Tag Archives: ssKAL

Bonjour Burrard


Finished! Burrard is officially a garment, and I am so, so happy with it.

L wasn't home so I took the tripod and did a bunch of fancy selfies.

L wasn’t home so I took the tripod and did a bunch of fancy selfies.

I actually cast off two nights ago, but things never feel properly done until all the ends are woven in, which is what I did last night, as well as sewing on the buttons. I tried it on and it got the thumbs up from L’s sister, who’s staying with us, and it felt great. But. But, it didn’t feel quite right. The shawl collar was sitting funny and the buttons felt just a little out of proportion with the cables. This morning, I took off the buttons, and undid the cast off, and re-cast off with a larger needle and sewed on slightly smaller buttons (from the Wooden Artist) and yes, now it is finished (except the buttons bands need proper blocking, but there’s time for that).


This is only my second finished sweater, and my first with seams and set-in sleeves, and I was a little nervous. I did a lot of holding pieces up to my body and trying to determine how they would look at the end (which is pretty much a waste of time). Once I had it all seamed, I tried it on and was pretty glad it fit, although the fit was off since it didn’t have a collar or button bands, and thank goodness those worked out the way I thought they would.


I should probably trim those button threads…

I didn’t really change much about this pattern, to be honest. It was clearly written, with lots of pictures of various parts of the sweater that reassured me I was on the right track, and aside from the mis-crossed cable incident, and the ripping out and re-doing of the cast off, this was a knit without major incident. And I got to learn how to seam and set-in sleeves and do a shawl collar, and I love learning new things, so that is a major bonus to an already excellent experience.


One thing I will keep in mind when knitting future sweaters, though, is to add some length. I am tall and busty, and (mostly to do with the latter, I think) an extra inch or two in the torso would be good. I actually quite like the length of this cardigan, but it’s something to think about going forward. The sleeves, though, are perfect. They’re the right length and knit with about zero ease, which makes them fitted but not tight, and certainly roomy enough to let me wear long sleeves under this in the winter.


I didn’t quite make the ssKAL deadline, but I have a lovely new sweater to wear, and it’s finished before the cold sets in, so I don’t care. I pretty much have to turn to gift knitting now, but I’m already planning my next big knit (I’m thinking pullover), bolstered by the success of Burrard.


Pattern: Burrard by Glenna C.
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Liberty Heather
Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm
Mods: I did two extra body increases above the waist, since my bust and hips are the same measurement. I decreased the extra stitches in the armhole, which also ensured I had a comfortable amount of ease at the top of the arm, where t-shirt sleeves tend to bunch up. My gauge was a little off, with my stitch gauge slightly tight and my row gauge slightly loose, so I did a little fiddling to make everything work out. I also added two additional rows to the button bands before the buttonholes, and then made six buttonholes to mitigate the pulling across my chest. All the details, etc. are ravelled here.


First things first


Before I say anything else, let me just say that fall has arrived. At least in Toronto. Today is one of those glorious fall days with a wide open, deep blue sky and a true crispness in the air. It’s definitely chilly enough in the morning and in the evenings to wear a warm sweater and wish for mittens. It’s Toronto, so we probably (hopefully) haven’t seen the end of warm days for year, but still, it’s nice to be excited about the temperature dropping.

I was never this excited about cooler weather until I started knitting. It’s exciting.


Down the Rabbit Hole mittens, photo Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry

Also exciting: Kimberly Wepplo (commenter #11) is the winner of the Lit Knits giveaway! Congratulations Kimberly! Please let me know how to get in touch with you so I can pass your contact info on to Audrey. You’ll have to let us know what you cast on for first.

This was my first giveaway and I just wanted to thank you all for your enthusiasm! Your comments about the book and its patterns were so much fun to read, and I especially liked that you encouraged each other to try patterns you liked that were a little out of your comfort zone. Audry has put together a gorgeous book, and if you would like your very own copy of Lit Knits, you can buy it either on her website or on Ravelry. There’s still time to get the sweet pre-order deal, that includes both a print and an e-book version – it’s only available until Sept. 25, so now is the time to scoop it up. (There are also still giveaways you can get in on. The blog tour list is here.)

In other news, Burrard is in its final stages, which is perfect, because I could really use a big cozy sweater right now. I blocked the body on the weekend while I was finishing up the arms, which I blocked yesterday. Now I’m sewing in my sleeve caps. These are my first set in sleeves, so I did a lot of reading about how to ease them in, how to seam, etc. If you too are wondering about seaming and/or setting in sleeves, the best resources I found were this Vogue guide to seaming (which covers a ton of different seams, with illustrations) and this Berroco video, which Cassy linked to a few weeks ago. My seams aren’t perfect, but you know what, they aren’t bad.

Half-seamed set-in sleeve. So far so good, I think.

Half-seamed set-in sleeve. So far so good, I think.

