Category: Sesame Cardigan

A milestone

Sesame is done! Sesame is done!

Sesame Cardigan

Pattern: Sesame Cardigan by Melissa Wherle, published in MagKnits.
Yarn: 10 balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in Spring, plus smaller amounts of the same yarn in Beach (cream) and Tartan (dark green).
Needles: 5mm (US 8).
Modifications: Apart from adjusting for my gauge, I added a bit of fair-isle instead of stripes. I made the body and the arms a bit shorter, although the arms still turned out a bit too long.
Started March – May 2006.

Phew that took a long time didn’t it. It feels like a milestone, finishing this cardi. First adult-sized garment, for me. I love this cardigan, it’s soft and warm and cosy. I think I will wear it a lot, especially now that Sydney is starting to get that winter weather going.

I learnt a lot of new things during the making of this cardi, such as short-row shoulder shaping, setting in sleeves, and the big one — tubular bind-off. I’m sure that will be useful again.

Now that Sesame is done, I’ve been itching to start something new. Been fussing over what to knit next. I’m thinking of making another cardi or pullover, either for me or Annette, but haven’t decided on a pattern yet.

In the mean time, I have started on this:

Halfway through Shedir

It’s Shedir from Knitty, but I’m using Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran from stash, instead of the Rowan Calmer. I’ve decided to make this after being inspired by Jo and Belinda. 🙂 This yarn is thicker, so I’m dropping two of the repeats per row, and fewer repeats of the main cable pattern. Pretty much like the mods that Jo did to make her baby shedir. I’ve tried it on, mid-progress, and so far it fits me quite well. 🙂

Thank heavens for little girls

… because I can borrow these from my little girl! 🙂

Hairclips

And here is how I used them…

Using hairclips to tack pieces together for seaming

… that is, for tacking the cardi pieces together while I do the seams. Practical, no?

The above pics were taken a few days ago. Since then, I’ve set in the sleeves (yay!), seamed up the sides and the sleeves (hooray!), weaved in some more ends (yipee!), and finished the collar (woohoo!). All that’s left now is picking up the miles and miles of stitches around the fronts and collar, both left and right fronts. Yes, that’s it, really. And then sew in the buttons. Oh no. Buttons! I haven’t got the buttons!!

Some notes:

Setting in the sleeve was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I’ve heard from quite a few people how nervewrecking it is to set in a sleeve. And in a way, it was. I don’t want to trivialise it, and I thank those people for alerting me. I did have a lot of doubts about whether this could fit into that. Especially because my stitch and row gauges are way off from the pattern, and I have been adjusting the maths as I go. What if the sleeves can’t fit?? As much as I want to be a Knitter, I don’t think I would have the courage to undo the sleeves at this point. One great advice that I found on setting in the sleeve, was from Ann Budd’s book, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns:

With yarn threaded on a tapestry needle and beginning at shoulder point (leave sufficient yarn at beginning of seam to be used later to work other half), sew sleeve to back armhold to the underarm. Repeat for front armhole.

That is, to start seaming at the shoulder point (center of the bind-off edge of the sleeve) instead of from the underarm. Why didn’t I think of that before?? I’m sure that it is probably obvious to many of you. But I’m glad I read that, and I think it made setting in the sleeves easier for me.

The collar is done in 2×2 ribs, and I decided to try doing a tubular bind-off, to match the tubular cast-ons that I used to begin the body and sleeves. I’ve never done a tubular bind off before, so I turned to the books. Montse Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook seems to be the only book I’ve got that describes the technique for 2×2 ribs. And it says, “For masters of tubular bind-off on one needle.” What?!? Masters?? Eeeek! So in order to not ruin my knitting, I went to jump off a cliff tried it out on some scrap yarn first. And to my amazement, it turned out alright. By the tenth iteration I even got it memorized.

There’s something interesting I found while practising the tubular bind-off on scrap yarn. The book warns that this bind-off on 2×2 ribs has a slant. I found that it is true. But. But! On the wrong side, there’s no slant! I don’t know whether this is true in general or just in my way of knitting. But that was useful to know. So of course what I did was to do the bind off on the wrong side of the garment. Now I’m very happy with how it looks 🙂

I’m off now to do the button bands!

Sesame progress

I’ve finally finished knitting all the pieces of Sesame. I’ve finished the back, both fronts, and even conquered sleeve island. I’ve even weaved in some of the ends, and ‘seamed’ the shoulder seams (using three-needle bind off), and blocked all the pieces.

(By the way, this here is the down side of doing fair-isle flat in rows as opposed to in the rounds. Ughh!!)

Fair isle ends

All that’s left to do now is to pick up stitches around the neck and knit the collar, pick up stitches along the two fronts for the buttonbands, set in the sleeves, and seam up the sleeves and sides.

Last night I made some progress on the collar. But not without a little horror story of my own… I was counting the number of stitches around the neck just before I pick up the stitches, and to my horror, I found that the right front has six more rows than the left front! This was an excess of almost 3cm (a bit over 1 inch). How could I not notice that before?!? Well… it turned out that when I blocked the thing, I blocked it after doing the shoulder seams. And I managed to overlook the fact that the top bit of the right front was folded to the back. I didn’t notice the length difference then. I guess this is why a ‘proper’ blocking board with the grids would’ve been handy.

So what to do? First I thought, well… maybe I can just leave it and still pick up the same number of stitches on the right neck front as the left, and hopefully the extra length would get pulled up after I knit the collar on. I wasn’t so keen on unravelling the three needle bind-off and then frogging. But then again I thought, am I a Knitter or am I a knitter?? I just knew that if this doesn’t get fixed then I wouldn’t be able to live with it. I mean hey, if I want a cardigan that I can feel good about (and show off!), then I’d better do it properly. Right?

So I bit the bullet. I picked out the ends that I weaved in, and unravelled the three needle bind off. Halfway through the unravelling, as I see those live stitches coming off, I suddenly panicked, “oh no, what have I done??” So what did I do? Take a picture of course. Ha!

Unravelling shoulder bind-off

But once the wayward front had been surgically removed successfully from the back, I could breathe again. I frogged the extra rows…

Frogging extra rows

… did the three needle bind off again…

Binding off again

… and then all is well.

So now Sesame is looking like this.

Sesame

I still have quite a bit to go on the collar. And I’m a bit nervous about setting in the sleeves as I’ve never done a set-in sleeve garment before. But here’s hoping that it will all go well!

One piece down

Back piece done, starting front left

Here we have the back piece of Sesame done, and now starting the left front.

Starting Sesame

Apart from the scarves, I also have another new project on the needles. It’s the Sesame cardigan from MagKnits, which I have been planning to make for a long time.

Starting Sesame

This would be my first adult-sized cardigan ever. Hope I can persevere through it! I like the look of the cardigan, and it looks like something I can wear every day (in cold weather of course), so I really want to see the final product.

The original pattern is striped, but I’m doing mine in solid colour, using Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in ‘Spring’. Or, rather, I was going to do it all in solid colour, and then I thought about making it a bit more interesting, so I added some fair-isle. The fair-isle pattern is not my design, it’s actually part of this Onslow Vest pattern. I’ve always wanted to knit something with fair-isle, and this one looks really nice to me. (I have tried the fair-isle technique before, when I made this hooded poncho for Annette. But I wanted to try something that looks more ‘traditional’, like those Scandinavian fair-isle garments. Maybe I’ll even try steeking one day 🙂 )

Sesame fair-isle band