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December 17, 2007

From Susan — Kauni Part Deux

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 1:08 am

Thanks for all of your fabulous comments about the Kauni.  It did dry, and I did finish the inside edges.  I tried it on and the neck isn’t as tight as it was before blocking, so it will be fine.  It will be a wearable sweater with jeans and turtleneck (gee, that’s a new look for me!).

Here is Lettie doing the modelling.  I know, I know — maybe I’ll add a picture of me in it later with buttons ;). 

12-16kauniComplete005.jpg picture by lv2knit

And the back:

12-16kauniComplete002.jpg picture by lv2knit

Marina asked me about why I grafted the sleeves and how — here is the response I sent her:

Warning: Esoteric knitting blather ahead

The mattress stitch I tried using to sew the sleeves in just did not look right.  So I decided to try grafting the sleeves in instead.

Looking at the right sleeve as the example, I ripped back to one row after the red squares (a yellow row).  I picked up around the sleeve opening with red, and then used yellow for my grafting yarn.  This created the second row of yellow after the red squares.  When I picked up around the armhole, I used a size 5 needle instead of the 4’s I would have used for the straight knitting portion (I switched between 2 needle sizes throughout my Kauni: 4’s for the single color rounds and 5’s for the stranded rounds).  I did this because the stitch was going through the fabric and I wanted the red line to be visible.

The button quest will now begin…dum de dum dum DUM!!

December 16, 2007

From Susan — Kauni Cardigan Neck

Filed under: — lv2knit @ 12:25 pm

For those of you who are interested, here is the method I used to create the square neckline for my Kauni Cardigan.  I started by simply knitting the sweater as a tube all the way to the shoulder line, without any neck shaping whatsoever — I did follow Ruth’s pattern and do sleeve steeks, however.  Norwegian sweaters are knit without any shaping and then the neck opening is cut out.  I decided to do it this way because a) I was too lazy to figure it out ahead of time and b) I wanted the color changes to continue to the shoulder at the same rate as the body.

To determine the size of the neck opening, I placed a sweater that fit me nicely on Lettie (you could put it on yourself as well).  I used tape to mark off the FINISHED neck opening. 

Dec807004.jpg picture by lv2knit

I did not want a big, sloppy neckline, so the tape is placed fairly close to the neck.  The actual opening needed to be larger, of course.  I anticipated that the final width of the bands would be 1-1/4 inches, so that additional width needed to be cut off the final neck opening.

In this picture, I am marking the actual size of the neck opening (not the cutting line, but the pick up line — hey, i used a pick up line!):

Dec807001.jpg picture by lv2knit

I wanted my shoulder pick up to occur between two squares and the back and fronts to be at the top of a finished pattern repeat.  That made my choice pretty easy:

I placed the live front and back sts on yarn holders and machine stitched a “steek” on the edges that needed to be picked up.  I cut as follows:

Dec807005.jpg picture by lv2knit

Dec807006.jpg picture by lv2knit

I had already knitted a huge gauge swatch in the garter stitch rib: the bottom hem of my sweater.  Using that gauge, I picked up sts all around the opening, using a 60″ needle.  The length of the needle made such a difference!  I could easily knit and see what I was doing.  I happened to own the needle already so that was great.

I picked up all the way around and then knit 1 row from the WS to create one garter ridge (it is red).

On the inside corners, I decreased a st on each side of a center st on every row.  On the two outside corners, I increased a st on each side of a center st on every row.

Row 1 RS:  k2(A), k2(B), alternating colors as set
Row 2 WS: k2(A), k2(B), matching colors as set
Row 3 RS:  k2(B), k2(A), alternating colors as set
Row 4 WS: k2(B), k2(A), matching colors as set

On the 6th row of the rib (WS) I started my buttonholes by binding off 4 sts evenly spaced along the right side and then finished them up on the 7th row (RS) by casting on using the longtail method — 2 sts in color A and 2 sts in color b to match up with the check pattern. 

After working 6 full check repeats (12 check rows), I knit one row and then bound off as to knit from the WS to create another garter ridge at the cast off edge.

I also went across the bottom edge of the front bands to finish it off.

So what were the problems?

