Sunday, December 31, 2006

I think I'm almost ready

1. I bought yarn at my Mother-in-law's friend's yarn shop (Yay Christmas gift certificates!). I'm sharing some of those lovely contrast colors in Amanda's last post, but I went with a different yarn for the body. It's Elsebeth Lavold silky wool. I explained everything to the woman at the shop, including the fact that I had no idea what I was doing and she assured me many times that the yarn I bought was a good substitute and would be plenty sticky for steeking. Keep your fingers crossed.

2. I left my knit picks options needles at my parents' house. Brilliant. So I, too, will be casting on a sleeve first while I wait for the needles to get back to my place in NY.

3. I will be in the car driving all day on January 1. I may not be casting on until the second, but since I'm a fed and we're all off on the second to mark the passing of Gerald Ford, I think I'll be able to make it up.

4. I haven't decided whether I'm going to use a modified steek since I've changed my yarn. I may want to use a crocheted steek since I'm not using 100% wool. But since I'm starting with a sleeve, I can stay in denial for a little longer.

Pictures after I've started!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Getting ready for January 1

Hi knitalongers!

I've been enjoying this forum so much lately - it's great to see the progress and think about the ways that the design can be tweaked to make it even better!

So, I've got my yarn all set and I'm planning to cast on for a sleeve on January 1 because I'm still mulling over a couple of modifications - here's a short list and if you're thinking about these things too, I'd love some feedback and thoughts.

Steeks: Lizz's steeks look fabulous, but Lizz, did you have to do a lot of modifying to the hemlines to make this work out well? I was trying to decide if having a non-yielding front opening would be a problem and realized I was wearing a store bought sweater with a set in zipper - no stretch there and I don't mind at all. I'm planning some steek swatching very soon.

Neckline: Specifically the back neckline. Most tops have a higher back neckline to accommodate one's shoulders and neck - to make the garment sit comfortably and flatteringly, the back is about an inch and a half higher than the front. In knitted garments a lot of this time this is accomplished with short rows. On Enid, the logical place to do this would be after the colorwork and before the neckline bind off. This would throw off some of the symmetry of the neckline, but might be more comfortable. Has anyone else been mulling this over? Has anyone who has finished enough to try Enid on wished for a different neckline? I figure this is something easy enough to un-do if it looks horrid, so I might give it a go when I get to the actual knitting (and move beyond my current state of pattern picking).

Shaping: From what I've read, all signs point towards side decreases/increases for the waist and hips and short rows for the bust. However, I recently knit a cardigan that made use of paired increases straight up the front of the sweater along the vertical bustline. It fits beautifully and seems like a simple way to add some flattering shaping to the body without interfering with the colorwork. Any thoughts? (By the way, I have a few resources on bust shaping and I'd be happy to mail some copies out to anyone wanting really specific info on how to do this - just drop me an email if you're interested.)

Want to see my pretty yarn? I'm so excited!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Let Me Get This Straight

From reading some of the previous posts, I understand that I can follow the pattern as it is written, without having to make any modifications for the steeks. I've never done them before, and I'm anxious to start the body of the sweater. For the next week or so, my little boys are home from school, and there are too many distractions to really learn anything new. Once they are back in school, I can buckle down and figure out how to steek, but for now I just want to get some of the body done. Can I just go ahead, cast the number of stitches for my size, and knit until I get to the point where I need to think about the finishing, and THEN think about it?


Friday, December 22, 2006

Body Finished

I finished the hemlines last night and blocked the body. I'm happy overall but it does fit looser than I had hoped (even with my modifications). Here's a close up of the yoke. This shows where I left the 13 stitches for the steeking.

My modifications are as follows:
Arms stayed the same. I have 44 stitches on each side of the front and a total of 87 in the back. There are 13 "steek stitches". After everything is cut, the button bands will add only about an inch to the front. I'm planning to crochet the steek and cut later tonight. I'll post pictures of the process afterwards.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Yarn is Ordered

Well, today I took a deep breath and made a yarn decision. I decided that because this is my first attempt at steeking, I'd go with a less costly yarn, in case it turned out disastrous. I chose an Elann yarn called Devon, a sports weight wool. The description of the yarn says it's unshrinkable, so I'm hoping there won't be a problem steeking. There wasn't a good dark neutral, so I chose a deep olive for the MC. I matched the other colors as closely as possible, but we'll see how it turns out. I also ordered 3 sets of Addi Turbo circs. I told DH, this was my Christmas present to myself. I can't wait to get started on this project!


