theraineysisters knitting and so much more

February 2, 2008

From Sally — More Sleeve Avoidance

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Sally's Kauni — surly @ 6:38 pm

It’s too bad I never wear vests because I really am not of a mood to knit the sleeves on my Pearl Buck cardigan. So, in addition to a bit of stealth knitting, I’ve gone back to my damask Kauni, which I started in a burst of enthusiasm and then set aside. It’s just what I have been in the mood to knit the last couple of days, however. Here is how it is looking.

I’m getting to the point where I need to figure out exactly how long I want it so I can decide where to start the armholes (which means dreaded future sleeves). I also need to decide what kind of neckline I want. To that end, I made some graph paper to my gauge and charted the pattern again onto that paper. Then I used that as a kind of stencil — making multiple copies of the pattern repeat. Now I’ll cut and paste my sheets of graph paper together so that I have a paper duplicate of my sweater upon which I can plot out the neck. Doing it this way makes it easier for me to make sure that I’ll start the neck shaping at an attractive place in the pattern.

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!


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