  • I think I should have picked up more sts.  The length of the band seemed too short.
  • Even though I thought the band would end up 1-1/4″, it was 1-1/2″ which looked too wide for my taste.
  • I placed a buttonhole at the top and thought it would be centered, and it is too far to the left.
  • I decided I did not like the first garter ridge (the red one).
  • My corners were not pleasing to the eye.
  • The neck openeing ended up smaller than what I had calculated

 Rather than reknit the band, I left it as is.  I will learn to live with it ;)!!

October 8, 2007

From Sally — A Kauni of My Own

Filed under: Sally's Kauni — surly @ 5:29 pm

My two giant balls of Kauni yarn look like some kind of desert pottery.

The colors, as you can see, don’t look subtle. Why would I knit a sweater out of tomato soup red and pea green yarn? That was one of the questions I kept asking myself, and it was why I hadn’t yet started knitting with my Kauni yarn. Susan and I (along with regular reader Kim) got ours at the same time. Susan’s Kauni, almost finished except for the dreaded last sleeve, is lovely. See?

I know that the change from one color to another is not as stark as it looks when the yarn is in the ball. When I wound these skeins, watching the color change was magical — like time lapse photography. Even so, every time I looked at the raw yarn I had doubts. I kept getting seduced by other projects, too, which often happens to me. Then Ruth Sorenson, who designed the Kauni Cardigan, put out another design.

LeafCardigan.jpg picture by lv2knit

Although I wasn’t sure I liked the style of the ribbing at the bottom, that design rekindled my interest — it reminded me of some of the sweaters in Solveig Hisdal’s Poetry in Stitches. I vaguely thought about trying to adapt one of the Hisdal patterns or some other fair isle. Then I promptly forgot all about it and went on to other knitting.

Fast forward to the other day, when my sister sent me a link to the blog of another Minnesota knitter named Maria. I took one look at her Kauni and gasped: it was the Kauni of my dreams. Maria used a Dalegarn pillow pattern called Damask. Looking at her beautiful work-in-progress, I remembered that I had bought some of Dale’s pillow patterns when I worked in the yarn store. Why? Who knows? I’ve never knitted a pillow in my life. But lo and behold I had that pattern.

I did a provisional cast on because I didn’t want to waste valuable knitting time trying to decide what kind of finishing I wanted at the bottom. I didn’t do a gauge swatch; I based my needle choice on knowing that I usually knit on one size smaller needle than Susan does to achieve the same gauge. I did a quick calculation of how many stitches I thought I would need, adjusted a bit to center the pattern on the back and started. I’ve knit one full repeat. I don’t know what I’m doing the for the neck or whether I’ll use the same pattern for the sleeves, but I think it’s gorgeous.

I’m trying to make myself finish my lone Mermaid sleeve, but this is pretty hard to resist. How wild do I want it to be? I have these beautiful buttons from an abandoned Intarsia project. The color is perfect, but I think they may be a bit too much. We’ll see.

From Susan: When I saw Maria’s Kauni I felt like I wanted to throw up!  I was so sad that I had already started mine and felt I was too far along to rip it out (though I did consider it!).  I asked myself, “Would I rather knit 1-7/8 sweaters and end up with one sweater, or knit two sweaters and end up with two?”  I may still knit the Damask Kauni at a later date.  Sometimes it pays to wait :(.

There is a benefit to knitting the original Kauni: it takes much less yarn and is much faster because you do not need to follow the pattern so closely: you only do stranded knitting on 4 out of 10 rounds instead of every round. 

When I was still considering ripping back my Kauni, I brought it out and thought, “It’s cute.  I like it.  I don’t want to rip out my lil Kauni.”   So, Lil Kauni, I still love you!


August 19, 2007

From Susan — My Klowny Kauni

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 2:01 pm

I have been knitting on the sleeve a bit. I think what is going to happen is that one sleeve will be all blue and red, while the other will be yellow/orange and green. Each sleeve will match up with a different part of the sweater. I will cut quite a colorful figure in my new sweater.

Sleeve8-19-07002.jpg picture by lv2knit

I’ve also been trying to knit on the garter stitch squares of the Modular Purse while reading Harry Potter. I’m only on Book 3 (The Prisoner of Azkaban) and, since reading takes away from knitting, I’m attempting to do both at once. The only trouble is positioning the book properly.

