Archive for February, 2014

Cassis KAL – Progression

Sweater knitting is a different experience for me personally. It is my knitting growing edge for sure.

AM Cassis in progress 1

Angela’s Cassis in progress in PDS Worsted yarn

There are several reasons sweaters or more properly garments for adults are my knitting growth edge. First, because they are large projects, I get bored with them. No surprise there, I am a knitting project starter more than a finisher. Because garments for adults get worn much longer and not outgrown like children’s garments, my brain tells me it is more important to get them exactly right. Now this is slightly silly since I have purchased plenty of garments that aren’t exactly right and I am okay with that.

So, once we get to exactly right land, I have a challenge on my hands. My standard operating procedure for this situation is to freeze up and not move on. You know, deer in the headlights effect. While you might not have this challenge with knitting sweaters or in knitting in general, my guess is that you too have run into this phenomenon somewhere in your life. So this is what the Cassis KAL is for me, an opportunity to push past that frozen stance and actually knit a sweater. Who knew knitting could teach you so much about yourself and how you approach life?

AM Cassis in progress 2

My progress isn’t terribly spectacular. I am also knitting a sweater for my daughter. However, I am optimistic I will finish by the end of the KAL, March 15. Some participants have finished. You can see more in progress or finished sweater pictures over in the Ravelry thread.

Class at work-001

The above picture is the Cassis KAL class held in the Knit ‘n Needle Yarn Shoppe itself (home of At the end of this post I will tell you what yarns in the background.

As you move towards the end of your sweater, here are some consideration to think on.

  1. Your bind off at the bottom of the sweater and at the cuffs. The pattern directs you to bind off in pattern. As you work, be careful you do not bind off too tightly. The fronts of your sweater will not drape as you might hope if your cast off is pulling inward.
  2. Remember your gauge may be a bit tighter as you knit in the round on the sleeves than the body flat. I know that this can be the case for me. The reason for this difference is many people purl looser than they knit. Just be mindful and keep it relaxed.
  3. Your sleeves decreases. The rate of decreases may be a bit quick for your arms especially with long sleeves. I encourage you to try on your sweater when you have one sleeve knit to just above the elbow to judge the fit. If it is too snug, consider slowing the rate of decreases to one or two more rounds between decreases. For example, if you are decreasing at every 5th round, try decreasing every 6th or 7th round.
  4. Be willing to rip out something that doesn’t satisfy you. I have learned that designers may spend more time unmaking a design as making the design. Knitting is super forgiving. There isn’t many things in life that are as easy as knitting to take apart and put back together again. In sewing you will need more fabric to cut new pieces, in cooking, you will need all the ingredients again, in golf you can’t get a stroke back. Embrace this wonderfully little perk of working with yarn and needles (or hook, it is true for crochet as well).

As promised, the yarn in picture of Knit ‘n Needle

Tell us about your Cassis progress or finished project in the comments or in the Ravelry KAL thread.

What has knitting or crocheting taught you about yourself? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy yarn loving!

~ Angela M.

Other posts in this series:

  1. First KAL of 2014 – It’s a Sweater!
  2. Swatch That Sweater – Cassis KAL

February 25, 2014 at 2:42 pm 2 comments

Words on Knitting

Last time I was at my local library, I picked up a new book titled Knitting Yarns: Writers On Knitting edited by Ann Hood. It is a collection of essays by various authors talking about the place knitting has in their lives. Not all are knitters and some are “failed” knitters (their words, not mine). Yet they all have these wonderful stories about knitting. Grandmothers, mothers, dogs, and all other people we love are spoke about in the pages.

I want to share a couple of quotes from two writers who have written some of my favorite books.

From “where to begin” by Barbara Kingsolver

It’s all in the growing. From the seed of a pattern, the cotyledons of cast-on, everything rises: xylem and phloem of KP ribs, a trunk of a body and branches of sleeves, the skirt that bells downward daffodilwise. You with your needles are god of this wild botany.

My favorite book written by Barbara Kingsolver is The Poisonwood Bible. But I would recommend all her novels and other writing.

From “how knitting saved my life. twice” by Ann Patchett

Ten years later I am still wearing that scarf, though only on very cold days. It’s enormous, like high Japanese fashion, an entire sheep’s worth of wool. Sometimes I think that I’ll take it apart and make something more practical, two smaller scarves, but then I think about all the people this scarf has to holds – my grandmother, who taught me to knit, and Marti, who I taught to knit, and Lucy and all the things she didn’t get to finish, and Erica, who made sure I got it done, and all of our collective love and hope and disappointment. When I think about it that way, I’m amazed I was able to knit it all in.

My favorite book written by Ann Patchett is Bel Canto, beautiful lyrical book that combines opera, unlikely admirers, a birthday party gone wrong, and idealistic young terrorists.

Finally I want to offer you this quote from Anita Shreve on unfinished projects. It is very wise and true.

We [Anita & her daughter] have an additional realization: there is a reason there are so many orphans in the room. Projects don’t get finished because (1) the sweater one is making goes out of style by the time the garment is finished; (2) the many children who used to be excited when receiving handmade gifts have wised up, and there are no longer recipients for pairs of jacquard-patterned socks, mismatched or otherwise; or (3) no one can sustain, for more than the front and the back of the sweater, the belief that a hot pink and cool blue variegated yarn will look good on anyone.

Somehow, I think we all have projects that fit in these categories lurking in the recesses of our homes. They are indeed orphans.

I really recommend this book to you. It is a fun read and contains all the best reasons that we knit. Crocheters don’t despair, you are represented as well.

Happy Knitting and Reading.

~Angela M.

February 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment


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