Try something New
by Samantha Myhre
For those of you following the blog, you know that there were 5 things that needed to be completed by the end of 2020, The CoPilot Cowl, The Icelandic sweater, the fleece to spin, the blanket to weave and the painting to paint. Now the painting got a pass because it somehow slipped through the cracks of 2019 but the other 4 are targeted to finish before midnight of 2020 passes. I am pleased to say 2/4 are complete, the cowl and the sweater.
The cowl ended with the first skein. This was a decision both in time management and frankly, doneness. I am happy with the final outcome and pretty sure this pattern will come back to my project bag in 2021.
The sweater is where the title of this blog comes from. THIS was trying something new. A project in the making for nearly 2 years, began as a request from a fellow shepherdess and was sent with wool processed from her sheep. It was a project that pushed me in every way. It has been rare, and I mean RARE that I have knit on commission. I have always knit and then found the recipient. There is no failure in this. The person likes it and it fits. I get the good fibrations that come with a job well done. But this? This was a request that I wasn’t expecting. It came with a few measurements written on a paper bag and a box of yarn that had been waiting for its time to shine. I stewed over the request all the way home wondering why I thought I could ever do this. The yarn was precious. My experience was lacking.
Icelandic wool needed to be an Icelandic sweater. For the shepherdess, it needed to be a cardigan. This meant steeking. I was not about to have my first attempt of cutting open a sweater to be on someone else’s sweater. I needed a plan.
I needed a practice round, so this sweater is my second steeked sweater. The first was with fingering weight yarn and was mine. The steeking was a success in spite of the gasps from my knitting support group. I searched for months to find a cardigan pattern that I could use with 3 colours and the necessary gauge. I had no luck. This is a compilation of 3 patterns adjusted significantly for sizing. Yup, fit is yet to be seen because this sweater was knit “blind” and will be delivered by mail 2 years after its request.
In total, this sweater was knit almost completely 3 times before I got it right. I quite at least that many times, only to take a breath, and pick it up again. I stretched both in determining design alterations, navigating steeking with confidence and now showing patience as I wait for confirmation of success versus failure. Regardless, I am pleased with my new skill and looking forward to trying them again but this time with an unknown recipient. THAT will need to wait until next year as this one still has a project of two to go.