Decisions, Decisions......

Being a home-based mail order retailer has it's advantages. It gives me a great "excuse" to have lots and lots of yarn. The photo I showed you last post is only a small part of my "stock". That's a definite advantage.

I love the Alcea Pullover in the new Simply Shetland 3 book -- here's a photo of it.

I SHOULD knit this up, as designed, to use as a display sweater for the one and only "live" retail event I do every year -- the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters' Guild Fair in September. So I should knit this up, as a pullover, to use as a display sweater at the Fair Sept 2007 right?

The problem is, I LOVE THIS DESIGN, and would get much more practical wear out of it if it were a cardigan. So, do I knit it as a cardigan for me, use it in the display, and explain to everyone that the design as written is a pullover, but you can easily make it a cardigan the way I did......or knit it as a pullover?

I have been trying my long double-pointed needles. I actually cast on for the Alcea Pullover and have knit a few rows of the corrugated rib. I'm finding that the long dpns are getting in the way -- or could it be something (or somebody) else in the way?

What do you think? You can see that I'm in danger of being stabbed, Daisy is in danger of being stabbed, the furniture is in danger of being stabbed -- how do they do it?

Well, actually, the Shetlanders do their "in the round" knitting on two needles, and knit onto a third. They put the front have stitches on one needles, the back half stitches on another needle, and knit onto a third -- that way they are always only really dealing with two needles. It sounds strange, and you'd think that the stitches where you go from one needle to another would be wonky, but I've seen it done and they aren't -- they (the Shetlanders) will tell you that everything straightens out when the garment is washed and blocked. (This is fine for a smaller sized sweater that you can fit onto 16" dpns, but when you're doing a 48" sweater, that's 24" of stitches on a 16" needle -- too scary to contemplate. The Shetlanders of old were much smaller people I think!

Most of the knitting in Shetland these days is done by machine (for commercial sweaters), and by the looks of the needles available in the yarn shops there, they have discovered circular needles -- so maybe this isn't an issue any more.

So, for "full sized" sweaters (meaning MY size), I think I'm going to have to stick to my circulars. But, I will use my dpns for flat knitting (I really like them!), and will try my next smaller fair isle project on them to see how it works!

I've been busy babying Daisy this week -- I finally decided that she wasn't ever going to have puppies, and had her fixed -- so this week I've been making sure she doesn't do to much and hurt herself -- not an easy thing to do with a Westie -- but it's been a full 9 days now, and her stitches come out on Monday -- so she's feeling much better and playing with her toys again!

Here she is playing with her orange fur ball (one of a set of 4) and her "Big Mean Kittie" doll -- which gets thrown around the living room quite regularly!

DECISION -- Alcea Cardigan for me -- and I'll write up the modifications I did for anyone who wants to knit it "my way". (Sometimes it helps to "talk" about your decisions -- and I have to thank Jane from MT for helping me decide -- Thanks Jane!)

Happy Knitting!


  1. Alcea is the one sweater in the book that appeals to me. But it's shown so doggone Huge on the model! Shall be looking for Alcea updates for sure! And an extra doggie cookie for your Westie!

  2. Snuggles to Daisy! Glad to hear she came through OK.

    I love the idea of knitting with 3 DPN's. But, I can see where it may a bit difficult if you're working even a 42", like I would.

  3. Anne- I'm sure the procedure was much more painful for you than it was for Daisy.
    I'd do the cardigan- it demonstrates that you don't have to follow patterns to the letter, and guess what- most people probably won't even notice.

  4. I think the cardigan is a great idea! For many of us, a cardigan is much more useful than a pullover, and it never hurts to show customers that a design doesn't have to be knit "as written." I'll be looking forward to seeing it!

  5. I think that Alcea design is just beautiful. And, I turn everything into a cardigan. It is too warm where I live for wool pullovers. I think you are on to a great idea here.

  6. still using 5 pins & belt here, much easier on the arms & posture than circs.

    OTN Inishmore.. Cant wait to be snuggled up inside this mound of blue faced leicester yummyness during the days I gota go play hunt the lamb on the hills



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