In my first blogs I shared the Martini dishcloth. But now I want to share the process of knitting. I live abroad – in the Netherlands. The nearest local yarn shop is in Utrecht (Modilaine Wolspeciaalzaak – Lijnmarkt 22). So I have to rely on the internet and 2 very close friends (who live in the US) that have helped me along the way in my knitting process. Another huge help is Kelley Petkun’s Knit Picks Podcast. I started on Episode 50 and have listened and made notes along the way up to the current podcast.
Kelley talks about “the process” in about every other podcast. This has been a huge help as I think I would have given up! (I have been knitting for about a little over 1 year).
Now for the 3 times a sweater … I have made this sweater 3 times! It’s called the “Tea Leaves Cardigan” by Melissa LaBarre and it uses Madelinetosh DK Merino superwash wool. (you can find the pattern on Raverly). My friend Pam bought me this beautiful hand-dyed orange Madelinetosh yarn along with the pattern.
The first time I made it, was a stupid mistake. I made the largest size without really paying attention to the size. The largest size is a 44” bust. I am sorry to say that my bust is not that big … I just kept knitting knitting and knitting and was happy as can be – until I finished it.
Ok, so I blocked it and tried to shrink it. It wouldn’t shrink! It’s a superwash wool! So my friend, Christina, via a YouTube video and an email, showed me how to rip it out, and then straighten out the yarn again! I am happy to say this was made easier by using a yarn swift!
Onto the 2nd time. This time a made a swatch, got gauge – woo hoo! and then made the correct size for me all over again. But I did NOT wash the swatch. Again, Kelley talks a lot about the process of knitting and the importance of washing your swatch. I now get the importance of washing your swatch! I found that the superwash wool after being blocked looses its elasticity. The armpits felt huge and the yoke felt like it was going to slide right off! I wore it twice.
Now remember this yarn is about $19 a hank! It’s about $100 worth of yarn! I just couldn’t get over that. During the second time, I went to Raverly and went to the comments section on the pattern and the yarn choice sections. Raverly has been a huge help to me! I can never buy yarn again without consulting the users of Raverly (thank you!)!
Ok, by this time, it’s summer and I really can’t wear the sweater because it’s wool and it finally warmed up here! So I looked at what I had planned to knit and thought if I rip it out this sweater out one more time I could have it done in about 2 weeks and I know that I will be happy. So I did! One more time out came yarn and then “swifting” it and then hanging out to dry in the breeze. I really want to know what my Dutch neighbors think about orange yarn blowing in the breeze (crazy American – probably).
By this time I am listening to Kelley Petkun’s podcast and she kept hammering into me about the knitting process. I swear that was the hugest life savior! She kept saying it’s the process of learning that I have to get use to. Then I thought about when I learned to quilt. This was a little easier because my mom and I learned this together. So I had backup! I can tell you a lot of Martini’s were consumed during this time as well!
In one podcast, Kelley and her Knit Picks designers talked about Superwash wool and how it doesn’t shrink or felt in the wash. Yup! Could have told them that one! In this process of knitting I learned that I really don’t like superwash wool. I prefer 100% wool! Straight out the gate!
It’s finished and I really happy with the outcome! I will wear it and that’s the part that is really important to me!
The Martini Knitter