(A more accurate representation of the color can be found here.)
A peace treaty in the War of Morrigan was signed on Saturday October 13, 2007. The war lasted about 6 months. Battle was difficult because Morrigan fought dirty with chart errors, non-errors, and ambiguities (discussed below). My battle plan was further complicated by row-gauge issues that I never discussed in this blog. Those gauge issues resulted in much math. In the end, I was victorious having knit, purled, cabled, and calculated the pattern into submission.
The war was not without injuries, though. The tendonitis in my left hand has gotten significantly worse since I started Morrigan. It progressed from occasional stabs of pain in the back of my left hand to shooting, long-lasting, whimpering-inducing pain in my hand and forearm. It was particularly bad during the last few days of knitting when I was feverishly trying to finish.
At times, I completely abandoned my fight, preferring to work on projects that either used larger needles, consumed less yarn, or required less mental effort. In the time between cast-on and finishing of Morrigan I finished:
1 vest for Peter (started before I cast on for Morrigan)
2 baby-sized super secret projects for Kristen
1 adult-sized super secret project for Kristen (not blogged or even photographed)
1 pair of adult socks
1 lace shawl
1 crocheted cap
1 baby sweater and hat set
1 sweater for me
Pattern: Morrigan by Jenna Wilson in No Sheep for You, size small
Yarn: Rowan Calmer, 75% cotton, 25% microfiber, color 462 Chiffon, 11 balls
Needles: 2.75 mm and 3.25 mm (US sizes 2 and 3)
Modification 1: I changed the depth of the armholes because my row gauge was too large. The wonky row gauge meant that my sleeve cap would be taller than it should be. I couldn’t modify the sleeve cap, so I had to modify the armhole. (Why I couldn’t modify the sleeve cap and how I calculated the correct depth of the armholes is a long story. Email me for the gory details.)
Modification 2: I lengthened the sleeves by 4 cm. When my arms hang down at my sides, the cuffs cover the base of my hand. But when I stick my arms out straight, the cuffs end perfectly at my wrist. That’s the way that I like my sleeves.
I’ve already made a lot of comments about this pattern. Why not add a couple more?
1) Forgive me Amy Singer for what I’m about to say. If I could wave a magic wand, I would change the yarn in this sweater into fingering- or sport-weight 100% merino wool. I think the pattern would have been easier to work in wool and I think the end result would look nicer in wool. Calmer is a wonderful yarn, but I think I’ll stick with wooly cables from now on.
(Notice I said, “If I could wave a magic wand.” I didn’t say, “If I knit this again” or “If I could do it all over.” As wonderful as this sweater is, I will never, ever knit it again.)
2) And a final word about the pattern. The instructions for the sleeve bind-off is a bit ambiguous. You work four short rows and then the instructions say to bind off all stitches loosely. Well, when you finish the short rows, a little more than half of the live stitches are on the left needle and a little less than half of the live stitches are on the right needle. You can’t just bind off the stitches.
I worked across the stitches on the left needle (hiding the wraps on those stitches), turned the work to the wrong side, and bound off all the stitches (hiding the remaining wraps). I emailed Jenna to confirm that that was what I should do she said that it was just one of three alternatives.
Alternative 2: Break yarn after the short rows, put all stitches on the left needle, join a new yarn at the beginning of the right-side row and bind off all the stitches. This alternative would work fine, but you would have more ends to weave.
Alternative 3: After the short rows, place all stitches on a piece of waste yarn, and GRAFT (not sew, graft) the live stitches to the shoulder seam. This, in fact, was what Jenna intended but it was changed to a bind-off by the book editors. I did attempt this, but after grafting ¼ of the stitches on the first sleeve, I decided it was too aggravating for the raw and harried state of my nerves.
Parting words of thanks:
A big THANK YOU to Jenna Wilson for all her help with Morrigan. I sent her many emails and she always answered in a gracious and timely manner even though most of my emails were pointing out problems with the pattern.
Thank you also to Karen Frisa, the tech editor of the pattern, for her willingness to comb over the intricacies of the pattern with me.
And finally, thank you to everyone who has cheered me on through this long journey. Your words of encouragement helped motivated me to keep pushing on.