It is a very dark and dreary day here today. The news is full of stories about flooding in southeastern Minnesota. My DH is from there and his dad still lives down there. Their old house surely flooded because it did so 12 years ago during that year’s “100 Year Flood.” This time the flooding is much worse.

PS — Now I’m on Book #4!  Woo Hoo!  However, as you all know, they get LOTS longer from this point on!  And my knitting is not growing very quickly either.

PS2 to Connie — I know that Stephanie (aka Yarn Harlot) said she is going to match up her Kauni Sleeves and I say, “Go for it!”  However, I intentionally do not want mine to match.  I like the look of different sleeves.

PS3 — My hubby’s family is not in the flood area now — their old neighborhood was just on the news and it got hit quite hard.

ps4: The Harry Potter audiobooks are over $50 each AND the copies at the library are back ordered for months.  I had already thought of audiobooks since I have a long commute every day, but the $$$$$$$$$$ just did not seem worth it.  I’ve been reading fairly consistently, but a part of me does not want them to end… 🙁

August 15, 2007

From Susan — Kauni has a Little Sister

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 9:42 pm

Ruth Sorensen is just amazing.  She really is the master of working with Kauni yarns.  Here is her latest design:

LeafCardigan.jpg picture by lv2knit

It is quite striking.  I bought the pattern even though it is not on my short list at this moment in time (I need a little break from my Kauni family ;)).  I bought the pattern to acknowledge the creativity and talent that many of us are taking advantage of with Ruth’s free pattern.  I want her to get something out of her moment of fame!  I need to finish a few things before I even think about this one, though I really like it.  For those of you who have not yet started a Kauni, this is certainly one to consider. 

Hmmmmm, I could start over—-N-n-n-n-a-a-a-a-a-h-h-h-h-h!! 😉

PS — By request, here is a link to the Kauni Knitalong (KauniKAL) that describes another source for Ruth’s pattern.  I actually bought my pattern from this source but gave Ruth’s information so the link would be directly to her.  Sorry if people had trouble buying the pattern from Ruth!

July 28, 2007

From Susan — Kissin’ Kaunis

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 7:51 pm

As luck would have it, Kim’s Kauni invited my Kauni to koffee.  Kim and I had to drive them so we had coffee, too.  I took a picture of the Kissin’ Kaunis side by side (mine is on the left, Kim’s on the right):

KauniKouzins003.jpg picture by lv2knit

You might be saying to yourself, “Hmmmmm.  What is all the hoo ha about?”  I’m not sure.  They look different.  They certainly look different in real life.  But row for row they aren’t crazy different.

Feel free not to vote for your favorite (our Kaunis are very sensitive), but I thought I would share their klose encounter of the Kauni kind.

From Susan — Not Kryin’ over my Kauni

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 2:23 pm

I hate to leave the wrong impression.  While I looked at Kim’s Kauni with startled envy, it was more along the lines of “Gee, maybe I should have ordered the pasta instead of the steak,” and then proceeded to enjoy my steak.  It was not, “OMG, what have I done?  I married the wrong man and my life is ruined!!!”

It kind of reflects my whole approach to life.  My husband and I have totally different outlooks: he is an optimistic pessimist and I am a pessimistic optimist.  To outsiders my DH appears to be upbeat, easy going, and fun loving.  I appear to be the prickly naysayer.  BUT, I always believe that everything will work out in the end.  My hubby, the “don’t worry, be happy” guy, can imagine anything becoming a firey inferno of death.  We call him Debbie Downer because of his skill at seeing the dark lining in every silver cloud. 

Example: I was showing hubby a picture in Better Homes and Gardens that showed a hanging flower basket from summer that they had converted into a beautiful Christmas decoration by simply weaving small, white holiday lights through the grapevining.  He immediately started in on how this was a fire hazard, the whole house could go up in flames, and in unison my daughters and I scream, “And then we’re all going to die!”  That’s how all of his “stories” end — in a horrible death for all.  He has the creative mind of a paranoid lunatic!  I worry constantly, but always figure it will be okay in the end.

