Friday, July 05, 2013

Grettir

Behold, a yoked doodle dandy -- made with shades of gray 2-ply. A handmade sweater for my brother Mike, blocked on the 4th of July!

I'm not sure how I finished this so quickly, but once I got to the stranded yoke, the needles just flew. I just didn't want to stop. and I found it such a welcome change to be stranding on larger needles. They made color changes less fiddly. I really liked how the decreases didn't disrupt the flow do the pattern and also how the round changes were invisible. I don't suppose I should expect less from a Jared Flood design, but still, I appreciate the thought that went into all of this.

According to the Icelandic sagas, Grettir was an outlaw who lived for decades in the north of the island sometime between the 10th and 12th centuries. Although quite courageous, he had a reputation for being somewhat belligerent -- hence the outlaw status. He was famous for bravely slaying the Norse equivalent of a zombie, but not before it put a curse on Grettir that made the rest of his life rather miserable. Now wether all of this notoriety makes him a good candidate for having a sweater pattern named after him might be a matter of debate. But for various reasons, Grettir stood out -- and this sweater design is outstanding. I highly recommend it.

There were a few things that stood out for me with this pattern. First of all, I've never changed needle sizes so many times while knitting a garment. There are four different sizes called for in a few different cord lengths -- some used more than once. Interchangeable needles really helped. It was also my first tubular cast- on. I used Staci's video as a guide, and it I had no problems. I used cotton for the provisional stitches, which didn't dry as fast as the wool when blocking, and it made picking out the yarn somewhat difficult, so I wouldn't recommend that. And after all that drama about gauge at the beginning, I ended up with the most spot-on sizing that I've ever achieved with a sweater. And that with using the suggested needles sizes.

I'm still trying to decide whether to go ahead and ship it to my brother in Germany so he can enjoy it this fall, or wait until Christmas. I'm counting on him having forgotten about this blog so that I don't ruin the surprise, whatever I decide. In either case, I'll post a photo with him wearing it at some point in the future.

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I've never knit a sweater in the round but I'd love to knit something like this. I'm sure your brother will love it.

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  2. Thanks, Tony! This would be a great one to do -- although Elizabeth Zimmerman has a simplified method. If you don't mind her "story problem" approach to pattern-writing.

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  3. You know (a terrible admission) but I haven't ready any of EZ's books. I probably should!

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  4. A gorgeous sweater - as emblematic of Iceland as volcanoes and Björk.

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  5. Well done Steven. It's beautiful!

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  6. It's gorgeous! (And as for EZ - I try to love here, but I find her style really hard to follow. She's sort of the antithesis to a good clear chart!)

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