Monday, May 13, 2019

Meanwhile, Back In Nome...

If I tried to write up everything that happened during this year's Iknitarod it would probably read more like Homer's Odyssey...with some lots of "grown up words".  Most of it was documented on my Instagram/Facebook feed and sadly not here (where I really want it).  If you weren't following along, here is a Reader's Digest version.

I cast on during the Iditarod's Ceremonial Start.  I hit the patterning section...and the stitches per inch gauge went haywire. I'd swatched the stockinette section, but not the patterning, which was a "rookie mistake" a non-rookie.  Turns out it wouldn't have helped.  Things got That Crazy.

I knit and reknit the top 20 rows two or three times, changing try to "get gauge" and finally gave up and went up a pattern size and then "knit on with confidence".  I got to the body and about four inches in started knitting tighter and tighter and kept knitting on "with confidence" and around 11 inches in decided it was terrible (which I knew at, say, six inches) and ripped the whole body back to the starburst.

The second reknit of the body ended up getting looser as I went on (slow learner), so much so that the bottom flared out.  But that wasn't the only issue.  The sleeves were huge as well.  I should have stayed with the original pattern size I'd swatched for...and done a better job knitting.  The sweater was wearable, but as I said on my IG post, that was not the W I was looking for.  I frogged the entire thing.

Since I was ripping back to the start, I decided to try to do the entire top in Mrs. Pepperpot's white.  I'd had quite a bit of white left over and it measured out to the same amount of all the grays I'd used, plus I was going down a pattern size, so I should have been golden.  I knit the entire top...well, most of it.  I got to two rows left...and was out of white.  

Mathematically that should not have happened.  So why did it?  I'd knit a smaller pattern size, with the same needle as before...and slopped it out.  Gauge and tension matter.  This is not breaking news.  And even if it was, I should have already learned that lesson...the hard way...TWICE.  I ripped it all back out again.  

By now I was just knitting on with [persistence]...and much more care/attention.  I'd had questions about how the yarn was holding up (a good question for sure!) and I am happy to report that Muffin and Mrs. Pepperpot, (oh, those good longwool crosses :-) held up bravely.  

Pip hung in there until the very end as well and I think really enjoyed the whole event.  Stella of course approved all the rips back to "do it right" even though several other neighbors were starting to have thoughts of calling in the white coats.  In the end, Saint Tim said it best, "Well worth the effort."

All in all it was a fun trip.  The sweater is lovely and I finished this project a much better and more careful knitter. I'm sad I didn't get it finished in time for a winter picture, but the weather yesterday was definitely cold enough for a wool photo shoot and honestly, Mother's Day was the perfect day to celebrate this mother-daughter sweater.


  1. Your sweater is just beautiful and perfect for you. You should be very proud and pleased. It was definitely worth all the time.

  2. I should have added also sheep and Hank approved.

  3. Just lovely, Sarah. Fits to perfection. And the story behind it is wonderful!

  4. The sweater is so pretty I almost didn't notice the sheep!

  5. Sweater is now truly perfect. It was worth the extra, extra effort. Lovely family pictures, too! ;-)

  6. Your sweater turned out great!! I was worried for you at one point�� I love the design, the meaning, and the heart that all went into the creation♥️ Tell St Tim his photos are wonderful, too. You look great! So does Hank and Muffin and all the sheepies!��

  7. I LOVE it! And you look great in it. I'm so glad that you're happy with it too and thanks for modeling it.

  8. Lovely Sweater. Lovely Sheep. LOVELY lady.
    (Fit is perfect!)

  9. You are much more persistent than I! But your reward was well worth it. :-D

  10. I have always said that the person who takes the best photos of you is the one who loves you best!

    1. I was just about to say the same thing!!!

  11. Great job and into Nome on your own time! Love the photos which are just perfect to celebrate the finish.

  12. What a lovely sweater. You did an outstanding job.

  13. It is gorgeous Sarah. And really lovely that it's a mother-daughter sweater. I enjoyed Muffin and Mrs. P on the April calendar page so very much :-)

  14. That's a beautiful sweater- love the pattern and all the photos but my favourite photo is the one with Hank.

  15. Good work. It's gorgeous. :-)


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