NEEDLES & KNITS
Welcome to the Diary of Two Setesdal Novices. Check the blog weekly for updates.
July 22, 2014
The Colour Challenge:
The traditional Setesdal typically comes in two colour variations; either black as the main colour or white as the main colour –
After consulting with Tove on the type of yarn to use, we settled on Cascade 220, as Needles and Knits had Cascade 220 on sale for 40% off in the back room.
With so many colour options, we decided to throw caution to the wind and select non- traditional colours for our Setesdal. Lorri chose a beautiful red cascade 220 yarn colour #2426 and Sumbo opted for a denim blue cascade 220 yarn colour #9326 for her main colour. Instead of using two colours, we decided to use a third colour variation…just to spice things up a bit ;)
The Pattern Challenge:
Of course, Lorri & Sumbo wanted the EXACT pattern of what we have named “The Toby Sweater" as Setesdal is a mouthful for us non-Norwegians..... The challenge was that Tove first made the sweater for her husband 42 years ago, and replicated it later on for her children. We combed through various Norwegian pattern books that had the Setesdal, but not in the exact pattern variation that we had fallen in love with in The Toby Sweater. Wendy and Barbara – who also work at Needles & Knits were sent urgent calls and texts from us, as we were told that they had the pattern, though similar, they were not the exact match.
In the end, Tove came to our rescue and recreated the design by drafting up the chart and pattern for us :)
July 29, 2014
Fair Isle Knitting aka “stranded knitting”, the technique for knitting two or more colours of yarn in the same row. In traditional Fair Isle knitting, you will typically only work with two colours per row.
We are very grateful that Wendy, who works at Needles and Knits has taking on the role of “Fair Isle Coach” to guide us through knitting our first Norwegian sweater. Wendy, who has several years of experience knitting all types of fair isle patterns, coached Sumbo in her first Fair Isle project - "the Rowan vest." Fair Isle is Wendy's specialty and she has knit some very complicated fair isle patterns over the years
Wendy took Tove’s chart pattern and plugged it into an excel spreadsheet for us. The pattern is broken down into 3 border sections, in repeats of 8 . The chart is a visual representation of the pattern to help us see when to switch from the main colour (MC) to the contrast colour (CC) and vice versa. Fair Isle charts are also read from the bottom row, from right to left, to mimic the movement of knitting in the round.
Our first task, prior to meeting with Wendy, was to complete the ribbing in a round, using K1, P1 for 2 inches. You would think that this would have been a relatively simple and pain free task, however, Sumbo’s ball got tangled, and after 30 minutes of trying to untangle, decide to cut the yarn and add a new ball. Lorri cut her index finger on a broken jar, taking her a painful 14 minutes to knit a row.
With our completed ribbing on hand, we then met with Wendy at a nearby Second Cup for our coaching session. We had already added 16 extra sts to the total number of sts for the ribbing. Once the rib was knitted to 2 inches, we put 8 sts on a st holder and then cast on 5 sts for the steeks and then placed another 8 sts on a st holder. The extra 16 sts we had added were now on st holders and will be used down the line for the band at the front of the cardigan.
Lorri is left-handed and therefore her first attempt at multi-colour 2 handed knitting was painstakingly slow and awkward. Two handed knitting combines left-handed and right-handed knitting so you don’t need to keep stopping to untangle the balls of different colours you’re knitting with. Once we become proficient with 2 handed knitting with multi-colours, we will be able to knit quickly with two or more colours.
August 18, 2014
We have a new addition to our Setesdal knit along – Jacqueline.
Jacqueline, a seasoned knitter, has been knitting since kindergarten. She joined our knit along to learn the art of “steeking”. Jacqueline started a couple weeks after Lorri and Sumbo, and even with having to start over again (the sweater was too wide) using smaller needles and fewer cast on sts, she had no problem catching up and surpassing us. Lorri and Sumbo are in awe :)
Jacqueline’s pattern is from 1833 Setesdal Sweater & Jackets for Adults by SandnessGarn, using Yarn Hallow in Smoked Rose Petal – the yarn is gorgeous and feels amazing. One modification to the pattern, is that she is choosing not to add the lice to the body of the cardigan.
We have started working on knitting the lice, throughout the body of the cardigan. The pattern is relatively simple, and memorable One row of lice, two rows of plain knitting.
Needles & Knits