Norsk Strikkedesign completed (I think)

I think the Norsk Strikkedesign-inspired sweater is completed. At least it’s in full use in my life as of today. Also, between yesterday and today the first leaves on the lilac have unfurled themselves.

Norskwithdogsimg_0176

I’m pleased. So are the dogs . . . you can tell by the looks on their faces ("Okay, you’re warm, let’s get going on this walk."). Note the built-in wrist warmers. I tend to
forget gloves on the types of days when I would wear this sweater.

Tussah is on my blog page; she’s the reddish dog. That black-and-white character on the left is Ariel, who is twelve and a half and has an obedience title and is very, very smart. Both were rescued dogs, Ariel at about six or seven weeks and Tussah at maybe five or six years.

Digression

This morning’s walk with the dogs took longer than usual because my
almost-twenty-six-year-old daughter needed to rescue a bunch of the earthworms
that emerged because of the rain and then got marooned on the asphalt.

Yesterday when I took a short break from editing things, I sought out some
information on earthworms—I didn’t fact-check this stuff, so don’t quote me.
(Lots of worm-rescue took place on yesterday’s walk, too.) Earthworms come out of the ground when it rains because that’s when they can
travel without dehydrating. They can’t see, but they can sense light. They can’t hear, but they can feel
vibrations. They breathe through their skin. They can live underwater for a
couple of weeks if there’s enough oxygen in the water. Their
estimated lifespan, barring the intervention of birds, dehydration, cars, and
other perils, ranges from four to eight years.

My daughter seems to have been
born with a natural inclination toward earthworm conservation.

Knitting-related note about the slow walk in today’s gray, damp weather: the
new sweater performed perfectly. Cozy and comfortable.

Finishing the Norsk Strikkedesign-inspired sweater

Here are a few notes about the finishing process for the sweater. First, a photo of what the
inside looks like along the front bands. There’s herringbone
stitching along the cut edges of the folded-over steek. It’s black and I stripped down the yarn to its component plies (i.e., what I stitched with is thinner than the full yarn), so it’s hard to see exactly what’s going on. That’s the point. Another point is that the sweater is neat inside (see below, too). This photo also shows the
stitched-down edge of the folded-over front band (button side).

Steekfinishimg_0177

When I first tried the sweater on a few days ago, it was fine but not great.
Even though I had stabilized the neckline in all the usual ways before picking
up stitches to knit the neckline finish and even though I liked the depth and breadth of
the V, I felt like the sweater was too open across my shoulders and wasn’t
sitting solidly on them.

Because I have narrow shoulders and because
I like to have my clothes feel like they’re completely comfortable when I’m
wearing them, I frequently need to adjust patterns and tweak finishes.

After
spending a year on this sweater, I want it to feel like a natural part of my
life, not like something I only think to wear on special occasions. I want it to be as
comfortable as a T-shirt and my favorite jeans.

It wasn’t yet.

The problem was in the neckline.

I pondered a bit, and then decided to see what would happen if I worked one
line of single crochet just at the juncture between the body and the ribbing,
all the way around the neckline. (The closest corollary I can think of is “stitch
in the ditch,” from sewing.)

As I crocheted, I placed the stitches (and snugged them up) so they would
draw the neckline in without changing the existing smooth line. Of course, the
crochet is black so it’s as unobtrusive as possible.

Here’s what the results looked like, with an arrow pointing at the crochet chain:

Norskneck_0160arrow

I put the sweater on. The solution worked perfectly. The sweater feels like
it fits my shoulders now.

I like the results well enough that I would do this again on a sweater that
did not need a slight adjustment. That line of crochet makes what is to my mind
a perfect transition between the two types of knitting. I love the effect.

Here’s proof that the sweater has dropped into my life as a full participant:

Norskonchairimg_0178

This is part of why the inside needs to be neat. When something spends part of its time over the back of my office chair, the inside is what I end up seeing.

Next

Part of my brain is still thinking about adding duplicate-stitch accents to
the upper body, but right now I’d guess that I won’t get around to even trying
that. Another part of my brain is already contemplating which of the many
possibilities will be my next project (other than the socks-in-progress, which
are filling in the post-sweater gap).

Over the next three months, I have several trips on the docket for work. I
need a portable project that can be done on plastic or bamboo needles: lots of
interesting but not too taxing knitting that can be packed in a small bag. I’ve been wanting to swatch up the alpaca I got at Serendipity Yarn in Salida, Colorado, a couple of weeks ago, but it’s not the right gauge or quantity (too much) to be good for short, minimalist-luggage trips.

I am beginning to wonder what ONE yarn shop I should visit in New York City (I’ll be in Manhattan twice, but without much open time in the schedule). I’ve read the lists associated with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee‘s recent visit to NYC. A tour won’t be an option for either of my trips. I’ll need to do the quick-sneak-out-of-meetings.

Ideas for travel knitting come to mind. I can always do sportweight socks. However, I’ve dug out some laceweight alpaca and checked my needle binders. My smallest bamboo circulars are 2.25 mm, and I have nice, flexible Bryspun straights
in the same size. There are two shawl designs that I’ve wanted to play with
for a while, one by Evelyn Clark and one by Eugen Beugler. . . . Maybe I have
enough yarn for one or the other, and maybe that yarn will work with the
requisite needles. . . .

And the ongoing flow

Now I need to get back to tech editing patterns and reviewing illustration
roughs for the fall title from Nomad Press.

I think the
book for Free Spirit Publishing is almost
off its originating editors’ desks, including mine . . . although yesterday we received
a request from the in-house editor for a lengthier list of books for the
appendix of resources. I’ve gotten permission to post the cover for that book
here, which I’ll do soon. Possibly after I get that list of resources together.
It’s already a 123,000-word book all on its own.

Eric Maisel, whose work on creativity I admire and have used a great deal, will be doing a blog tour in conjunction with his newest book, Ten Zen Seconds. I’m scheduled to host him here on April 19, which is the day I leave for New York for the first time. Eric writes so prolifically that it takes several publishers to keep up with him, but this title happens to be published by SourceBooks, which is headed up by Dominique Raccah, who is one of the savviest independent publishers in the United States today. I’ve learned a lot from her at independent publishers’ seminars.

Here’s what Susan Tweit in Salida had to say about the long weekend visit Donna Druchunas and I got to pay to her part of the world. I’m not sure about the crazy comment, although she’s probably right.

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6 Responses

  1. It’s absolutely gorgeous. So worth all the time and effort. Thanks for sharing your process. Also, I was tickled to read about your daughter’s earthworm conservation. It’s a practice my husband and I engage in regularly and it was so fun/funny to read about someone else doing the same thing – and a link to actual information on it!!

  2. Skeetshooter

    What an incredible amazing piece of art. . . . not even in my wildest dreams.

  3. It’s fabulous. Stitch in the ditch with crochet chain? Better in knitting than in sewing, for sure. Wonderful!

    I love Eric Maisel, too. Fearless Creating is one of my fave books on living the life of an artist.

    Right now I’m knitting stranded myself, in 13 colors (only 2 at a time) for the fashion show at Dallas-Ft. Worth Fiberfest.

    It is so much fun, I wonder why I don’t let myself do this sort of thing more often. I love color SO much.

    Congrats on your perfect sweater-companion.

  4. What an absolutely gorgeous product from your knitting efforts! You will have years of wear out of such a wonderful sweater and bravo for all the wonderful finishing. I admire your tenacity.

  5. Wear that sweater in my presence at your own peril. A titanic achievement!

  6. Wow.. a work of art.I especially like to see the sweater in action with the dogs. That’s my kind of special knitwear. Wear it for a long time, and in good health!

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