKS'. She said it so flippantly, it made my stomach churn. But in a way it was freeing. Slicing your work right up the middle! After that she taught us how to join the shoulders, inset the sleeves and pick up the front sides of the cardigan.
Here is my finished project.
I can't decide if I like the inside or the outside better. Take a know you want to! The way all your cut ends are sealed behind a knit part is AMAZING.
Isn't it beautful???? That's the inside of the sweater! I am in awe of the Norwegians. They really know their...stuff! I think doing your first Norwegian is akin to turning your first sock heel, it's magic stuff. And heady. I'm sure the yarn gods are just waiting to take me down a few notches, but that's ok because according to Stephanie The Yarn Harlot I am now a Knitter with a K. I've steeked baby!

Then there's the best part.
Abby's smile. (Well that and the sweater actually FITS Casey!)

So I'm still aglow with accomplishment, which as mentioned, assures the failure of the next 5 projects to come off my needles or something. What is on my needles? My Plaid bag in progress.

Sorry it's blurry, kinda odd. I decided to go with the white anyway. I didn't reswatch with the gray because I really liked the white. I've heard I should just felt it longer, so we'll see. After all I handfelted my swatch under the kitchen faucet. I've also moved up to an 6 needle from a 10, again for supposed better felting. (I've the oddest feeling the Yarn Gods are laughing at me...)

Anyway, will let you know how it turns out! I do recommend everyone give the Norwegian thing a try one of these days!