Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's all good

I finished the Portuguese Fisherman’s Sweater.



Now, there is no historical basis for this pattern other than the fact that a version of it was shown in a 1970’s craft magazine. I’ve tried to track down if there is a ‘style’ of the Portuguese fisherman’s sweaters, maybe the equivalent of the British Gansey. But as far as I’ve been able to find, there is not really a defined style. Of course, if anyone knows something I don’t (not a hard thing to do), I would love to hear about it.

The original plan was to work out this pattern and knit it using the Portuguese style of knitting. Unfortunately, that was too slow for me and I got frustrated so I didn’t follow through with that. Maybe I’ll do something smaller so I can pick up some speed.

The original pattern was done in 2 strands of a cotton yarn. As you may know, I don’t do cotton. Plus I had this yarn I’d bought and dyed that I wanted to use and seemed to be in the rustic spirit of a fisherman’s sweater. It’s all good.

I didn’t use the original pattern because I wanted to see if I could figure it out on my own. I can’t tell you how inordinately pleased I am with it. I still need to wash it and block the collar but it is so comfortable and, I think, charming. I also wasn’t sure about having the placket when I already have so much up front! But it’s all good.

I’ve made pretty good notes so I’m going to try to get the pattern written out. I’m so enamored of it that I really want to do another one – maybe with some Berroco Ultra Alpaca. I think I would get pretty much the same gauge and it would be a whole different feel. Maybe I’ll use that to test the pattern once I’ve got it written up. I may also, if she wants one, try to make one for my mother. She’s much smaller than I so it would be my opportunity to work out the pattern for a small size. Now she does like cotton (and lives in Texas) so I might just break down and do hers with something I can live with knitting.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Of being knitterly

The weather has turned cold (with a bit of a vengeance, actually) and with the cold weather comes the return of the delight I feel at being a knitter. Each morning when I get up and decide which knits I’m going to wear that day, whether it be sweater, shawl, stole, scarf, socks or gloves. I’m awash with knits. I knit those knits. And it feels wonderful to venture out into the world wearing the knits I knit.

There’s really nothing that can compare to the knitterly satisfaction (and condescension, I have to admit) I feel wearing these beautiful hand crafted garments and pitying the people who wear only store-bought, factory-produced knits or, worse still, no knits at all. Pity the poor knitless ones.

I’m getting very close to finishing my Portuguese Fisherman’s Sweater. The sleeves have been a little bit of a challenge. I probably could have knit a whole new sweater for the time I took starting, ripping out, starting over, etc.

I decided to do the sleeves top down and it was a bit like the 3 bears – first I picked up way too few stitches, then I picked up way too many stitches but finally I think I got it just right. But then you have the problem of how far you decrease the stitches and then how to sort out the edging. Since the body had a split edging, I thought I might do the same for the cuff. But I shall have to do one last ripping out and do the cuff solid, I think.

Once I finish the second sleeve – which lacks about 3 inches – I will need to do the collar and then I’m done.