Knitting Catch Up (Delusions Again?)

NaKniSweMo Report

If a knitter wants a sweater in one months time, it's best to keep a few things in mind.  A sweater knit at a large gauge will grow more quickly than say something on a size 2 needle. Use a yarn that is comfortable and lovely, one that your hands will love and that you'll love.  Of course the main consideration is the pattern. Is it a time tested pattern, something tried and true with few problems to fix? Above all, check for errata to ensure there are few, if any surprises. Input from other knitters is always a bonus (thank you Ravelry) and when you are ready to knit carefully read through the pattern and mark any changes that need your attention, such as size changes, increases, decreases, a change in needle size, or if it instructs "at the same time".  A yellow marker, pencil and paper,stitch markers, stitch holders and other neccasary items should always be handy.  Follow this advice and you'll be in the running to have the sweater finished in one months time.

2996657034_18aaf26074markersandrowsIt's proven to be a good thing that I moved on to Plan B for NaKniSweMo.  However, this seemingly simple cardigan has had its own issues from the beginning. I may not have followed my own advice when choosing this pattern. I did check Ravelry for errata and found many complaints and problems. In addition there was loads of advice and it seems errata was added daily for a time. Hope doesn't help a knitter much, but faith is active and requires participation.  I have years of experience, dozens of classes and many finished items under my belt.  That means my knitting intuition has been honed.  I know when a project is worth the effort and when its a bust.  I took the jump, acted on faith and went for it.

Even though the pattern called for only 2 balls of Kidsilk Haze, I knew this was unlikely.  I had 5 balls of my chosen yarn on hand so knew there would be no shortage if my intuition proved correct.  Later this corrected amounts of yarn were posted and I have more than enough.  I also saw a potential sizing problem as the finished measurements did not coincide with the schematic. This problem helped in my decision to knit a Small instead of the Medium size.


Addi Lace needles have been a big help, as they keep the stitches tamed and under control and the yarn has been interesting to watch, as it changed from white to gray to charcoal. It has been a wonderful experience to knit with this yarn and it hasn't caused one minutes trouble.  Even when I've had to rip back, it has behaved well.  This knitter is pleased.

To my advantage, the small size had minimal errata. However, the biggest problem has been the way the raglan increases are executed.  Once I figured out that the YOs in the "K1 yo K1" increases needed to line up one top of the other, the increases fell into place.  Reading them as if they were a lace pattern helps, as did stitch markers, but they are very difficult to see in the fuzzy haze of mohair yarn.

Some of the pattern rows are not written out and the only way to ensure the count is correct has been to write them out for myself. Counting the stitches in each section (front and back) is critical...nothing should be left to chance. Knitting through row 19 was an exercise in patience and perseverance, but once past that point the pattern has been easier to follow. 


The beautiful, ethereal cables come out of nowhere and if they are not well marked a knitter could easily to forget about them altogether. Sadly, the do not show up well in photographs (and barely in the actual sweater).  To make sure each cable is twisted on the right row, it has been best to keep a row count as I go.  This sweater demands constant vigilance, consistent and accurate counting.  Stitch markers are a must and there is no letting down ones guard, no easy mindless knitting. 

I am now knitting the sleeves (they are finished before the body, which is a good idea) and the rest of the project should be easy going (except for counting where each cables is twisted).  I do expect this sweater to be worth the experience.


Lovely, lovely! It's all good, love yesterday's OTN post, too!
You're just so busy with your knitting!

It is simply beautiful! Cannot wait to see the gorgeous result.

Beautiful! it is going to be a stunner for sure.

Being an Israeli may I raise a question that nobody seems to ask: How come a pattern published in a book has so many problems and why are we not complaining about it, after all we pay good money for the book, no?
Just wondering!

oh Margene - it is going to be incredible!
love that colorway - and I suspect that the cables will show up better once it is blocked. I really like how they seem to appear out of thin air.

For the record, I agree with Rachel.

However, this is also why I am knitting patterns that have been out for a while and wait for the second or third printing before even thinking about getting most knitting books.

It is going to be a gorgeous sweater, Margene. I know there's no way you will let the sweater win.

Glad to get so much advance warning, and also to see that you still want and love making this sweater. You are using a winner of a yarn, and the results are looking very wonderful.

Yes, a large gauge and/or a chunky yarn makes a sweater grow. But I suppose you could knit a sweater in a month on size 2s if you did not have to work or sleep or do anything other than knit the entire month.

That all sounds like quite a struggle - good on you for seeing it through. It looks like it's going to be worth it.

I think your dedication is going to pay off on this lovely sweater. Those cables are wonderful.

I also agree with Rachel...and I really love your expert advice on a successful knitted sweater in a month. I'm going to print it for future use. Have you thought of writing yourself? Maybe something called... Sharp Points/Tips/ From The Knitting Needle...or something like that? You are a wealth of information. :)

Thanks, Margene, for confirming everything I told myself before starting. However, I didn't listen to either of us and so have a 5.5 spi sweater going on US4 needles.

You, on the other hand, definitely have your ducks aligned towrd the finish line. That will make a nice holiday piece.

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