theraineysisters knitting and so much more

February 22, 2009

From Sally — Ode to Spring

Filed under: Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 4:34 pm

It’s windy and cold here today. We even had a passing snow flurry this morning. So it’s a perfect day to turn one’s thoughts to spring, especially if long stretches of knitting tiny black stitches has become wearing.

That being said, I finally finished my Ode to Joy cardigan. The knitting of this piece was finished months ago. I just hadn’t been able to force myself to do the final finishing, especially weaving in ends and sewing on buttons. I hate sewing on buttons for some reason. I even batted my eyelashes at my sister in January and tried to get her to do it for me. It didn’t work. Yesterday, I wove in the ends. This morning, I tackled the buttons. (There were only three. How much whining does it take to sew on three buttons? Apparently lots.)

There was one legitimate issue with sewing on these buttons, in addition to the many issues that always come up (proper placement, deciding whether the shank is long enough, etc.). They are square buttons, and my intention had been to place them so that they “sat” on the sweater as squares instead of being turned so that they look like diamonds. The problem was that the way the shank was affixed to the button made that very difficult.

The buttons kept wanting to turn. I finally relented and just placed them as they insisted.

Lucy wants to know whether from the back she looks like a linebacker. (I told her no; don’t shatter her dream):

A Few Ending Points:

1. I’m trying to decide whether I will ever wear this without buttoning the buttons. If not, I may lightly baste the button band down to keep it from gapping slightly. (One tip: if you ever do that, sew it down where the outside edge of the band with the buttons sewn to it meets the inside edge of the buttonhole band. That way, the visible outer edge on top will look as if its been buttoned and not sewn.)

2. I had talked about lengthening the sweater considerably, but I didn’t. I made the lower band deeper and I blocked it somewhat longer. If you wanted to make this significantly longer, and wanted to keep the color shading, I figured out how. The problem was that I was past the point when I could have done so by the time I figured it out.

If you look at the back of the sweater, you’ll see that the pieces making it up are the same “height” as the matching front pieces but are twice as wide. That was done by casting on twice as many stitches, but doing two lines of decreases (forming the decorative triangle). If I had thought ahead, I could have started the front by making a third piece (which would have been the first piece I knitted). I would have cast on the same number of stitches, but done the two lines of decreases, roughly figuring out the color transitions on the fly. My basic front pieces are 8″ long; that would have given me a 4″ piece — plenty of extra length. On the back, I would have had to do four lines of decreases (creating two decorative triangles on the bottom piece).

All of that assumes I would have had enough extra yarn AND that the new triangle and double triangle pieces would still have looked cute. Who knows? I’ve probably lost you all by now anyway.

Someone asked me recently about my Little Assistant. He’s been visiting me since mid-November. I’ve become insanely attached to him and will blubber like a baby when he leaves, which will be soon. He’s taking a nap next to me right now.


  1. What a beautiful sweater! And it coordinates with your living room upholstery 🙂

    Comment by kmkat — February 22, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

  2. The buttons actually work with the triangles formed by the miters. I think the placement is a serendipitous success. Lovely sweater!

    Comment by twinsetellen — February 22, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

  3. Your sweater is very cool. I love the colors, too!

    Oh, at least Lucy didn’t ask you if that made her butt look big. 🙂

    Comment by Kay-From the Back Yard — February 22, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

  4. Gorgeous! I love the way the colors play. And I’m sure Lucy will miss the Little Assistant as well. So cute!

    Comment by LisaM — February 22, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  5. What a lovely sweater! And the assistant is QUITE cute!

    Comment by Lee Cockrum — February 22, 2009 @ 8:57 pm

  6. It is totally gorgeous and makes me want to knit faster…but it is a very slow knit for me and will take quite a while, I’m afraid!

    Comment by lv2knit — February 23, 2009 @ 1:06 am

  7. I’m pretty sure that as long as Lucy persists in not wearing pants, no one would notice any linebacker effect when she goes walking down the street. 😉

    I think it looks great regardless of any shoulder phobias.

    Comment by GinkgoKnits — February 23, 2009 @ 4:35 am

  8. Your sweater is lovely! As another Ode-knitter, I can say that whenever I wear mine, it’s buttoned. I think it flaps a little unattractively if it’s unbuttoned.

    Comment by Anne C. — February 23, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

  9. Ege bela, gxi tre placxas al mi.

    Comment by Trikada — February 23, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

  10. So beautiful!

    Comment by Wendy O'C — February 24, 2009 @ 9:10 am

  11. Gorgeous! Love the colors, shape, and buttons. I love the little assistant, too!

    Comment by Kim — February 24, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

  12. She is just lovely, Sally…and the colors are so beautiful! Meticulous workmanship as usual…congratulations!

    Comment by Maureen — February 24, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  13. Your assistant is a cutie! I know he is a “chi-wow-wow,” but he reminds me of my little helper, a Toy Fox Terrier. Oh yes, lovely sweater too!

    Comment by Lori on Little Traverse Bay — February 25, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

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