Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Everything Old Is New Again

Phew! Here she is - Dalarna!

She's been sewn together and blocked, and awaits her crocheted border and buttons before she can make her debut. In my mind, she's done! DONE!

What: "Red and White" cardigan from page 164 of "Poetry in Stitches". Christened "Dalarna" by Wendy of Wendyknits!

Yarn: Hifa 2 yarn - yarn for this project was purchased from Nordic Fibre Arts, who supply all the yarn packs specifically for "Poetry In Stitches" and "Norsk Strikkedesign". I have A LOT of yarn left over, I'll probably be able to make a matching pair of mittens with what I have left over. I have teeny hands...

Needles: 2.5mm for the red upper portion, and 3.5mm for the stranded design.

How I Blocked Her (Finally): Eucalan, 1/4 cup of sea salt, and a sink full of hypothermia inducing ice cold water. I could barely stand to plunge my hands in the water! Instead, I used an old wooden spoon. A friend at work recommended the ice cold water - a non-knitter at that too! And not a DROP of the dye came out of place.

PITA Factor: Very low. I specifically chose this design as my first Norwegian design as it had everything I wanted to try out - specifically a new way of steeking. I did not find the knitting part difficult (let's not speak of the numerous attempts starting up the second sleeve, 'k?), however I did find that there was a lot more finishing involved than I'm used to with Fair Isle. The front bands alone took me a weekend to complete - probably 8 hours total. Not bad when you're picking up and knitting 150 stitches per side on 2.5mm needles, and knitting for 18 rows per side! The facings on the front bands and the upper sleeves were stitched down in place as well. This is something that I don't do with Fair Isle.

The steeks did not prove to be a problem, thanks to Lorraine and her sewing machine. She had come by awhile back and stitched them up for me.

I've never been one to swoon and faint at the cutting of steeks - it's never rattled me. Just cut. And trust that a few thousand + knitters can't be wrong! So - no issues there, and they worked out just fine. No unraveling at all. I did add a few more stitches to the front steek, probably the Fair Isle knitter in me thinking it would make a difference. But, it was completely unnecessary.

So, I'm very pleased! I was thinking as I was blocking it that it would have made a great pullover. But, I wanted the experience of Norwegian steeks.

What do you think!?!? I will post a modelled shot later in the week, once it's dry! Yay me!!!

"Guys, really - it's done! I saw it for myself. Are you as pooped as I am from the whole process?" - Little Miss Mae


Chery said...

I love your sweater and can't wait to see it on you!

Marina said...

Yay! Great job, Brigitte! It's gorgeous.

I forgot about the salt. We used it all time with tie-dyeing.

Why is Lorraine not wearing a handknitted sweater? Hmmm

Love the picture of the kitties ;-)

Carrie K said...

Oh, Dalarna looks fabulous! And I clicked on the pic to check if the dye ran before I read your assurances and not so much as a fuzzy line. AWESOME. Hypothermia inducing col? LOL! Whatever it takes!

So cool. Nice of Lorraine to come by and lend you a hand, a sewing machine and a couple of seams too!

The kitties seem strangely worn out.

DeeAnn said...

Three Cheers for You!!! Dalarna is beautiful, you have to be so happy!

Didn't know anything about salt - glad the whole combination worked out for you :)

Brenda said...

Congratulations! What a success! It's very beautiful. Looking forward to seeing how it looks on.

How come the kitties look so worn out when you did all the work?

Rachel H said...

Really gorgeous. But what in the hell did you do to those poor cats?

Chris said...

It's stunning!! I'm glad to hear about that no dye ran - and that you'll be able to wash it in the future. :)

Poor kitties. Probably find steeks as traumatic as I do and it wore them out.

Dipsy said...

How very, very beautiful - you've outdone yourself! Fantastic job, and I can't wait to see the modelled pictures!

Wendy said...

Woo-hoo! It is absolutely gorgeous!

Lorraine said...

Bridge- Try not to work the Dudes so hard, eh?
Salt is a dye fixative- and it work in laundry too. Glad there was no mishaps.

It is a work of art. Can't wait to see you model it.

Tracey said...

Absolutely stunning! See, we knew you could do it.

OK, question, what is the salt for? I'm always interested in picking up new techniques.

bev said...

Oh Brigette - how lovely and Red too! Now, where is the modeling shot - gotta see it on!

the BookWyrm said...

I agree with Marina. I should have remembered the salt and cold water, too.

Darlana looks great! I hope she feels as good to wear as she looks in your pic!


Anni said...

Dalarne is so very beautiful. You did a great job.

Rebekah said...

Oh it's absolutely lovely! You did such a fantasitc job on it!

CoffeeLady said...

OMG - the jacket is gorgeous! Beautiful work!

Marji said...

Gorgeous! Absolutely stunningly Gorgeous.