March 23, 2007
After wearing my handmade sweater for the second time yesterday, I decided it wasn't quite done. I just didn't like the way it was hanging on me so, when I got home, I took off the sweater, picked up the stitches around the neckline on a circular needle and knit a few rows of ribbing, as the pattern indicated. I hadn't done the neck originally for two reasons: I was intimidated at the thought of picking up neck stitches and I was afraid that the neck opening was already too small. And I will admit that it took quite a bit of trial and error to figure out how to pick up the neck stitches because the instructions in The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits just aren't very good. When I was re-learning how to knit in the fall of 2002, however, it was about all that was available in the genre of books geared toward knitters under sixty.
In addition to adding the neck edging, I decided to block the sweater again, because it was looking a bit lumpy. I had blocked the pieces before sewing them together, but I hadn't blocked the whole sweater. This time, I used the blocking directions in Stitch N' Bitch, which I got from the library the other day. Debbie Stoller recommends soaking the sweater in soapy lukewarm water, rinsing it, rolling it in a towel, and laying it out flat in the shape I want it. It isn't dry yet, but it is already looking better. I can't believe I had never really looked at Stitch N' Bitch before. I own the sequel, which has a lot of fun patterns, but the original is a fantastic reference with super-clear directions for just about every technique I will ever need. Too bad it didn't come out until 2003!
Posted by eklanche at March 23, 2007 07:48 AM