Monday, October 15, 2007

Peace Breaks Out

Morrigan1_color correct2.jpg
(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.

cabley1.JPGThe 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 bunny
1 mouse
1 bear
1 sweater for me

The Stats:
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.)

sleeve length.JPGModification 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.

Comments:
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.)

cabley2.JPG2) 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.

WithScout.JPGAlternative 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.

40 comments:

jess said...

I have to say, it looks freakin' awesome! (as well it should, after this journey). Congrats to you for persevering!

Elizabeth said...

It's gorgeous. Good for you for forging ahead and finishing it. The result is worth it. Calmer wears really well, too.

Jeanne said...

Woo hoo!!!! I guess I won't be seeing it on Tuesday anymore, unless of course the weather takes a turn;-)

It looks fantastic on you.

s t a c i said...

BIIIIIG pat on the back for you! It looks great!

grumperina said...

Yay! Congratulations - you're done! it's a fabulous sweater.

ames said...

It's gorgeous. Congratulations! I *almost* want to knit one for myself.

Chelle said...

Your sweater is stunning...congratulations!

Emilee said...

I am amazed at your skill and determination. Congratulations!

Wannietta said...

I feel your pain - you know that I do. At least you have the spoils of the war - I still have to do it again to get one for myself!

I'm glad that you persevered and that you love the finished sweater. Wear it well!

Sarah said...

/me bows down to Laura the knitting god!

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful! I hope you get lots of wear out of it after all that.

Please do see your doctor about the wrist stuff now, before it gets worse. Do not continue pushing through projects without dealing with it. Take lots of ibuprofen and ice it. But mostly, rest it and let it recover.

Guro said...

You're a knitting superstar! I'm so amazed at the fact that you knit this. I love the finished sweater!

Kenny said...

WHat???? you knitted morrigan and all the other stuff in between. Crazy!!!!! I wish I could knit as fast as you!1

Michelle B said...

Just beautiful! It's nice to see at least one person fishish this design. I've been scared off for sure.

turtlegirl76 said...

And thus you are forever seated in the knitting hall of fame. Wow. Absolutely gorgeous!

Jennifer said...

I think Morrigan is gorgeous and looks incredible on you! Fantastic! Good for you for working through the errors. Of course, I would expect nothing less. ;-)

Jerry & Maxy said...

Phenomonal!!!! I am truly impressed. Congratulations, Laura!

DesertRat said...

Wow. Congrats for surviving--and winning!--the battle. The results really are stunning.

Jessica said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous. Congratulations on a job very well done!

Terby said...

Wow! It looks fantastic. I wish you many happy wearings of Morrigan.

mel said...

Incredible!! Seriously, Laura - congratulations. She's absolutely beautiful! I feel like finishing a knit of this magnitude is like... well, graduating cum laude or something :) Congratulations, she was hard won and she's stunning!!

Liz K. said...

You truly bossed this sweater around, and the end results are really inspiring. THIS is why we knit, no?

Dorothy said...

You are the master of your own knitting! Kudos for a beautiful job and thanks for easing the path for the rest of us who will eventually knit this sweater.

Joanna said...

Yay, the beast is finished (and beautiful!!!) -- I am doing a little happy dance in my chair for you. :D

GretchenX said...

Love the sweater, and Scout looks adorable! I agree, Rowan Calmer can be hard on your hands to knit. But at least it'll be cooler to wear than a wool sweater. Wear in good health!

Amanda said...

Wow! Looks well worth the battle! Very nice job!

KnittingEmily said...

Congrats on such a large feat!

JRS said...

Amazing! It outshines all the great Aran sweaters I saw on a recent trip to Ireland. Way to go!

Cordelia said...

It's gorgeous!

FantasyKnits said...

That's a great sweater! Love it!

Meredith said...

Woo hoo--you survived! It looks fabulous.

knitseashore said...

It looks amazing on you! Big congratulations for persevering with such a difficult knit over such a long period. And it looks pretty with Scout's fur too.

I hope your tendonitis heals soon. It's not fair for a knitter not to be able to knit!

Rachel said...

I'm so impressed by your accomplishment that you've stunned me out of my normal mean, sarcastic personality. The sweater looks great. And I even hope your tendonitis feels better right away.

Do you feel freed by its completion? Or at a loss? What are you going to do with yourself now??

ingrid said...

Congradulations! You rock for a. completing the endeavor b. making a grea sweater, and c. remaining very sweet about it when I am sure you cursed at some point.

Amy said...

Oh my god, it's beautiful. Just *beautiful*. Congratulations!

Carol Ann said...

The sweater is gorgeous -- although after all your struggles, it's probably on my list of projects to avoid :) It really is beautiful and I hope you're enjoying every second of wearing it!

Do take care of your wrist -- as someone who's been through tendonitis more than once, I can assure you that it's worth taking care of early rather than later. A wrist brace may give you enough relief that you can keep knitting (it made a world of difference for me).

Keep up the great work!

Octopus Knits said...

Wow! It's amazing!

complainr said...

Many congrats! I've been tracking your Morrigan campaign for a while, and I'm glad to see it come to a victorious conclusion!

Yvette said...

Amy calls this pattern the one that "makes even experienced knitters cry" when she does her trunk show.
Amazing. Kudos to you!

Anonymous said...

it's gorgeus!!!