Elwing Calafalas – It’s done!

Time is a weird thing. I’ll never quite understand how a few hours can stretch into an eternity, and why the same three months can feel like a heartbeat for one thing and like an eternity for another.

This make felt like it was a long time in the making, but according to my blog (trusty friend) it didn’t take much longer than 3 months. Which, to be fair, isn’t that long for knitting a cardigan.

Either way, it’s done 🙂

Finished Elwing Calafalas

Overall, I’m very pleased with how this turned out. There are a few minor details that haven’t turned out exactly as planned. One of the sleeves is a bit wider at the wrist than the other, and I might have to think of a way to remedy that. Since there’s no way I’m going to frog and reknit it, however, I’m not quite sure how … maybe something will come to me.

The cardigan was knit as a top-down raglan, and I fitted as I went. Mostly that turned out great, even though the yarn stretched a bit more than expected when I blocked the cardi and it now has generous ease. Probably not a bad thing for layering in winter, tho.

I really like how the picot edging turned out. It was a lot of hand sewing, but I did become better at it and it does give a very nice finish. Now I think about it, the sleeve thing might be because I finished one of the sleeve edges before and one after I blocked – another lesson learned.

Buttons

After some deliberation, I decided to go for a button band with a one-stitch-twisted-rib stitch, and it turned out fine. Of course I sewed on one of the buttons in a slightly off distance to the others … which seems to be one of my favorites. I could fix that easily, but right now, I’m not bothered, so it stays.

The buttons came out of my (rather sizeable) stash of vintage buttons, and I think they go very well with the cardigan, adding to the somewhat rustic yet light feel of it.

The goal was a simple, somewhat traditional cardigan, and I think I met that goal. It has a weirdly bavarian touch to it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing 🙂

It’s done!

Lo and behold – actual knitting!

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe other people are perfectly capable of maintaining a balance. Keep doing the repetitive tasks in their life at designated times, and hence be able to enjoy their spare time in an orderly manner.

Over here, things are of a more transient nature. One week, the focus is all on knitting socks (for any value where “week” == “more than a few hours”), the next ALL.THE.JEANS are calling out to me, and then maybe a round of knicker making. I try to fit the necessities somewhere in between my day job and those fanciful obsessions. Mostly, that works fairly well, but  it’s in the nature of the beast that things proceed on a less than even speed.

Elwing – button considerations

I could try and justify the slow progress on Elwing Calafalas by the summer, but you are well aware that we didn’t really have much of that, so it’d be a lie.

First I was distracted by the Caterpillar Cardigan. Then sewing took over. And then it dawned on me that it’s only 4 weeks until the next HUGE expansion in my favorite MMORPG will be released, and it will have mounted combat and horses you can train and I am 15 levels away from being able to do that. (Any of you playing Lord of the Rings Online?)

Taking a break

But despite all that, Elwing has been growing steadily, and at this point, all that’s left is a whole lot of hand sewing and the button bands. Or zippers. Soon as I make up my mind, I’ll let you know 😀

The hand sewing is because I decided against ribbed anything, and have done all borders in a picot edging which needs to be sewn down now.

Like this:

Elwing – pocket detail

And this:

Elwing – neck detail

And this, too:

Elwing – bottom edging

Now, my question for you – should I add some one-by-one ribbing and buttons, or should I apply this sort of picot facing to the front and add a zipper? I really, really can’t decide!

Elwing Calafalas: More progress

Yes, I still knit!

No, not as much as I’d hoped for. Do you ever find that when your life gets a bit chaotic, and you KNOW that the best thing for you would be to sit down and pick up some nice knitting, and within hours you’d feel better and more balanced – you don’t knit?

I don’t know what it is, but I’m having trouble focusing on my needles at the moment. Or, actually, I have trouble sitting down at the moment, and I regard that as a requirement for an evening of delightful knitting. Le sigh. Things will change again, and I hope soon.

