Monday, April 20, 2020

Knitting books, helping me through a pandemic

Knitting is a calming activity and that's just what I needed in the past month. I found a box of cotton yarn under the stairs, stashed away since the 1990s, and decided to create a top for myself. I own a few knitting reference books and I also happened to have several out from the library before the doors were closed to the public on March 14. (I read knitting books like cookbooks, which is to say, like magazines.) So anyway, that's what I had at home to work with.

I started by knitting test swatches, figuring out what I could do with the yarn. Then I made a paper pattern, tracing the outline of a favourite top to get the shape. After that, math helped me to figure out how many stitches and rows. Math is a handy friend to know. Four different books helped me to create the design:

The sleeve lace is taken from the pattern for Heather Zoppetti's Dahlia Cardigan in 100 Knits: Interweave's Ultimate Pattern Collection.
The "Rising Suns" hem lace is from Japanese Stitches Unraveled by Wendy Bernard.
The short rows method of making the sleeves after picking up stitches around the armholes is from Knitting from the Top by Barbara Walker.
And the neck shaping is from Knitting Pattern Essentials: Adapting and Drafting Knitting Patterns for Great Knitwear by Sally Melville. This last book's author disapproves of knitting in the round, which was the method I used, but I don't actually like any of Sally's finished examples in her book, so I guess she and I won't ever be friends. And that won't stop me from learning her techniques.

It took a month. Fourteen different audiobooks saw me through the process. (See my previous post.) Now all I need is some warm weather so I can wear it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You are one talented individual! I love how your knit top turned out! Bravo! - Louise