Oh my gosh, what a whirlwind this was to knit!
I wish I would have blogged more about it along the way because I truly learned SO MUCH from this project.
Firstly, and probably most importantly, I went 100% outside of my comfort zone and learned to steek. I will not lie: this was very scary. Steeking is a process where one knits completely in the round (like a pullover), then cuts the center (steek) to turn the project into a cardigan. I was mildly terrified, but I did the thing I do a lot: watch a lot of videos, then make some practice swatches.
Now, I had made a number of adjustments to the sweater (and therefore the pattern) prior to even knitting it, so I expected to have a few problems, and I’m (pleased?) to report I was correct. Thankfully, the mistakes weren’t an enormous issue, but I don’t mind talking about them a little.
First, I like to knit things like socks and sleeves at the same time on one long circular needle, so I did that. Because the cast-on was a very different one than I’m familiar with, I didn’t know it had a wrong side, so I ended up having to do some janky readjusting on one of the sleeves before I could get everything straight. Thankfully, I caught it early enough for it to not be too noticeable.
Secondly, because I used a different needle size, I couldn’t reach gauge exactly, so I calculated 90% for the stitches, but for the patterning, I couldn’t reduce by any for obvious reasons. That actually turned out fine because some of the reduction was a little more than 90%, and it all offset each other.
Because of that same cast-on being very new to me for the body, I made the same mistake about a wrong and right side, so for some reason that probably made very good sense at the time, I decided I would drop each of the steek stitches, and pick them back up in knit side (because on the circular, I was knitting, but the steek was in purl). I did something there that threw my steek totally off line, so I just went with it, and one side of the bottom has less of a “seam allowance” than the other side. Nobody can see it, but, it’sa live and learn thing.
The last thing I did wrong was reinforcing the steek itself. The first time I did it, I didn’t double crochet (if that’s even the right term) over the stitches, but I realized it in time to take the reinforcement completely out and redo it. Also, to reduce bulk, I split the yarn in half (went from a two-ply to a on3-ply). I eventually got it right, though.
Then I cut it; YES, I DID. Right up the middle!
I’m so glad I did it. Cutting a steek makes the entire knitting project faster and more pleasurable. I will always make cardigans this way now.
So there it is: the longest Halloween gag project ever.