Anyways, some progress was made on my Elwing – I’m past the pockets, and nearly done with the body, yay!

Pocket separated

The pockets were made by separating 25 stitches onto another needle, then knit until they measured ~20cm, and then I knit a picot border, and joined the pocket stitches back in.

Pocket picot border

Now to finish the body, and start on the arms – maybe this weekend. But then, there’s a vintage market to attend and a movie to see …

Let’s hope the weather holds up!

Elwing Calafalas – progress

Steady progress is being made, however not as much as I  wanted. Last week turned out to be busy on the social front, and since the incessant rain finally stopped, I was quite happy to spend some time on roof gardens, on the lawn in the square, and walking by the sea.

Elwing Calafalas

I am still in love with the yarn, maybe even a little bit more so then in the beginning. Because the colour is just made up from the natural fiber colour, it’s ever so slightly variegated, and if you look closely, you can even see the two different fibers from the Corriedale and the Hebridean.

CF – up close and personal

My little celebratory give-away is still open, so if you’d like a handmade notions bag from me, just pop over here and leave a comment!

Elwing Calafalas – yarn

Again, I’m using Blacker yarn, this time an organic Corriedale and Hebridean mix, which obviously means the sheep are reared organically.

~Hebridean Sheep~
Source

However, if you check out this breed, you’ll find that the Hebridean are often used for conservation grazing. The Hebridean Sheep Society has some interesting info about what that is and how it works here.

In a nutshell:

Hebridean Sheep have established a reputation as the breed for the management of delicate ecosystems. Their dietary preferences are different from those of other breeds and this, coupled with their ability to thrive on vegetation with poor energy values, makes them a unique management tool.

And look at this badass ram:

Badass Hebridean ram
Source

Doesn’t he look formidable, with the four horns? I wouldn’t wanna mess with this guy! In this breed, the rams and ewes both carry horns, with the rams occasionally having four. Scary shit, I say.

But their fleece are great, and the yarn I’m using is mixed with Corriedale (sadly, it doesn’t say to which percentage on the band).

Corriedales look more like your “normal” sheep, and have been around for quite a while, after being introduced almost at the same time in Australia and New Zealand.

Source

My yarn is a light grey, it’s soft and springy, and it looks like it’s going to wear well, but obviously only time will tell.

Elwing Calafalas

Let me tell you a bit more about my new cardigan, which I have christened “Elwing Calafalas”. According to this handy elven name generator, that means challenging times. It’s an apt description of how my life feels right now.

Elwing Calafalas is going to be a rather simple affair, knitted from the top down with raglan sleeves. I am not following a pattern, but making it up as I go, as I didn’t find anything that really spoke to me – and I have a somewhat clear idea what this sweater should be.

I measured my neck, and made a gauge swatch to determine how many stitches I should cast on for the back (50). Then I added 1/3 of the back stitches to either side (2×16), and then 1 more stitch, so my setup row reads: 1 – 16 – 50 – 16- 1, separated by markers.I rounded down for the arm stitches, not up, because I found that more often than not (sock heels being the great exception) it’s easier towork with even numbers of stitches.

Elwing Calafalas Setup

You can see the markers (if you look closely) in this photo.

Then follow the yoke increase rows, where I made 10 extra stitches every right side row by kf&b every 1st and last stitch, and every stitch before and after a marker.

At ~3 inches down, I closed the front by increasing 2×2 and 1×16 stitches for a lowish crew neck.

And finally, when the diagonal lines along the arm increases measured 10 inches, I put the arm stitches on scrap yarn, cast on an additional 10 stitches to close the sides beneath the arms, and am now set to knit about a mile of stockinette. Yeah.

Elfwin Calafalas yoke done

I get bored by endless rows rows of stockinette just like any other person, but the vision I have for this sweater is a simple, all-day kind of piece.

The edgings will in all likelihood be a picot edging, like this one here. And if I don’t change my mind again, it’ll get a zipper.Oh, and pockets. Definitively pockets.