Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The stockinette...

has come to an end. Finally. When I started I had in mind a simple, one colour sweater, longer than shorter but this was not what I had in mind in the beginning. When wondering how many stitches to cast on for the collar ribbing, I found a pattern in IK Winter 2003 (Merino T-shirt, design by Kristin Spurkland) that was simple, nice, short sleeved top and used that as my starting point. My gauge was off so I needed adjustments. After increasing for some time every other row, I tried the top on every now and then to see when I was far enough for sleeves to be separated. I knit on without worrying too much. I do not like to knit with cotton and was simply using some of my cotton stash to feel better…

Anyway one morning one of the girls looked at me and asked what was I aiming for, and I said, a simple, plain, one colour sweater. And she looked at me and said, boring, you are too boring, you should brighten it a bit… And that is how the stripes got in. I had two skeins of orange, no other colours and was not going to buy more cotton.

I’m not sure if I like this or not. It fits quite well and maybe with mid-calf or above the ankle summer pants it will be fine. If I decide not to keep it I have a volunteer for it…

The yarn is Catania (Schachenmayr), I used about 400 grams (almost 8 skeins of blue and a lot less than two skeins of orange) with 3,5 mm needles.

What next?
The lace is not calling me. The mittens and socks will have to wait for another time. I don’t know for how long have I dreamt of fair-isle sweaters and cardigans. I’m comfortable with cables, twisted stitches and lace but I’m really no good in fair-isle and yet I would love to be. It is like I'm not a real knitter since I have not done fair-isle on a large scale. Maybe it sounds silly, but that is how it feels. I am not that much afraid of the time factor because I have knit two twined sweaters and they took quite a long time, if not as long as a fair-isle would take, but am afraid of not being satisfied with the result. And yet I know that with practice the wonky stitches would slowly get better. I have tried steeks with twined sweaters, so that is not holding me back either.

I have admired over and over again Wendy’s fair-isle knits and she has done plenty. And there are few (look at the finished projects!) sites that I have visited quite frequently during the past week. But I have not cast on anything - yet. I have just only dreamt. Well, maybe I have done something on that front, but so far I have not cast on for anything, not even for a swatch.

The sun - when seen - is colouring the surroundings.
I just love the new shades of green, they are no longer mixed with black to give greyish hues but are turning warm and bright. Just lovely. The ice is wearing thinner and thinner. Look at the background in the above picture! In the morning my heart made few extra beats when I discovered that not only light Tina but heavy Miina was also on the ice. Miina has a really bad hearing so most of the village must have heard when I called her and I have a bit of a sore throat at the moment. You’d think that she would know better, she is turning 12 this May and she had one cold bath few springs back…


  1. I'm sure there will be many volunteers for this long knitted t.shirt, I like the blue and orange together, and can see it being worn with mid calf jeans on a spring day in the UK like today!

  2. Kate15:06

    So glad to see your blog this morning! It has been too long without seeing the beauty of spring in Finland. I hope you will show us more! Today in Ottawa, Canada we have the beginnings of daffodils, crocus and tulips pushing up through the ground, and the sun makes the air smell like spring!

    The "simple" long t-shirt is beautiful and definitely fun! Like Jo, I think it will look great with your cropped jeans!

  3. I feel the same way you do - I've never knit a fair isle sweater OR an aran and it does make me feel like "less" of a knitter. Just our own perceptions though - because I don't think it's really true.

    Lovely cotton sweater!

  4. julie15:32

    I've never knit a fair-isle sweater, but I spend so much time knitting that I must be a real knitter. :) Fair-isle is beautiful, but it's never called to me; I just like to see what others have done with it.

    Your sweater is beautiful - and so are your pictures of spring! I love to see your pictures of Finland.

  5. Good Morning, Lene, so glad to hear from you.
    The long cotton T is great fun and beautifully knit.
    I consider you quite the Knitter, and know your FI project, should you choose, will be quite beautiful simply because your artisanry (is that a word?) is exceptional.

  6. Ann in Montreal16:26

    I share your misgivings about Fair Isle knitting. I have worked on small projects and I was not very pleased with the results. I have some lovely patterns that my Mother knit and would like to knit one of the cardigans. Perhaps a few more small projects are needed to refine my technique.
    Your T-shirt is most very attractive and comfortable looking. A classic!

