Picking up the pace

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I’m nearly at the finish line for my Tangled Yoke Cardigan. After spending a few evenings knitting the neckband and picking up the stitches for the folded hem, I’m left with just the two button bands to finish. After some measuring and math, I figured out that I’ll have to pick up just under 300 stitches total to account for the changes in length that I made to the cardigan.

Picking up stitches and I do not get along very well. I had to do it for the Tubey that I made last year, and there are some fairly obvious errors, although none that are worth ripping out the entire body of the sweater to fix. Picking up the purl bumps for the neckband was bad enough, and this is in a much more visible location than “the inside of my sweater”. So buoyed by another tutorial from knitty.com, I proceeded to attempt to evenly space my stitches and make sure they’re in the same vertical line. The way the neckband pulls in made all this rather tricky, but after many attempts I got all of the stitches picked up for the left buttonband. Great, right? Except I’m pretty sure I picked up the wrong loop and will have to rip everything out as it’ll look funny. I’m going with it as it is now because I have a feeling that I miscalculated the total number of stitches and will need to do it all over again to get things the right size. I also have a feeling that given how sore my index finger is from being poked with a 2 mm needle repeatedly, if by some miracle the band is the right length, I can live with having picked up the wrong half of the stitch.

This is what I’ve started doing as a way to put off picking up those stitches.
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It’s my new traveling project, a slightly narrower version of the My So-Called Scarf from Sheep in the City. I like my scarves on the long and skinny side, so I cast on 26 stitches instead of 30, and it’s amazing how fast it’s been going–I’ve knit 3 feet of it in two nights. I’m using Manos del Uruguay in the Mar colorway that I purchased at Knit-A-Bit in Westfield, NJ. I met one of the owners and several of the knitters from Knit-A-Bit at Stitch ‘n’ Pitch at Shea in August, and they were so nice that I wanted to check their store out whenever I got an opportunity to. I was very impressed–they had a great selection of yarns and books (including many colorways of Manos and Lorna’s, and a wide variety of sock yarns), and were incredibly helpful. I went off my pre-Stitches yarn diet because the yarn I bought was perfect for a scarf to go with my navy peacoat, and I’d definitely go back when I got a chance.

The Manos feels much softer than I remembered it feeling (and than what I already had in the stash feels like), so I hope it’ll still wear decently. As with most handpainted yarns, there’s enough variation between the two skeins that I bought that I decided I ought to wind both skeins into one big ball and alternate between knitting from the center and the outside.

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And finally, a splash of color to counteract all the gray we’ve been having the past few days. It may have been in the high 70s earlier this week, but it’s still nice to be reminded of summer.

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