My notes on this project:
(These notes will probably be a bit boring for the experienced stranded knitters here so just skip this and go to the attachments. I include these notes only for those who want to try out stranded knitting and are looking for information on the subject.)
1. This is the “Sandwater Jumper” from The Art of Fair Isle Knitting by Ann Feitelson. I really like the patterns in her book. I did make a few minor changes to suit myself.
2. I call it my anniversary jumper because it was this month in 2004 when I taught myself to knit.
3. The knitting wools are 2-ply Jamieson & Smith, purchased from the Shetlands. This is the last time I order from them because of their awful customer service. I chose the neutral colourway with 9 different colours.
4. The directions called for a 3.25 mm needle; I used a 3.75 and actually got gauge this time before blocking; after blocking I was 1 stitch over in a 4” segment. I think the stitches look a bit large for my tastes so I’ll probably drop down to 3.50 mm for the next project and block to size. I saw clearly how I knit more tightly with my right hand than with my left and I had to watch the floats made by the right hand very carefully.
5. I used the Addi Cro-hook for picking up the stitches and it worked beautifully. I can recommend this knitting tool to everyone.
6. The neck is lined which really is worth the extra effort.
7. I knitted the medium size and stretched it minimally on the woolly horse to a size between medium and large. I find that my sleeves knitted in stranded knitting always are a bit short but blocking fixed that just fine (they are longer than shown in the snap). I like my jumpers to be roomy on me.
8. I carried floats for the first time instead of weaving. I like the way the fabric looked prior to blocking; it was much improved over how it looked with weaving prior to blocking. Admittedly, both look pretty much the same after blocking but I think that floats have a slightly better appearance. Floats gave me agida as I was constantly having “fear-of-smocking” angst. I had read that it was better to have a loose float than a tight one and I took that advice to heart. After a while I think my floats started to take on a more even tension. I knitted the body inside-out just to carry a wee bit more wool in the floats - I wasn’t taking any chances. However, I don’t think this made much difference since I can see no visible difference between the body and the sleeves which were knitted right side out. After washing and blocking, I can see the pattern clearly so I think the floats are properly done.
9. Naturally, this is circular, no sewing together and done with good ol’ steeks. All ends were woven-in so no darning.
10. There were thankfully no trips to the frog pond this time. On a couple of occasions, I was able, in spite of precautions taken with stitch markers, to screw up a pattern repeat. But, I can now just ladder a stitch down one row and correct the problem with a crochet hook.
11. It took 7 weeks of on and off knitting to complete this. I mention this only because I think it demonstrates that I have finally got the hang of charted patterns and am no longer a slave to the graphed pattern. I can pick up the design usually after one pattern repeat and then it stays in my head.
12. I have also developed a knack for reading the pattern. I gave up using the row counter as I could read from the colour stitches on the needle which row I was working on. This is major progress!
13. This is my 6th stranded garment in the past 12 months. Three were Icelandic yokes, one a slipover and 2 were jumpers. I had decided after the first one that if I were going to get good at stranded knitting, I would definitely have to stick with it and do many projects in a row until I worked out the kinks. I’m getting there little by little. I’m the happiest about this garment, more so than the past ones. Even though in person they all look alike, for me, I can pick out the technique flaws.
14. As much as I’ve enjoyed knitting cables, pattern stitches, etc, I don’t think I could go back to single colour knitting. I can see why Kaffe Fasset and Brandon Mobley both are hooked on colour. I sure am!