Friday, February 27, 2009

Owls are done, done done done !

That is right, my Owl cardigan is done, all done, 24 little pairs of eyes all stitched on (48 buttons), and a tape closure hand stitched into place.
So its done, and today is a bit of a tour of the steeking and finishing of Owls. After the last post I was poised all ready to cut the steek .... so I did cut the steek, Bear videoed it so I could share that steek-moment that with you. What I love about this video, (it is ok to love ones own video's isn't it?) is the sound of the scissors cutting the yarn, crunchy-snip, snip, snip, sort of freaky.

When done the cut edge looked like this, so neat and clean. I think this is the second time I've used Anna Zilboorgs 3 stitch hand sewn steek technique, and I love it, just love it. So quick, no machine to haul out of the cupboard, there is no fraying, at all, and very little bulk, wonderful!

Once cut, I tried Owls on, and liked the fit. A huge relief, 'cause once you steek, well frogging after steeking is technically and theoretically possible ... but even I don't want to go there, now or ever. Of course after I cut the steek, I needed to decide what sort of band to add. After frogging an already knit neckband of complex 2.2 rib/cable matching the cuff and hem, I thought a either a plain 2.2 cable, or garter. EZ uses a lot of garter bands in her cardies and they look simple and sweet. I picked up stitches along the front, knit up the stitches on the cable at the neck, and picked up the stitches along the other front ... and decided to try the 2.2 rib. I liked the way it was working out.

I knit a few more rows back and forth on the neck band, to make it taller, some how collars seem to need more than the front bands do. The front band width was determined by the width of the black snap tape I had bought for this. I cast off with a 2 stitch i-cord bind off ... yes my favorite bind off, stable, with a little give and no roll when added to a rib. Bear videoed that as well, so I'll post that next time.

Then I stitched on all the 48 teeny tiny 6mm button eyes, which took a night and a day, well not quite, I started Friday night and finished Saturday morning after a wee sleep. I do admit to waking early, and instead of having a Saturday lie in, rising to finish the button stitching ... one by one my family joined me, seemingly unsurprised at finding me in the living room toying with my knitting at such an early hour. After breakfast I continued to stitch away, attaching the black tape to the fronts. At this point my certainty that my choice of closure would look ok wavered a little, the black was so black, the tape so prominent on the left side, I realized it would show every time I wore it open, and I imagined that would be a lot of the time. I wondered if a black tape was in fact a good idea, or if it should have been white. I realized also that while it was not to late for a zip, it was frog territory if I did indeed decide I wanted buttons after all and not obvious black tape with snaps ...well I was going to have to live in hilly swampy difficult remote inaccessible frog country, and I'd have to search to find just the right buttons.

And then it was done, and I tried it on, and as per Kate's instructions, admired it and asked the family to admire it .... even Yo-yo seemed to know knitting was on show. She has become a knitters cat indeed.

I've submitted my Owls away to Kate's Parliament of Owls, where although they are more like Owlets, they are in some very global and good company. And Parliament of Owls, is apparently the correct term for a group of these cute yet dangerous birds, I found other terms for groups of things that also amuse me. Finer details for my Owlets- can be found in Ravelry, but briefly 4mm needles, some 3.25mm, 5 stitches to the inch, and 5 weeks to knit, Quality Yarns Merino with 10% alpaca Knups(?), and of course based heavily on Kate's Owls.

... and my other knitting projects? Well Toby's sock grew a little too long, so that needs frogging, and I need to dig deep in my knitting basket and locate the gansey swatch I was working on before these Owls derailed me. Oh ... and the latest Interweave knits arrived, personally I've re-named it the lovely cardigan issue. So many to choose from, so little time to knit them all.

ok ...take care, make time to knit and walk and dance, and rest
na Stella


KathyR said...

Well done! Owls look(s) wonderful on you - a perfect fit. I do see what you mean about the very black tape showing, though. Is there such a thing as an afterthought buttonhole? If you can do afterthought heels and pockets...?

I do like all the little button-eyes, they almost look like horned tikis and all have different personalities similar to handmade bears.

A very interesting steeking procedure. I have always wondered about the bulk of the usual steeking methods, maybe ok for finer knits such as 4ply but thicker than that? Now I know there is an alternative! Thank you!

moi said...

Beautiful!!!! Job well done! It's so great to see the process and the final project. Thank you for your blog - it's been a source of inspiration to me. I've started knitting last year and it has kept me sane (I'm a stay at home with 2 little girls under the age of 3).

Thank you again.

Brooklyn, NYC

Unknown said...

Congratulations! What a beautiful sweater!

Knitting Linguist said...

It looks great! The girls and I both loved the steeking video (especially those little snipping noises), and I'm definitely going to have to try doing it that way the next time I knit a steeked sweater -- it looks great. Enjoy wearing the sweater :)

CraftyGryphon said...

Oh, it's lovely! I'll be coming back to this post (sometime in 2018?) when I'm ready to steek my Owls cardi. Yours is so lovely! (Yeah, I said it twice. It's that pretty.)