Sunday, March 6, 2011

Secret Garden

I'm a little proud of myself that as of today, it has been 2 months since I last bought any yarn (I know, I know, February is the shortest month.) For an addict, this is a milestone.

To be honest, part (small part) of cutting back buying yarn is that I'm getting nervous about my job.  Well, there is huge budget cut from the state, and there will be a huge cut at our college.  The administration are looking at programs to cut.  We'd already cut back 20% of classes offering next Fall.  That, I think, is just the tip of the iceberg.  There is even the possibility that the college will merge with another college 40 miles away.  It's a stressful time.  I definitely don't envy anyone who is making the decisions of what to eliminate.  I have a sinking feeling from all the information that I gathered that I may loose my job eventually.  Well, I think even the president of our college is worrying about loosing her job too.

Paul and I were talking about our jobs yesterday.  He worries about how long his job will last too.  He is going back this season, but since he gets rehired every season, there is really no long term security to speak of.  Well, if it comes down to loosing my job, I don't think I'd be too sad as far as the job itself goes (except for the paycheck.) I like it, but for the past few years, it had become increasingly stressful. Who knows, if i do loose my job, it may just force me to look at different and perhaps better path in life.   The only problem is there is very little employment opportunities in this area....

As for knitting, I just finished another sweater.  And I do like it quite a bit.
I was pleased with the motif using Paul's program.  It allowed me to draw freehand first.
After the floral border tunic, I'd been thinking about roses as motif, and bigger motif.  So I thought I'd make a rose pattern cardigan/jacket.

The yarns used were Cascade Heritage sock yarn in Gray and The Plucky Knitter Primo in the color "A Little Hoity."  I did wash the red yarn first before I wound them up in case of any bleeding and was glad I did.  The Primo was certainly a lovely yarn to knit with.   I was a bit disappointed that the blocking did not even out stitches as much as I'd like because Heritage was bit thinner and Heritage didn't bloom during blocking while Primo did a little.   It wasn't the most perfect match of the two yarns for colorwork since one was slightly thinner and behaved a bit differently during blocking.  Still, I was glad to have used yarn from my stash instead of buying.
The sweater was knitted from bottom up, in round. It started with provisional CO since I wasn't sure how I wanted the hem, to be (ahem, another one that I designed the style as I knitted deal...I think I seriously have a problem with planning everything out ahead of time.)  Then the sleeves were knitted separately and joined at the underarm for seamless raglan style.

Cutting steek wasn't as scary as sewing up using my temperamental sewing machine.  I was relieved no jamming halfway through (it happened once when I was sewing for steek, talking about nightmare.) 

I decided to do bottom hem with gray and just did rows of garter 'cause that was the easiest solution for a plain edge without bulk that I could think of.  Then I did the front borders by picking up sts and worked rows of garter in red.  The collar was then knitted from the sts left on waste yarn at  the top.  I wanted a textured collar that was also reversible so I used Harris Tweed stitch pattern and I liked how it looked.  I also used that stitch for the cuffs.

The construction was easy, but knitting the motif was a chore since there is no repeat in any row I had to really read the chart carefully and developed some strategy as to how to keep up with the chart.   Also, the floats on the back were long at most places so I had to catch the float every 5 or 6 sts, and that was not the most smooth flow of knitting.  However, I did find the motif interesting enough to get me going as I was getting curious how it would look knitted up. (No, I didn't do a swatch. I was too lazy.)

I  love how the roses came out.  I'm calling the sweater "Secret Garden" for I not so secretly dream of having a garden again.  

Another no sewing and stash knit down.  Now I'm gonna go have some hot chocolate to reward myself. 

After knitting this sweater, the next project will have to be very simple knitting, mostly st sts.


  1. Gorgeous cardigan :-))
    Good luck with your job!

  2. You have the talent to be a designer.
    Love your knits!

  3. Oh, it's stunning! Best of luck with your job.

  4. Stunning! You impress me so very much :)

  5. Beautiful sweater, and such a graceful pattern!
    These are stressful times indeed . . .

  6. Mona Just Brehmer (DK)March 10, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    I LOVE this. You are so talented. You could perhaps make a living with designing patterns. I would definitly LOVE to knit a jacket with this motif. So if you need a testknitter, just let me know.