A rocky start

My blog posts are fewer and farther between this year, but knitting continues. I have just finished my Anker tee, but you will have to wait to see a modelled shot, because it has just been enjoying its spa bath and is now taking its time to dry. Here is a sneak peek:

In the meantime, I have been working on the piping hot sweater. This pattern by Lily Kate really appeals to me with its clean lines and bold piping.

This is the first time I have used one of Lily Kate’s patterns. I am very impressed with how well it is written and at the way she lays the pattern out. It is well illustrated and explanatory, and contains all of the necessary bits that make a good pattern, like detailed schematics. So, I want to be clear that my rocky start is not due to any fault in the pattern, but rather to me. Specifically, in my continued post-Covid state, I find it difficult to focus on patterns, to cast on new things, and to fight through fatigue. The construction of this pullover is genius, but it does take some concentration. It starts like this:

The next bit involves picking up stitches along the shoulders and casting on for the back neck. I made the mistake of trying to follow the directions precisely. You see, I am left-handed, and although this doesn’t usually get in my way, I am completely incapable of picking up stitches along a border from right to left. I must pick them up with my left hand, from left to right, and I don’t “pick up and knit” but rather “pick up without knitting” which means that my first row after picking up stitches is a knit row and not a purl row. Now, I have been knitting for over 50 years, so I have over time learned to fudge instructions liberally where stitches need to be picked up in order to compensate for this. I have a bunch of strategies developed over time by trial and error to get things to work for me. Here, I was too fatigued to do that, and attempted to pick up the stitches as written with my right hand. Big mistake.

I ended up with a huge mess, and had to rip everything out multiple times and try again, and again, and again. I may have accompanied this with some yelling and screaming about my general knitting incompetence. I think I spent 2 hours on that one row. It was chaos.

And then, without fanfare, the chaos settled down and the back of the garment began to emerge:

This is what it looks like this morning (I have pinned it out so you can see the lovely shaping):

Crisis averted. Now that I’ve put the rocky start behind me, this is totally fun to kint, and the yarn (Di Gilpin Lalland DK) is fantastic.

Despite its effect on my knitting focus, I am steadily recovering. I still have pockets of fatigue and brain fog and those seem to have a disproportionate affect on my knitting because I tend to knit at the end of the day, when these are maximised. In fact, I am immersed in a new creative project (of the non-knitting variety) which is both fulfilling and challenging. In time, I will report on that here. Happy Sunday, everyone.

5 thoughts on “A rocky start

  1. It is a very interesting construction. I never came across it beforehand. My experience of knitting top down pullovers is however very limited. But I too was strongly attracted by this pattern. So, noting it down on my “This might be a nice project” list, alongside with your explanation !

  2. I too am left handed and picking up stitches is the only time I find that it puts me at a disadvantage. I hope the front doesn’t prove as problematic (as in you will remember what you did}. As with all your projects, I’m sure it will turn out beautifully. I always delight in your blogs and appreciate the effort you put into them. I wish you continued lifting of your covid fog.

  3. Very cool construction, and your Piping Hot Sweater is looking great so far 🙂 Also, Yay for your lovely Anker Tee! Picking up stitches lefty has to be really hard, especially when you are not feeling well. But you got there!

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