And that is how I am approaching my Kauni project.  It is A sweater, not THE sweater.  I know it will be fun to wear no matter how it turns out.  I am enjoying the process and don’t really give a flying fig about each color combination because I like the the overall look.  So, don’t picture me krying in my koffee over Kauni.  I’m doing fine!  🙂

Sleeve Number 1 is started, and I will post a picture after there is more to it.

July 27, 2007

From Susan — Kwik Kauni Update

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 10:00 am

I went to Pat’s last evening for knit night and had a great time: we shopped, we ate, we laughed — but not much knitting.  Oh well!

My good friend Kim (the friend who gave me “Lettie,” my alter ego) brought her Kauni Cardigan in progress.  She pulled it out of the bag and everyone gasped and started to say, “It’s so much prettier than Susan’s!!” but stopped short and said, “It’s so ::mumble::mumble:: nice -er- different than -er- Susan’s.”  But, I was thinking the SAME THING — it IS much prettier than mine!!

Kim’s is much richer, earthier and darker looking.  It looks like completely different yarn.  I was shocked.  We compared our balls of yarn AND THE COLORS ARE IDENTICAL!!  What gives?  She has her colors paired up differently and it makes the colors look completely different.  I am stunned, shocked, etc.  She has only knitted about 6-8” so she has not cycled through the entire color wheel yet, but I am a little bit bummed about this turn of events. 

BUT, it’s too late for moi.  I’m not changing a thing (can’t) and I will just have to like my lil Kauni, “just the way you are” (a shout out to Mark Darcy — I love you as much as the original Mr. Darcy ;)).

I will start the sleeves this weekend and also try to work on the neckline. 

 PS — I’ll try to get a picture of Kim’s Kauni at some point for comparison’s sake.

July 26, 2007

From Susan — Kauni Kontinues

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 1:01 am

I feel like I have not posted in ages!  That’s what I like about sharing this blog — one of the Raineys usually has something to say!

I have been knitting a bit on my Kauni Cardigan, but not too much.  I have not had a lot of knitting time lately.  Life gets in the way now and then. ;) 

I am done knitting up to the shoulders.  To recap, I decided to not do any neck shaping — it will all be done after the fact.  I am thinking “square” — I know: carrying the square motif throughout is not terribly imaginative, but…


I am going to have a single line of squares at the shoulder rather than completing a full pattern repeat and having two of the same square patterns line up.  I will show this after I graft it together.  It will make more sense when I can include a picture (unfortunately, not a moving picture a la Surly!). 

The next step is to start one of the sleeves.  I will need to figure out where to start my colorway — I am starting at the cuffs so I can be sure of the color.  I do not want the cuffs to end up with real pale colors, so I’ll control for that by starting at the cuff in the colors I want.

Tomorrow is Knit Night — we are meeting at the home of one of the peeps so it should be really fun!

July 20, 2007

From Susan — Kauni Kontinues

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 7:46 am

Happy Friday, Everyone!  My knitting is limping along.  I am loving my Kauni knitting: very soothing because it is mindless (and yes, I AM paying attention at the transitions points ;)). 

I am two squares past the armhole steek:


I did pull the trigger on a decision about length.  I placed 8 sts on a holder (yarn) and then decreased 2 sts on each side over the next few rounds to taper the opening slightly.  Twelve sts total are gone on each armhole.  This means the armhole depth can be slightly shorter because you gain ~2 inches across the bottom of the sleeve opening — this will add ~2 inches to the sleeve width as well. I also planned it so the shoulders will fall in the center of a square so double squares do not line up along the shoulder line.  That will make sense when I get there. 

Re: the neckline — I have not decided on a neck, but am leaning toward a square neckline.  I will knit to the shoulders and cut out the “offending section” afterward.  That way no pre-planning is involved and the colors will end where I want them to.  If I steeked the neck opening, the color transitions would get longer from that point to the shoulders.  Many Norwegian patterns are knit this way: they often just knit to the shoulders and cut away the neckline.  I will use the garter check around the neckline.

I am hoping to get something done with this over the weekend.  I have 2-3 projects singing their siren song and am anxious to move along to the next ;).  Unfortunately, two of those projects could be classified as summer knitting — my timing is WAY off!!


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