Thursday, March 16, 2017

Here it is:

It is in many respects carelessly and rather sloppily done. I am lucky that it has turned out so well. It’s awfully cosy, despite being only half a brioche. Perhaps I can wear it the next time I go for a Serious Walk.

I had a feeling, as I was doing the plackets and collar, that EZ has such a neckline treatment somewhere. I couldn’t find it in the indices of her books. I knit a sweater once in fairly light-weight yarn on which I’ve done it, and my dim memory is that EZ was guiding my steps. I got it out today, to help me judge whether I had knit enough collar on the new one – and find that the collar and plackets are edged with i-cord. It looks very neat, and points again to EZ.

I had time for a bit more ribbing. Sweater Wizard would have me knit this sweater – a bog-standard DK long-sleeved v-necked pullover – in four pieces. And I know that lots of designers maintain that seams provide stability. But I am knitting this one in the round until the sleeve-holes start, then back and forth, like it or not. The ribbing looks very nice, but progress is slow. Sweater Wizard wants 22 rows of it. 22 rounds, in my case.

My tentative plan is to plod on like this until I finish the ribbing, and then maybe allow myself two evenings a week for frivolity – such as a Fair Isle swatch-scarf.

The bit of Meg’s video that I watched last night was a bit dispiriting. She was explaining the best cast-on for corrugated rib. The long-tail cast on, as I’m sure you know, can either be done by knitting into a loop around one’s left thumb (that’s how I do it) or by means of a cat’s-cradle construction into which the needle dips. That’s how Real Knitters like Meg and Franklin do it.

For corrugated rib, one doesn’t employ the long-tail cast on but a variant which will only have made sense to those who use the cat’s-cradle method. I could learn, I suppose. And anyway, corrugated rib isn’t essential.


Dreadful as are the events unfolding in the US of A, I am afraid I still feel even sorrier for Scotland. You’ve got the hope that there will still be free elections in four years’ time. Less than that, now – three years and eight months. But if Ms Sturgeon succeeds in wresting apart the United Kingdom, undoing more than 300 years of history (since the Act of Union), there will be no hope at all of putting things right, ever.


  1. Anonymous10:32 PM

    Cozy and comfortable are exactly what you need it to be. A lightweight jacket in case it is windy and you are set up for 'serious walking'

  2. Might the sweater collar be from Knitters Almanac? I think there is what-Americans-call-a-polo-collar sweater in October. It's late, and the he book is in the other room, but do look there in the later months. And I do feel that seams can be overrated. EZ converted me to seamless early on in my knitting career.

  3. We are all lucky that we have our knitting to console ourselves as the dispiriting political events swirl around us. Jean, your sweater is fantastic!

  4. It depends on your definition of "right", Jean. I'm very pro independence, I think things are well wrong at the moment.

    1. I am finding Theresa May a fairly objectionable prime minister - and her patronising stance on indyref2 is not winning me over one bit.

  5. Maybe ONLY three years. But oh what damage he can do in that time. !!!!!

  6. I use my standard cable cast-on for almost everything, included corrugated ribbing for fair isle sweaters. Never had a problem, and looks just fine. Corrugated ribbing on a fair isle sweater is icing on the cake in terms of carrying the color shifts through the cuffs.

  7. Anonymous1:55 PM

    The sweater is lovely! Congratulations on finishing a garment you can wear.

  8. Anonymous2:03 PM

    Love how the collar and packets turned out, Jean. Your standards of sloppy and careless are at a much higher level than mine! Jared Flood is also a fan of seamless sweaters. He passed around his Cobblestone sweater in a class I took from him once, very firmly knitted, and that thing would not twist around in a hurricane. It struck me at the time that seamless success might depend on who is doing the knitting. Jared was quite a focused young man even in his 20s when I took his class, which is probably one of the secrets of his success. And very likable too.. Chloe

  9. Sweater looks lovely.

  10. Beautiful! I think that the neck is in Knitters Almanac, as well. Not at home, so I can't look. I haven't seen Meg's video, but I expect it Twisted German. There may be a non-cats cradle way to do it, but I wouldn't consider it obligatory. I have knit many Fair Isles things without it.

  11. The sweater looks lovely and the placket and collar are the elements that make it great.
    For a straight forward stocking stitch jumper in a reasonably light, elastic yarn I don't see any benefit to side seams. If it is a heavy yarn, loosely knitted, that is likely to stretch then seams can help prevent a jumper becoming a dress.

  12. As to long-tail casting on, I use the round the thumb method, and it is so ingrained that I cannot contemplate doing anything ele at this late stage. What I do find disconcerting is when casting on for a gansey, with the knot edge - that involves the yarn doubled, and twice round my thumb in the opposite direction. I have been known to burst into tears when trying to cast on standard round-the-thumb on the next item. My hands simply forget how to do it, and my brain just refuses to help!

  13. Anonymous6:38 PM

    I wonder if you have seen TECHknitter's tips for corrugated ribbing? She removes all the tricky bits while producing a very good looking ribbing. Any cast-on method can be used and no switching between knit and purl colors in the same round. Ingenious!
    Your brioche sweater is wonderful, love the color combo. AnnP