Finished Object: Looking Back

It’s done! Its off the needles! Actually, it came off the needles a week ago but the photos requested to marinate a while… it wasn’t because I was too lazy to carve out blogging time at all…

This is my completed Looking Back cardigan by Joji Locatelli.

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I love it.

I love how easy it was to get into a rhythm – lace panels included!
I love how fast projects in DK grow – this only took 2 weeks (including blocking).
I love the fit – as in, this cardigan actually fits.
I love that I learned new techniques – particularly tubular bind off (see below).
I love that I dyed this yarn – even though it’s not a colour I would usually wear.

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A success!

This wee beauty made its public debut on Friday at work.  Casual Friday + autumn = perfect timing.  There were plenty of compliments from people who knew I am a knitter, and no “ew gross!” comments from those who didn’t.

And it was comfortable!  At the end of the day, it could make me look like a gorgeous Amazonian beauty with legs up to my armpits, but if it’s not comfortable, I wont wear it.

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Learn all the things!

Plenty of firsts in this cardigan – the two stand outs are the cardigan construction, and my chosen bind off (not called for in the pattern).

Cardigan construction –  this is my first seamless cardigan with set in sleeves.  All the other seamless patterns I’ve made (mostly baby knits) have had raglan sleeves, which were worked from the top down so you work the shoulders and top of the sleeves at the same time as the neckline.

I really like the way the set in sleeves sit.  I think the finished object looks a lot more tailored – not that raglan shaping looks messy…

Tubular cast off –  I think I have my new favourite bind off.  I used this bind off on all edges – and I love it. I’ve used this technique since and I see a lot more of it in my future.

If you haven’t seen a tubular cast off before, it’s basically a way of grafting your ribbing so it looks like a continuous knit that wraps around from the right side to the wrong side.  Like you didn’t bind off, you just folded your ribbing over and sewed it in a seam – like you would with ribbed fabric on the sewing machine.

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It’s a bit fiddly – you knit the ribbing in a particular way (slipping alternate stitches) for 2 rows to make two separate pieces of fabric before grafting.  You end up with a ribbed tube along the edge.  Hence; tubular bind off.

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This wasn’t called for in the pattern, but I saw this on a knitting video podcast and was intrigued.  I used this tutorial from Purl Bee.

It adds a fantastic finish.  Having done this now, I’m not sure I would like the finish any other way.

If I do this again…

… I would probably chose a different colour.  Something like a navy blue (which would be harder to knit in artificial light so ‘swings and round abouts’…maybe I wouldn’t enjoy knitting it as much as I did this one).

I really like the colour I used, but it ended up being really, really bright.  Like… really bright.  I didn’t realise just how bright until I was on my way to work and saw it in morning natural light.  Nothing wrong with bright yarn – I just don’t wear it was much as perhaps I should…

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Finished Object: Drachenfels Shawl

It’s off the needles!  My Drachenfels is finally off the needles!

IMG_7847This turned into one of those projects that I just had to finish.  It took a while to get into the swing of things (I was probably over half way – in the middle of the stripes – before I found my garter stitch groove).  And the novelty wore off pretty quickly after that.

Drachenfels is a paid pattern, so I won’t go into details of the construction, but the shawl grows so that each row is longer (i.e. has more stitches) than the last.  Soooo… the last few rows are quite, erm, long. 

Towards the end it became a chore, but the final items was so worth it.  I’ve worn it a few times already and it only came off the needles on Wednesday.  This is going to get a lot of use.

Sadly, the wool is not super soft, so it can get a little scratchy on the back of my neck.  But I’m hopeful that it’ll get softer with a good soak.

I haven’t blocked it yet, I’m not sure I have space.  Or if I really need to.  The stitches are uneven, the fabric is a bit wobbly, but I’m going to be wearing this as a big, giant scarf.  So none of that stuff matters.

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The sheer size of this thing is hard to describe in words and still do it justice.

Excuse the the terrible photo quality, but I had to drape the shawl over the back of my door to get a shot that really demonstrated the length of this thing.

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I think my favourite part of the whole shawl was the bind off.  The pattern called for an i-cord bind-off – something I had never tried to do before.

The final look is really cool.  I think this is my new favourite cast off method and I’m definitely keen to try it on some more projects.  Just, preferably, not ones that will take and hour to get across the final row…

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