Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ordination Sweaters

Ordination season is upon us. And while there are many options (see our "Gifts for Priests" posts), I'm currently exercising a preferential option for knitting sweaters.

I'm hard at work on the Twisted Pine Pullover for Deacon Pat, who will be Father Pat in a few short weeks. I had expected to fly through this sweater- after knitting a DK Aran sweater for my husband for Christmas, I thought a simple cabled worsted/bulky weight would be done in no time. The main thing that's slowing me down? The dark yarn.

Will I finish in time? I hope so! But as I knit to the finish line... er neckband, I have a few do's and don'ts to share.

1. Pick a pattern commensurate with your skill level and the time you have available.
Here are a list of some nice patterns that are free or available from your public library:
85-6 Pullover (a Tree of Life-esque motif)
Cobblestone Pullover
January Aran Sweater (EZ)
#17 Man's Cable Sweater

Also, substituting a simple knit and purl pattern can make a stockinette pattern look more elegant. Just make sure you get the same gauge.

2. Knit the front first. Push comes to shove, you can knit the back and sleeves in stockinette.

3. Consider a vest instead, especially if it's for a warm climate. Vests have less positive ease than a sweater, so it will knit up faster.

4. Pick a washing machine friendly yarn. Sensitive to wool, Berroco Comfort has been my go to yarn. I quote Therese, "This is acrylic?" The heather line is especially nice.

5. Use needles that contrast with the yarn for maximum visibility.

1. Knit in black, navy, dark green, etc unless you have a lot of sunny daylight knitting time. Burgundy, slate blue, oatmeal, and gray are all nice masculine colors that are much easier on the eyes and brain.

2. Start too late. It's better for a project to be gift wrapped in the closet for months than to be weaving in ends on the way to the cathedral.

3. Make it too hard on yourself. If you have a group of Church Ladies that knits similarly enough, farm out the pieces. Just make sure the yarn is all in the same dye-lot and matching parts are blocked to the same size.

Do you have any other tricks of the trade or patterns to share?

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1 comment:

Thérèse said...

This will vary depending upon your knitting style, but I always modify patterns to work them in the round. I'm much faster at knitting than purling, and when I'm done knitting, I have that many fewer seams to sew. I also find it a bit easier to "read my knitting" when I'm always looking at the right side.