I have been in a state of knitting inertia that has lasted about two weeks—and is not completely over. It started the weekend of Halloween, when I took out Sirdal’s sleeve so I could finish it quickly, get to the steeking, and complete the sweater. I want to spend the next several months on new and more interesting things, but I also want Sirdal to be an FO. I’m eager to work on the Philosopher’s Wool sweater I had started, not to mention one of two Alice Starmore sweaters (either Mara or the Oregon Cardigan). I left off on Sirdal in the spring after I had knit the cuff.
Sirdal does not have a ribbed cuff. It has a cuff that is closed with buttons.
The buttons I chose are designed specifically for this sweater, and I wanted to knit my first stranded sweater according to the directions. But if I did that, the cuff would have been huge because I have very thin wrists, and my woes started when I tried to make them narrower. Rather than recount my sorry efforts here, I’ll direct you to my earlier description. But I can summarize by saying that four tries were not enough. Try #5, intended to get a right cuff, only ended with a second left one, and I don’t know how this happened. I have sewn dozens of blouses that have cuffs, and I know the drill—the cuffs have to be mirror images of one another. But this is what I saw just before the lights (heat and hot water) went out—for three dark and cold days.
Until that point I was congratulating myself on being done with the backward stranded knitting. The cuff is knit flat, and I’ve had to knit some of the rows backward. I can now do stranded knitting backward, but I’m painfully slow at it—and the thought of doing it yet again is what has caused me to actually stare at the TV without knitting or spend a fitful hour on my “traveling” projects while I knew I should be using the cool weather to get on with sweater knitting. This weekend, I finally mustered the effort needed to cast on for the right cuff after constructing some new, large charts with what I hope are goof-proof markings.
Only time will tell if these charts will guide me to a successful cuff, but I’m at the point where I might defy the local ordinance against bonfires and set the sweater pieces ablaze if I don’t get it right this time.
I must say that the nor’easter did not contribute to my eagerness to frog and cast on anew. After our nearby transformer exploded, the business of living in the dark seemed to consume all my energy. We got only six inches of heavy, wet snow, and sustained no damage, unlike my neighbor who is now restoring his fence.
Our main concern was keeping the birds warm, which we can do by keeping pots of water simmering all day and night on our gas stove. This practice, however, requires that someone remain awake at all times to be sure that our house wouldn’t catch fire. So we took turns watching the stove at night. Also, by Monday, we could no longer sleep in our 50-degree bedrooms, and had to move mattresses nearer to the upper floor, where the water was providing heat. I felt incredibly grubby after just three days of this, and I don’t know how our Connecticut neighbors managed in 7 to 10 days without power. I had enough by day 2.
I can now say with certainty that any attempts to grow fall vegetables are pretty much over. I never expected my garden to look like this at the end of October:
With that potential distraction removed, I should be able to focus on the right cuff—and I hope I can finally manage it.