So I've come to the point where I am finishing the neck and hemline on the sweater but am confused at the sewing on part. Does anyone have a good resource for an explanation of what is happening with these hemlines? I'm not sure how to tack the live stitches to the sweater invisibly. Thanks!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Progress bars

Anyone interested in getting progress bars that could display the members progress? It might be fun to be able to see how far along everyone is at a quick glance. and people won't feel like they have to post every couple of inches. Just a thought.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Not sure if any of you have noticed, but the pattern leaves no extra stitches for the steeking. I thought this was a bit strange when I read over the pattern pre-knitting, but sometimes I have a hard time imagining what will happen. It is best if I just attempt and then fix.
My first plan was to save the 2 stitch decrease that happens right before the color work and using the hand/machine sewn steek called for. I'm not a fan of sewing, but thought that it might be nice to add it to my knitting know all. After doing two swatches (one hand, one machine) I was very unhappy with the ridgitity of the sewing. But I didn't want to have to frog the work in order to cast on steek stitches.
I decided to skip one 13 stitch repeat so that all the bubbles will be whole and use the 13 stitches for my steek. I realize that it is a lot but it really is only about an inch on each side after cutting. And actually, this wasn't a bad thing since I really fell in the middle of two sizes. But it dawned on me as I was setting this all up that the back was going to have about 1 extra inch compared to the front when all was said and done.
I have now frogged only a minor portion of the sweater, just down to the armhole BO, and set up the front and back so that they are equal (taking into a account the buttonhole band width). I've decided to use a crocheted steek (just like Eunny these are my favorite, tons of flexibility and sturdy) even though you could consider using an unreinforced steek.
So not that disasterous, but I hope that my post will come in handy. I plan to write Veronik Avery to find out if the missing steek stitches was an accident and if not what the logic is.
As for the other tweeks on the pattern: I left the underarm stitches live so that I can graft them as I think that will look better. I'm also going to tweek the hem lines cause I'm not sure how the current one will react to the crochet steek - but that's all later, for now I get to relax with some beautiful color work - I just love how these colors blend and interact with each other.
I've been enjoying reading these posts and can't wait to see more Cardigans!
Update I just emailed Veronik Avery, I'll keep you updated with her response.
Update 12/12I received an email this morning from Veronik:

...a different method: the idea was to use a
scandinavian method such as used by the bohus knitters, which does
not make use of steek sts - they just sew down the center of each
edge stitch and cut through the center. It actually holds quite well
and I didn't have any problems with it at all.

So if you are comfortable, there should be no reason to modify the instructions. Making swatches of the different styles really helped me.

I've also had a few people ask about my modification. When I get a bit farther in the color work I will upload some pictures that will show how the stitches are arranged.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

How's the texture?

I'm trying to decide on what yarn to go with for this sweater. I know the Reynolds has lovely colors and good yardage for the price, but I'm wondering if there's any itch factor involved. I don't mind investing in the yarn (gulp) if it feels and looks great, but I'd hate to shell out the dough and not be able to stand it against my skin. I've thought about a sportweight pure alpaca, but I'm not sure how that would translate into this pattern. Has anyone felt this stuff against their skin, and if so, what's the verdict?


Saturday, December 9, 2006

A shapely Enid, anyone?

Has anyone else considered adding some waist shaping to lovely Enid? I think this is a sweater that requires a wee bit of positive ease, and for a lot of us gals, ease in the bust means a baggy and less-than-flattering waist if there's no shaping involved. I'm definitely thinking of doing a little nipping in around the sides for the waist and I'm considering some bust line darts. Let me know if you're thinking the same so we can talk some strategy on this mod.

Discount on Reynolds Whiskey

I just received an e-mail from Linda at Wear Your Art. She is offering a 20% discount on all her yarns including Reynolds Whiskey. I bought my yarn from her (at 10% off) and received the best service I've ever had. She carries most of the colors and takes PayPal. I couldn't find this yarn locally and am glad that I've found a good online source.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Hi All

Hi, I'm Hesira and I'm joining this KAL, Baby! I live in Podunk, Nowhere, and wasn't able to find a copy of the Winter IK, so I'm a little behind on my planning. I called my hometown LYS (about 2 hours away) and they DO have a copy of it, so tomorrow, while we are in town for a wedding, I'm going to pick it up. I can't wait to start planning for this project. I love cardis, and am excited about trying steeking for the first time. I'm looking forward to participating in this. I've never joined a KAL before, so that's new, too.

Round and round we go

Here is a picture of my progress so far, miles of knitting have yielded one sleeve, part of a cuff and a neatly hemmed body.

I changed the colors of the sweater while still keeping to the original yarn. I chose Whiskey in the Rose Quartz color #57 as the main color and did the hem facing in green. The sleeves have been modified to also have a hem facing and there I am using orange. I did size down the sleeve cuff from 74 stitches to 62 stitches because my first try was way too big.

