Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The "Saga" Saga

Ahhh yes, the saga of the "Saga".  Lopi sure named this sweater design appropriately.  And what's a girl to do when it's 90 degrees in the shade?
Why, break an unfinished sweater out of hibernation, that's what!  Winter is on it's way, especially if you are as negligent on the knitting front as I have been lately.

The other day, I pulled this baby out of its dedicated Rubbermaid bin and had a quick look-see.  It's been a few months since I worked on it, and I have no clue what happened that I put it aside and seemingly forgot about it.  (Well...actually what happened is I started a boring black mohair shawl that kept getting more boring with every added row.  I was hoping to complete said shawl before a vacation last November that never materialized.  Dejected both by the aborted vacation and the boring-ness of the shawl, I fell behind in my knitting.  I can't take its blandness any more, but I am still plugging away.  It's nearly done, but inspiring it's not.  And then I attacked my sock knitting machines early this year, and the rest, as they say, is history).

The colours of the Saga are magnificent, the wool so lofty, the knitted fabric light yet incredibly warm.  I am as much in love with Lopi as I was during The Great Slipper Explosion that marked the spring of 2010.

It's been prohibitively hot here for the past few days, as evidenced by the thermometer.  We don't have any air-conditioning in the house and the thought of sitting with pure wool touching any part of my body, save for my hands, makes me break out into a sweat.  (Really, you don't say? is what you're probably thinking).

Nonetheless, I plunked myself at the kitchen island, put the fan on full-bore mode beside me, and started to bash away at the Saga.  It's amazing just how quickly it grew.  As far as knitting goes, it's also quite addictive working  with a colour chart.  You want to keep going just to get to the next colour. There's a lot of motivation involved, and charting your progress is visually measurable as your Post-it note inches its way up.

I had already finished knitting the body up to the yoke.  One sleeve was already started, and within one day, I had it finished.  Létt-Lopi knits up quickly on 5 mm needles.  For every 2 rows, that means you've got about 1 cm of knitting done, for every 5 rows, you've got an inch.  It grew quickly.
I am now finished the second sleeve, and this means I have to put my thinking cap on to do the yoke.  Basically, you start knitting on the middle front, then knit most of the stitches from the sleeve, (keeping some live stitches from both the body and sleeves on waste yarn that will later be grafted together under the arm), then you knit the back, the next sleeve, and when the yoke is finished, you steek the front.

Steeking involves taking your sharpest pair of scissors and cutting a perfectly good sweater down the front, to sew in a zipper or knit or crochet on a button band.  If knitting had an extreme sport division, steeking would be in it. The thought alone sends my stomach into fits, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.  I still have a way to go before I attempt that operation.
So I will continue to bash away at my colourful little sweater, and have given myself July 21st as a completion date.  That's the next time our informal little knitting group meets, and I'd really like to have it done for show-and-tell.  Last time I showed up with the black mohair shawl and when everyone asked me if it was finished, I let out a big sigh.  Knitting black is boring, painfully so.  If you're a knitter, you'll probably understand.  The rest of you will just have to trust me.  On the other hand, colours are really stimulating.  I dream all sorts of colourful dreams full of creative endeavours when I knit on my Saga before going to bed. 

It's no wonder I wake up exhausted.

Now that I've made myself accountable, I had better break out the needles and get this baby done, once and for all, hopefully before July 21st, or before the snow starts to fly.

Which ever comes first.


Robin said...

That is so funny. I had to giggle at your boring black shawl comments. I am impressed at your talent. I need to try and knit something again but I think I will wait until its colder. :D And not use black yarn.

Shim Farm said...

Oh - definitely don't use black - nothing good can come of it! LOL...just joking of course, but it is quite demanding on both the eyes (time for new glasses!) and the psyche. I had no clue just how profoundly colour affects me, but the bright Saga vs. the Black Scarf from Hell experiment taught me a few things.

Yeah - get back to knitting again! Your climate's made for Lopi...I can't tell you just how warm and waterproof (yeah! really!) it is!

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