Monday, August 22, 2011

Epic Adventure with Dale of Norway

Two years ago my brother gamely agreed to wander into a yarn store with me. As I was browsing through yarn patterns looking for a hard-to-find DON pattern, he spotted an M.C. Escher-like pattern that captured his fancy.

I agreed to make it for him and purchased the pattern. A week later, I ordered the kit from Allegro Yarns and cast on as soon as it arrived. I knew that knitting an XL sweater on US2 needles would take a while, so I believed (mistakenly) that if I started right away I could build up enough momentum to sustain the knitting all the way through. Not so. I got about a third of the way up the body and then took a long hiatus as other projects lured me away. But, it bothered me that this beautiful sweater that my brother liked so well was left sitting in a knitting bag, all but forgotten.

So, at long last, in May 2011 (nearly two years later) I committed myself to finishing it (witness my last blog post). Since then I haven't knit anything else. It sometimes took a lot more discipline than I normally possess to stick to it, but I did. I kept working away on this very large sweater with very small needles. And now it's done!

First, I finished the body.
That felt like a big accomplishment in and of itself. But then I started on the sleeves (simultaneously) ... the never-ending sleeves!  My brother is 6'4" and has long arms, so I wanted him to have the luxury of sleeves that were actually long enough for him.
Next, it was time to cut the steeks. I always feel as though I'm going to have a panic attack at this point. So, I talked myself through it by measuring, re-measuring, checking, re-checking and going slow. That helped a little.
I then sewed up the shoulder seams and sewed in the sleeves. Can I just say that those steps took hours and hours?! I'm not sure why, but it took a very long time. My husband was away so I sewed and sewed the sleeves in while watching all 5 seasons of "The Wire" in a marathon session lasting 2 days. When I was done I felt incredibly depressed about the conditions of life in our American cities, if not the entire country, but happy that the sweater was one step closer to being done. I think this is why I knit ... to find a little bit of happiness in the midst of a world that's in big trouble.

Anyhoo, after the sleeves were finally in, I was able to tackle the neckband.
Next came the placket and the buttons and then I was done!
Here is the back:
Here is a close-up of the back yoke design:
And, finally, here is a shot of the inside:
I liked how the pattern called for a self-facing of the inside sleeve seam to cover up and secure the raw steeked edges.

Phew! That really was an adventure! But, it was made with love and hope that it will keep my brother warm for many, many winters to come.

Signing off.

Happy Knitting to All!