I’m hoping to finish the sleeve caps and get started on seaming the body tonight, but even once all the seaming is done, I’ll have the button band and shawl collar to pick up and knit. I was all set to pull this one out in time for the SSKAL deadline, but then I realized that we’re going camping this weekend (backwoods, canoe-in camping) and since there’s no way I’m bringing an unfinished sweater with me, I may have to resign myself to finishing a few days after the deadline. Since this still means I get a finished sweater by the end of next week, I’m not devastated, but it would be nice to make the deadline. Maybe if I don’t sleep quite as much? We’ll see.

So, any tips on seaming or setting in sleeves? Do you see a horrible error in my photo that my novice eyes didn’t catch? Please tell me! I promise a photo of a fully-seamed sweater later this week.

Second verse better than the first


So, after much internal debate, I sat down after work on Friday night and ripped. And you know, it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be (not that I want it to be by usual Friday night activity or anything).

Late-night phone picture of frogged yarn. It felt so good to get past the crinkly yarn into fresh stuff again.

Late-night phone picture of frogged yarn. It felt so good to get past the crinkly yarn into fresh stuff again.

Thank you all for your helpful and supportive comments. Seriously, it is very reassuring to see so many people who would also choose the painful path of perfection (how’s that for alliteration?). If I hadn’t already ripped, I think Audry’s comment would have put me over the edge. To do all that work and then not wear the sweater? Ugh.

I also realized that if it bothered me now, it would both me far, far more when there were six or seven properly worked repeats above it. Yes, it’s the back and it’s low on the back, so I wouldn’t be able to see it while wearing the sweater, but I’d know it was there. And sure, it sucks to rip out basically half of your progress, but in this case it was only 26 rows, and I more than made up that ground by the end of Saturday. And don’t you think it looks better?

I have colour coded the cables to prevent mis-crossing from happening again.

I have colour coded the cables to prevent mis-crossing from happening again.

Jangly cables


I am making progress on Burrard. I’m actually tempted to say I’m making good progress, but a) I don’t want to jinx myself, and b) that’s all relative. I’ve never knit a sweater in pieces before, so the sense of satisfied completion I got when I cast off the right front on Tuesday is likely illusory. I mean, I still have the left front, the back, a sleeve and a half, and all the finishing, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

Sorry about the boring photo – the lighting around here sucks today. Anyway, I pinned it out for the photo, but I'll wait to block it with the other front, so they match.

Sorry about the boring photo – the lighting around here sucks today. Anyway, I pinned it out for the photo, but I’ll wait to block it with the other front, so they match.

Nonetheless, that little gleam of accomplishment? That will work wonders at pushing me through this project in a timely manner. One of the reasons I’m drawn to smallish projects (such as socks and mittens and things) is, I think, because on the way to a finished project, I get to feel like I’ve accomplished something. I tend to think of myself as a process knitter just as much as I am a product knitter (by which I mean, I choose projects that I will both enjoy knitting and enjoy wearing) and finished pieces satisfy both sides of that coin.

But lets talk about Burrard. I am so entirely enchanted by the various cables that they can occupy me for hours (or could, if I had hours and hours of free time to knit). I love that each column of cables is different, and that the orderly ones are offset by the sort of jangly (as in: jingle jangle) motif that is the real star of this cardigan. Those cables are orderly too, but the way they slosh from side to side is so much fun. I am really looking forward to the crazy cable that winds its way up the centre of the back, which I think I’ll cast on for next, while I still have some momentum.


It starts now



So, after a fair bit of thinking, I decided to go with Burrard for the Summer Sweater KAL. I have had this cardigan in my queue pretty much since the the Winter 2012 issue of Twist Collective came out. I love the symmetrical, geometric cables and the shawl collar (especially the shawl collar), and I don’t have anything like it in my wardrobe, so I know it will end up in pretty heavy rotation once the weather gets chilly.

To be honest, though, I came very close to going with the Everyday Linen Raglan. I liked the idea of a speedy project that would probably allow time to also finish Grace by the end of September. What made up my mind, though, was that I wanted to take advantage of the KAL to learn something new. I’ve never knit a sweater in pieces, and this seems like a good time to tackle seaming and piecing.

So, here we go. I cast on for an arm when I got home last night – I wanted to cast on for one of the fronts, but an arm functions like an extended swatch, so it seemed like a better, if less exciting, choice. Once I get through a few more inches and know what my gauge is saying, I’ll cast on for a front and then had two pieces going at once: one in plain stockinette and one with cables. That’s a good balance and should keep me pretty focused as things progress.

Did you decide to join the KAL too? Do you think it’s crazy to knit a heavy sweater in the middle of summer? If you’re worried about being subjected to nothing but purple/grey knitting photos for the next two months, don’t be – I cast on for my Daphne‘s last week and finished the first sock yesterday, before casting on for Burrard. I want theses socks on my feet, so I promise to pop flashes of colour in here from time to time, because they are beautiful.