Amy Artisan

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On the Podium…

Back in 2006, I was just dipping my toes into blogging when the Yarn Harlot announced the first Knitting Olympics event. Since the Artisan family has frequently crafted during the Olympics, I was game for it. I attempted my first lace project with mixed results…yes it was completed in time but it now serves as a table cover instead of a shawl. In 2008, I went for a do-over & selected the same lace pattern in a different yarn. This time, the results were wearable!

Late last year, I started to think about what my winter Olympic knit challenge would be – since I’m currently on the road for work with plenty of evening knit time in the hotel room, I thought grander than before…what about knitting a cardigan? The pattern was selected, the yarn was ordered, the perfect buttons were found…I swatched and was ready to go. As the opening ceremonies began, I cast on for the sweater & quickly got going. Before long I was at my first roadblock…umm, I started with the larger needle & it should have been the smaller…so I started over again. By the end of the opening weekend, I was about 3/4 of the way through the yoke of the sweater & feeling pretty confident.

I figured that I would make great progress on the body of the cardigan that first week in the evenings. Work had different ideas & I think I knit maybe 10 rows by the time I came home. At this point I seriously questioned my choice of knit for the Olympics & was already preparing for defeat…seriously, why would I think I could tackle this? However, once I was back home my focus for that weekend was knitting on the sweater and by the time the weekend was done I had finished the body of the cardigan and starting on the first sleeve.

Once again I headed north with grand plans for evening progress. On Monday night I was making great progress…until I realized that I had completely misread the decrease instructions for the sleeves & had to rip back about 30 rows. Because I had picked up more stitches for the arm I then had to do a bit of scribbling on the hotel notepad to rework my decrease approach would be. On Tuesday evening I had recovered from the rip back and on Wednesday evening I thought I was ready for the final edging – but I held off till Thursday to confirm that I liked the length of the sleeve. On Thursday evening I finished off the first sleeve.

On Friday, I was up early to drive home & then had a bit of work that I needed to do. Just before 4PM I started on sleeve #2 and was finishing it up at 11PM. On Saturday morning I quickly got started on the button bands. Then the cardigan took a bath (Soak Celebration seemed appropriate) & overnight it dried with a fan on it on the dining room floor. On Sunday morning I sewed on the beautiful buttons & had a lovely sweater. (An overcast day & a temperamental camera remote make for few modeled shots.)

The details: Green Tea for the Gold!

Tea Leaves Cardigan in GoGo Grassy Dream in Color Classy with Buttons from Jennie the Potter

(Journal of the event in Ravelry)

Artistic Points: I went with 3 buttons instead of 2; I knit the body about an extra inch; I centered the buttonholes in the middle of each gathered section of the yoke; For the sleeves I ended up with 78 stitches on the needle – so I did the decrease row every 5 rows for a total of 10 times; I went with about 3/4 length sleeves

Technical Deductions: I’m very dissatisfied with the yarn – I have knit with Dream in Color in the past & have made some great smaller items. The color contrasts among the skeins of this “non lot numbered” yarn were vast & not always evident until the skein was wound up. Most of the body of the cardigan is striped because I had to alternate 2 skeins of yarn every 2 rows. I think this is a single skein project yarn only from here on out.

Overall Score: Wow – I can’t believe I knit this in 2 weeks!

Now that the Olympic torch has been extinguished, I’m still a bit in awe that I knit an entire sweater (with sleeves) in 2 weeks…and after so much knitting time in such a short window it is time to rest the needles for a bit & switch gears – evenings in the hotel are for reading this week…but the needles are calling & I plan to cast on a “reward” project this weekend with my Olympic Medals yarn…

6 Comments

  1. Wow. That was fast and it turned out just great. Definitely a gold.

  2. Amy, you’re Amazing!!! Definitely worthy of a Gold! Looks awesome and what a beautiful colorway you chose!! Love it. I’m Green with Envy! šŸ™‚

  3. Funny how, just when we think we can’t, we come through with flying colors! Your cardigan looks terrific and fits great.

  4. Congratulations Amy! That is awesome. The sweater looks great on you!

  5. The sweater looks great!! I knit 198 yds of Heaven shawlette with Classy and enjoyed working with the yarn. Didn’t take more than one skein so I didn’t have matching issue.

  6. I can’t believe you knit that in two weeks either! *I* couldn’t do it if my life depended on it. It looks fabulous.

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