Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Keep Your Fork, Duke, There's Pie"

 Today's title is from  an anecdote  often repeated in  Canadian  'pie' families.  IMO, families are divided, dessert-wise,  into two categories:    cake families or pie families.  Mine is a pie family..  It's a rare family dinner that doesn't have pie for dessert.  And often, when served, the above quote is spoken.  To laughter by the adults and squinty-faced 'huhs?' by the younger crowd. 

Check out the original story here. ( Note. We do not have a King & Queen.  We have a Queen and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.) Today, though, the quote is knitting related. My Pumpkin Pie Pully is finished.  Whew!  It was a long time coming.  Recently I caught a ravelry group that are knitting eleven sweaters in 2011!  Here it is March and I have just finished my first.  Some seem to knit themselves and others take time. 

Pumpkin Pie took time for a few reasons.  First,  it is a self-designed sweater.  That means lots of prep time. The vision has to be born and then translated into pattern.  Then gauge swatches - plural - knit.  Despite all that, the best laid plans sometimes go awry. As was the case with Pumpkin Pie when I tried to do seamless, set-in sleeves. After their failure, I ripped from neckline back to armholes.  Time consuming, that. 

But done it is and I think it will be worn lots.  Tomorrow, at work will be the first place I wear it.  I'm not certain if my troubles and the time taken to knit it have been inspiring to my class - "Even the teacher gets it wrong."   - or discouraging - "Even the TEACHER gets it  WRONG!"

Pumpkin Pie Pully
Knit using Elizabeth Zimmermann's percentage system.  
*Yarn - Cabin Fever, Cotton Tweed.  Colour -  Pumpkin Pie.  4 balls! At $7.50 per ball, that's a reasonable sweater.

*Needles - 4mm

*Circumference - 40 inches.  At 22 stitches /4 inches, that was a cast on or Key number of 220 stitches.

*Ribbing on sleeves and bottom - Four rows of K1, P1.  Five rows would have been better, as it has a tendency to curl that hopefully my severe blocking has curbed.

* Ribbing on the neckline was only two rows of K1, P1 ribbing followed by two rows of stockinet to give a nice roll.

*Cable.  Large, 24 stitch cable done in K1, P1 ribbing. 
A cable of this size causes quite a stretch  gap on the cable row.  Cotton isn't the best yarn to hide this flaw  feature.  Also, when cabling in a K1, P1 rib, you need to watch closely to ensure that on the cable row, you retain the rib pattern. It took a couple of cables for me to realize that.  I corrected redesigned those flawed cables by, in centre cable,  working two stitches together in order to keep the rib pattern, then adding the extra stitch back in by a M1 at the edge of the cable.   A man passing by on a galloping horse will never see it.

* I made the sweater to sit about 3 inches below waist.  That is Sally Melville's recommended length for  an unshaped garment.  When done, though, Pumpkin  looked a bit boxy.  I'm just five feet tall.  The  boxiness would probably disappear on a taller person. To fix the shape, before I grafted the underarm seams, I dropped down two stitches at each side and worked them back up as purl stitches.  This  created a bit of ribbing through the waist area and gives Pumpkin some shape.  The 'too boxy' look was a design flaw that caught me by surprise.    I have lots of short, unshaped sweaters that look fine, but Pumpkin with it's large cable seemed to need that bit of shaping.
* The sleeves are 3/4 length and fall halfway between elbow and wrist.  As per EZ, 3/4 length sleeves require a cast on of 25% of the Key number of stitches. 

If I were to do it again?? - I would probably make elbow length sleeves.   Also, I would probably knit a longer version adding  waist shaping.  The loose shaping is fine for cardigans, but seems a bit breezy up the back in the pullover version.  And, I forgot Elizabeth Zimmermann's warning to always do some short rows in the back, above the ribbing  to keep the sweater from riding up.  Dang!

Minor mods all.  The sweater looks great, the colour is good on me.  Perfect design and yarn for warmish-winter or coolish-summer days. 


Sandra said...

very nice! and a great colour, too. I like the waist shaping - subtle, but effective.

Crazy Knitting Fool said...

Love it! I am not a big orange fan but love this color.

Yarn and Ivories said...

WOW! I never imagined... it's so beautiful. And I appreciate all your thoughts and work! The dropped stitches for shaping are brilliant!

Christy J said...

That is an amazing cable!

I heard a story as part of a funeral service about a woman who asked to be buried with a fork in her hand. She had told her faqmily and her minister that she was always excited when someone told her, "Keep your fork," because that meant there was going to be dessert, and she believed that after she died there would be something wonderful still to come. Great story whether it's true or not.

Deb said...

It looks very shapely and is gorgeous. I love the big cable and of course the Cotton Tweed.

Anonymous said...

Looks lovely and great fit!


MamaMidwife said...

I love hearing about all the details and mods on your sweaters! Beautiful color. Nice cable.

Laurie said...

Wow! The sweater is beautiful, and it fits you perfectly, short rows or not. Raglan sleeves were a great choice. Love it!

Needles said...

I love the way this turned out. Just right.

I think we are a cookie family. Secondary, a pie family.

Sel and Poivre said...

Re: Pie vs. Cake...I've always wondered whether the root of that kind of distinction was indicative of the family or the cook? (Chez Sel and Poivre we love 'em both 'cause I bake 'em both.)

Re This FO - how fabulous is that litle ribbing trick? Its quite something how that does create some shaping at the waist. You are one fancy knitter!

Zieknits said...

Gorgeous! So worth the extra fiddly bits (not to say frogging). Just beautiful. Yay you!

Oh, yes. We are also a pie family. :)

LaurieM said...

My sweaters always ride up in the front. So I was making a round yoke sweater, with no back shaping, and theorized that I could get away with no short rows like this: short rows in the back to prevent the back riding up, counterbalanced against short rows in the front to prevent the front riding up equals no short rows required for no riding up.

Didn't work. Front still rides up. Moral of the story is I've discovered my front's bigger than my back. Hooray?

SillyLittleLady said...

the sweater looks great! Very chic and stylish :D congratulations!

elizabeth said...

I love it! You did a great job, I'm sure it'll get a lot of wear!