I do want the sweater to be on the looser side so I'm knitting the 47" although I measure 43" at the bust. I want this sweater to slide over a long sleeve tee so I am hoping that the neckline doesn't sit too wide. If I have to, I'll add a few rows before the neckband.

I decided to work the hem facing at the beginning instead of the end because I did a crappy job on the provisional cast on (I didn't think it would hold up) and I didn't want the sewing part at the end. I have been recovering from a serious hand injury and threading a needle is rough.

I worked the contrast facing first in green for ten rows, did one row in wine then undid the provisional cast on, knitted a round of the main color, purled a round then knitted 10 rounds on the larger needles. On the eleventh round, I knitted the body stitches together with the hem stitches. So much quicker than sewing.

I'm determined to get this sweater done before Chirstmas and think I can pull it off. So far, I love the yarn, love the ease of this knit. It's been a long time since I've done fair isle and I'm planning a few big fair isle projects for next year so I'm looking at this a warm up project.

I'll try to post pictures when I have more to show but feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions or check out my blog.

Thank you for setting up this knit along, I'm sure it will be a tremendous resource to us friends of Enid.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Interested in joining?

So there have been a few comments expressing interest in joining the knit along that don't have email addresses. The only way we can add you as a contributor is to enter an email address, and an invitation will be sent to you. There are a couple of ways to give us your address without opening yourself up to the scary spammers- you can include your address in the comment, spelling out the symbols (AT, DOT) , or you can go to my profile (click Susan on the list of contributors) and click on the email link. My address will magially pop up in your email program and you can send me your address. If worse comes to worst, leave a comment that you're having trouble and we'll figure out some way to muddle through.


Wednesday, December 6, 2006


Hello! This knitalong came quick on the heels of my post asking if anyone knew of an Enid knitalong, bully for me, eh?

I have all my yarn and according to the designer (and my own yarn Spidey-sense) we won't need the whole ball of all the non-charcoal colors. I would be willing to halve the balls I have for someone else making the size 36 or smaller. Did Veronik say the same was true for all sizes? How cool that she is available/willing to offer tips like this! I'd be nervous about sending bits of my yarn away but I do work at a yarn store so I know where I can get more if need be.

I just realized--Enid is, as a blogger has mentioned, a character from Sweet Valley High, that bastion of teenhood I used to revere. Sharing yarn with someone is almost the equivilent of a best friend locket or something, how very Sweet Valley! This is blowing my mind!

I am signed in under my Google account, but I do have a blog to visit when things get going. I'll try to remember to link to it in each post.

I plan to spend the "time" (I'm in grad school and right now the concept of having any time free is hil-AR-ious) between now and cast on to experiment with my gauge, gather my needles and practice the provisional cast on. Oh, and maybe finish one of my other knitalong projects to absolve myself of the guilt I have joining another!

Over and out,

Chatty Cirilia

P.S. Of COURSE Enid would be the nerd-ish, corrupt character with divorced parents, a shady past and a tragic love life! Actually, it's kind of hilarious.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Starting off the new year right

I think Amanda and I both are planning to make the Enid our first big project of 2007. We're both in the throes of holiday knitting (or other things), and I think we're flirting with the idea of having Santa bring us our yarn.

So, I'm looking to cast on New Year's Day. Feel free to jump in earlier (or in Fairy GodKnitter's case, carry on!), or discuss possible yarn substitutions. I've looked at KnitPicks Telemark, but it isn't the pretty heathered colors of the Reynolds Whiskey. That, and the delicious teal isn't included, and the teal with the green is a huge part of why I LOVE this sweater. I may have to splurge on the good stuff.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Welcome to the knitalong!

Hi all Enid Cardigan enthusiasts!

When my blog pal, Susan and I discovered that we both loved Veronik Avery's design in the winter 2006 issue of Interweave Knits, we thought it would be fun to knit it together and even MORE fun if we hosted a knitalong! We're still working a bit on the site, but consider this the official kick-off and let the plotting, scheming, yarn buying, knitting, chatting, and fun begin!

To start, let me share that Veronik Avery has given the knitalong her official blessing and even offered a bit of very helpful advice - she says that two knitters could easily split the balls of contrasting colors of Reynolds Whiskey and have enough for each of their respective sweaters. I don't know about you, but the clever colors were what first drew me to this cardigan and if you feel the same way, I'm hoping that this knitalong can be a place to share more than just ideas and pictures but yarn too - how cool.

If you'd like to join in, please email one of us or leave a comment and we'll add you as a contributor!