First, let me get this out of the way. BEAVER BABIES!
All right, now that I've got that out of my system, I can move on to the main event: I finished my cardigan.
The pattern is FOXGLOVE by Kate Davies. It's knitted in the round, bottom up, until you get to the armpit. Then you put those stitches on hold while you knit up the arms and attach. Finally, you knit some connecting rows and begin the chart for the foxgloves. Then the neck, and finally, the steek. Steeking, remember, is where you reinforce stitches on either side of a center stitch so that you can cut through the fabric without any ends unraveling. That's the theory, anyway!
Here's the cardigan pre-steek:
There are many ways to steek a sweater, but I chose a crochet steek. Basically, I found the center stitch (not easy in that sea of maroon), and crocheted up one side and down the other, securing the right stitch leg and then the left stitch leg of the center stitch with the leg of the neighboring stitch on either side. It's not pretty, but it doesn't have to be - it will never be seen.
Basically the steek pulls the stitch apart and reveals the ladder center. This is where you cut.
My steek held, except for two places that started to unravel. I quickly reinforced them with matching thread and they held nicely. How exactly does it work? I'm not sure. It seems impossible that one crochet stitch would hold in all of those tiny unraveling threads. It does, though!
After the frightening experience of the steek, you move on to the relatively easy creation of the button band. You pick up and knit X number of stitches along the front edge (well in from the steek) and do a simple ribbed stitch for 12 rows. Repeat on the other side.
The steek edge naturally folds under and is hidden.
Then all you have to do is sew on buttons, weave in ends, and block. I was a nervous wreck about the fit. The 2 sweaters I knitted earlier this year are both poor-fitting. One has wonky shoulders and a fiddly, unraveling v-neck, and the other is just too small.
This sweater, though, fits pretty well!
Here's some detail of the yoke:
I'd prefer it to be slightly more fitted, but I guess it will be perfect to layer with this winter. I think it will be a long time before I knit another sweater out of such fine yarn, but I'm looking forward to making another one soon, but with thicker yarn. I have been drooling over Stonecutter, and it's knitted, thankfully, with pleasingly thick worsted weight.
After having lost a total of 5 trees and many branches and limbs, the work here is about finished. Our tree guys have been amazing and regularly put in 12 - 14 hour days. I made them some cookies to thank them for their hard work. Since we're out of all chips and I only had peanut butter in the house, I decided to make Averie Cooks' Big Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies. They're huge - only 6 per cookie sheet! They bake up crisp on the edges and soft in the middle. Nice peanut butter taste. Beautifully crinkled tops. I worried that the centers would be too raw, so baked each batch for 12 minutes. Next time I would go down to 11 minutes. I prefer the less crisp version.
Have a great week!