Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Sunday, March 16, 2008


This week I've spent alot of time looking back to early knitting projects; analyzing them and posting them in my Ravelry Notebook. This sweater was my very first knitting (circa 1983). No one was there to tell me that a mohair traveling stitch aran with bobbles, wasn't the usual beginner project. No one to suggest that maybe a scarf or a hat out of a smooth yarn would be preferable. Thank God!

It's always been a bit of a mystery, just how I learned to knit. Growing up, I'd done lots of needlecrafts--embroidery, cross stitch, needlepoint, hardanger, those felt/sequin Christmas stockings but the whole yarn section of the craft store felt out of bounds for me. Until I saw the pattern leaflet for the grey mohair sweater. I wanted to wear that sweater. And, when it comes right down to it, there were only so many cushions or framed stitchery pictures one could do--a wardrobe of sweaters, now that was something different.

Somehow, somewhere, I'd learned the basic knit and purl stitches. I've never been able to track it down, though. Maybe as a Blue Bird or Camp Fire girl, but none of my childhood school friends have memories of it. Only one Aunt was a knitter and she said she never taught me. Anyway, despite not knowing anything more of knitting (like how to inc or dec or even cast off), I barged ahead with my sweater. The library only had three knitting books and thank goodness one of them was Knitting Without Tears! What a blessing to have EZ's wit and wisdom on this adventure. And, y'know, I think she would have approved.

It's so fun looking back at this piece. The cast on and bind off are incredibly tight--I can barely fit my hand through the sleeve cuff. That front border is aching for some of EZ's Applied I-cord. I remember being mystified about how to determine where to begin the set in sleeve--the pattern just said 10" or desired length to underarm but I had no idea how to accurately judge it. Oh, did I mention that this was knit back and forth--yes, BTS worked flat so that you had to keep track of the pattern from the wrong side of the work. And, oh my, how the sleeve is sewn in! Absolutely no give, whatsoever.

Anyway, I do remember wearing this garment, even bought my first Bandolino's to go with it. :) The yarn was Thistledown (alpaca/mohair/nylon) from Brunswick and the pattern designer is listed as Jennifer Peacock Harper. Actually, I still really like it. Especially those very 80's puffy sleeves. Shoot! if I'd gotten into Oft-timers I might have remade it out of handspun and done a before/after for the contest.

On to current projects, here's a shot of my in progress Forest Path Shawl.
The pic was taken earlier this week so it's a little farther along now. But this shows how I'm putting a lacier edging on it than the plain seed stitch in the pattern. Also changed the seed stitch starter triangles to moss stitch--so much more fitting to the Forest Path theme. Since the garter based edging has a different gauge than the moss and St st based lace, I'm working some short rows into it. Sorta guessing on how many as I didn't do a whole lot of swatching but at some point soon, I'll do a little pre-block to make sure things are on track.


At 9:49 AM, Blogger June said...

It is amazing looking back at some older projects, and how if we had had a mentor where would we be now? Better or worse, I don't know, but I am glad you perservered with your bobbles as look at where you are now!! It's all good. . .

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Melanie said...

The lacy edging on Forest Path is so nice! I like it a whole lot better than seed stitch.

Thanks for sharing your trip down memory lane and giving us a peek into your knitting history. The sweater is a beauty and quite the feat for a brand new knitter.

At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Marianne said...

Wow! That's impressive. I wish I had some creative skill. But it's fun to look at your projects. Do you do consignment work??? lol


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