Sunday, June 15, 2008

Stopping (or rather, finishing) and starting

At long last - the Hex Coat is done! And I am happy to add, I love it. It was a lengthy project ( I started it at Bodega Bay last March) but it wasn't nearly as much of a slog to get done as I actually anticipated. I did get pretty sick of moss stitch by the time the back was done (which was the final piece) and the hexagons were much more fiddly to do than I expected, but all things considered I never reached a point of not being able to stand the sight of the thing sitting around the house any more.

The hardest part of the hexagons was just the size and weight of the whole thing. Each hexagon is picked up and knitted right onto the front edges in the round on double-pointed needles, and that was a small amount of knitting to keep flipping around with a big weight in my lap. I did the majority of them before sewing the coat together, but it still was a lot of weight. But now it's done!

The neckline is really beautiful, sitting very high up on the back of neck. The photos in the book don't show the neckline at all so it was a pleasant surprise to see how it is shaped. After all of the hexagons for the front were done, I did a 3-needle bind-off for the shoulder seams, and then finished the last three hexagons that cross over the shoulder line and go around the back neck.

So to recap - the pattern is the Hex Coat from Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature book. I used Cascade 220 worsted-weight wool instead of Lite Lopi as called for, which means I had to adjust the stitch counts, etc. due to my smaller gauge. Both the book and the yarn were gifts from TW - what a guy!

And as any knitter worth her/his wool would do, I've cast on for my next big project. The first sleeve of the Must Have Cardigan from Patons "Street Smart" booklet is well underway (actually, I finished it last night so the photo is a little out of date already). This cardigan has been very popular out there in blogdom, which is how it came to my attention in the first place. I'm even using the yarn called for (a rarity for me) but in a different colour - I'm using Paton's Classic Wool Merino in Aran Tweed, which is a greyed cream with tweedy flecks in blues, browns, and a little black; a great wear-with-everything colour for me. I'm doing the sleeves first to act as a life-size gauge swatch (the pattern just gives a gauge over stockinette stitch) as well as to get them out of the way sooner than later.

As is often the case with Aran-style knitting, the stitches in this cardigan are not as complicated as they appear. All of the row repeats are in multiples of 4 rows, and the wrong-side rows are simply knit the knits and purl the purls - nothing new happens on the wrong side. I did change the working method of smallest cable-like pattern that frames the larger central diamonds. The pattern had a fiddly slipping stitches from needle to needle while wrapping the stitches with yarn maneuver, while the final result was extremely similar to a stitch from the recently completed Loksins socks (in last week's post) that was far easier to work. Otherwise, I'm following the pattern pretty closer (also a rarity for me!) and so it's proving to be quite relaxing to knit.


VickeryKnits said...

That coat looks fantastic on you!!!

hovercrafteel said...

The Hex Coat looks great! I look forward to seeing it in person. -- Kirsten