Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chattily Written

As I thought about our upcoming trip to visit my brother's family in Gemany this winter, I thought back on my cold-weather sartorial options from last year's trip. While I did take my then newly-knit Redford Sweater, I wasn't entirely happy with it -- mostly due to seaming unevenness and a length problem. Crop tops on middle-aged dudes are not attractive. I do have some vests, but what I didn't have was a nice pullover or jumper that fit. The question entered my mind: Do I have time to knit one before we leave?

I always liked the Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern for the Seamless Hybrid Sweater from her book Knitting Without Tears. I made one for Jeff years ago. He doesn't wear it much, and these days it's a bit large on both of us. I still might take it, but I still want one of my own. So yesterday, I went to the yarn shop and got some skeins of that great workhorse of a yarn, Cascade 220. I bought the colors based on what I liked, but they were only numbered. At checkout, I found the colors were called Atlantic and Marine -- perfect for a trip across the ocean, even if it's on a plane.

Atlantic is the darker blue main color. Marine is a lighter blue that's going to serve as a peek-a-boo contrast for the insides of the hem, cuffs and collar. I started the hem with Marine, using the German twisted cast-on. I worked 12 rounds, switched to Atlantic and worked 12 more rounds, then knit the next row together with the cast-on after folding it under. It's exactly the effect I wanted. The Marine just barely peaks out, and the edge doesn't curl. Plus, it's a different hem look from the usual ribbing. This detail picture shows the hem from the back.

I've mentioned this before, but I really enjoy Elizabeth Zimmerman's patterns. They're the knitting equivalent of story problems in mathematics. There are rules and proportions you have to figure out, mixed with commands one would be wise not to ignore. All interspersed with her razor-sharp wit. As she herself says, the instructions are rather "chattily written." Let's just hope I can keep up with the conversation and get this cranked out in the next three weeks.

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