  7. that looks wonderful:) Isn't it lovely when the sun shines?
    amber in scotland

  8. I don't know which I like more: the great dress or the wonderful landscape you live in ...

  9. Don't fear the Fair Isle. It will be a simple task for you to learn, since it is just like the stranded mittens, only on a larger scale.

    I think I actually envy you the fun and excitement of learning it. There's something magical about the first time you learn to create this beautiful fabric. Enjoy!

  10. How nice to see the green grass again! :-) And I'm very impressed with this project. That was a LOT of tailored stockinette!

    The orange stripes against the blue background remind me of Ravenclaw House. :-)

  11. I think the colors in this sweater are beautiful, and very "laplandic" with the blue and orange. But whoa! that's a lot of stockinette! :)

    I'm also really happy that spring is on its way. The grass is getting green here in the south of Finland (Turku), and the trees are getting buds. I just wish it would stop raining...

  12. Stockinette is growing on me, slowly. I applaud your persistence in both using up the cotton stash as well as managing all of that stockinette in cotton. Whew. I'm sure it's beautiful on you as well, and maybe even practical for Finnish summers where you are?

  13. The orange stripes do give the sweater lots of 'life'. I await your fair-isle, as I so enjoy all your work, Lene.
    I miss Miss B. Has she started her spring cleaning and garden tidy up yet? I also miss your art, but then I can go back through your posts and enjoy the "Finnish" lessons and beautiful art.
    Will the ice be out of the lake before May 1?

  14. The long knitted T shirt looks very comfortable.

    How can one teach the dogs to stay off the ice in the spring? I'm glad you were able to call her back.

  15. oh gosh i am right with you on the fair-isle thing. they have been calling me too, but i have never done stranding on a large scale and i am worried i won't like it. yet, i also feel like i am not a Real Knitter without having done at least one fair-isle or bohus sweater . . .

    i think your new sweater would make an adorable dress! it's so vintage-looking

  16. I look forward to your fair-isle projects! I learned to knit with two colors as an introduction to two-twined, which I haven't ventured into yet. When you start your fair-isle, I will start my twined mittens!

  17. Jean from Cornwall23:04

    Sweater is lovely- the colours are good for each other.
    But oh - with a deaf dog - they can make your heart stand still . . .

  18. kmkat01:41

    I too was scared of fair isle, having tried it on a hat and discovered my results were not nearly as nice as I had envisioned. But since my knitting is all about color, I knew I had to climb that fair isle mountain sooner or later. So right now I am knitting a child's sweater from 2 stands of worsted weight wool held together -- it goes really, really fast that way, and makes a very nice warm fabric -- and putting in some fair isle. So far so good, I'm happy to report. There is a 2" wide strip of fair isle right above the bottom ribbing that turned out quite satisfactorily. There will be similar bands right above the wrist ribbing on the sleeves, and the yoke will be all fair isle. I'm feeling more confident about my knitting already :-)

    The secret to proper tension in fair isle, I've been told, is to keep the stitches on the right-hand needle stretched as far apart as possible as you knit. It's working so far. Join me in the fair isle pool?

  19. marjorie02:03

    I agree, that is a lot of stockinette! I would have to watch tv while knitting something like that, to keep my mind occupied. Your daughters were right, the orange looks just right with the blue. How to keep the dogs off the ice? The ice is just now melting on our cottage lake, and we have to keep Bruno away from the water, or he would probably try to walk right across to the other side.

  20. suerowal@yahoo.com14:30

    Go for the Fair Isle, it's far easier than twined, I've knitted many, many Fair Isle sweaters, only 3 prs of twined mittens, which were fun but tedious.
    The knitted T looks great.

  21. NO, no, no. You are most definitley a real knitter. Is Beethoven less of a composer because he did not compose in the jazz idiom? Gently pursue fair isle IF YOU CHOOSE TO, but not because you feel you need it on your resume. (Yes, this is how I have avoided any large scale fair isle. Intarsia, too, for that matter.)

  22. I feel the same way about a large lace project, then I'll be a REAL knitter. I perfected my fair isle knitting zilboorg hats, less intimidating than a sweater, more fun than a swatch. Love the blue & orange together.

  23. Love the blue and orange also and think it would look smashing as a spring/summer casual shirt dress with a pair of sandals. When I first saw it I thought "What a lovely dress!" because of how it looks so nice and summery on your mannequin. Lovely!

  24. That is really cool. I picture it over some capris, or even jeans and a big belt around the waist or hips, I really like it!