I’m not sure, but I do feel the word “pioneer” almost always demands an exclamation point after it. Not in a commanding sense, as in attracting the attention of said pioneer to yourself, but in a joyous, almost cantabile way. In my head it sounds like Ralph Wiggum singing the opening line of “O Canada”. But I digress.
I have finished something, yaaaay! As is almost always the way with these things you keep on putting off, once you actually sit down and make yourself finish a garment, it goes by far more quickly than you were anticipating. I only had one sleeve to do on Pioneer (Rav link), the collar and the bind off to re-do on the other sleeve but, as I am discovering more and more, procrastination seems to rear its ugly head in me, even more so when garments need something unpicking. It’s can be quite soul destroying. Even when it’s not, like it was with Pioneer (just a sleeve edging, not much, 30 minutes work max), the “why destroy when I could be creating?” mentality comes over me. Ho hum. Anyway, back to Pioneer(!). I enjoyed making this. Despite some gauge issues at the beginning (20sts over 10cm on 3.75mm in SPORT WEIGHT?!), I cast on quickly and within a few short evenings I had almost reached the underarm section. Then I went away to Stratford (this was supposed to be travel knitting) but the allure of Dark Isle socks came too much.
Pattern: Pioneer by kbomb (it’s from Knitty and free but I can’t find it, it’s the Rav link)
Yarn: Louisa Harding Kashmir DK
Needles: 4.5mm (body) and 4mm (neckline edging)
– No crochet neck edging, I can’t crochet. Instead I redid the moss stitch edging from the sleeves and bottom edge. This also added enough so that I can wear it without anything underneath and not feel like a scarlet woman.
– Lengthened sleeves – not really a short sleeved t shirt fan
– I added a couple of increases at the sides of the back panel, the original pattern has no shaping at all and, let’s face it, my body shape is by no means the body shape of woman modelling the top on the pattern.
– I changed the increasing part of the pattern by not doing yo, I didn’t like the effect (yos are for lace and buttonholes and I have yet to be convinced otherwise). Instead I did coordinating M1 increases. An increase row went a little like this:
Knit to in pattern to one stitch before marker, RLinc, k1, sm, k1, LLinc and so on a so forth. I thinking that’s right, I always get my LLincs and RLincs mixed up. Do whichever you prefer! Here’s what it looks like:
I have turned it upside down so it looks like it does when you’re knitting it. Sort of.
– The thing I love the most and am most proud of about this pattern is the finishing. I wanted to give it a little extra something so I decided to try out a tubular bind off. As with most new techniques, my shining light in the woolly darkness is TechKnitter. Immensely useful and knowledgeable lady. If you have not added her blog to your Google Reader feed, do it. Do it NOW!! I’ll wait, it’s fine. Done it? Honestly?! Ok, onwards! Link to the tutorial is here. However, I only did one of each set up row and in moss stitch pattern:
Round one: Purl over every knit stitch and slip every purl stitch
Round two: Slip the purl stitches you’ve just done and knit all the slipped stitch (ie over the previous round’s purls).
Follow the whole slipping stitched onto alternate needles and graft together as described by Her Techness.
Try it. It’s a damn sight easier when you’ve got yarn and needles betwixt your crafty hands. It took me a while to figure out which combination worked best but I’m quite happy with how it turned out. Photographic evidence:
I’m not convinced it’s my bind off in shining armour I have been looking for but I like it, it makes a difference from the traditional cast off and looks neater. I also tubularly bound off (??!!) at the hem but I messed the grafting up. So no photos of that, I prefer to hide my shame.
More generally, this is a really nice pattern, I think it’s a good starter project for anyone new to topdown projects. It’s simple enough and the cable motif keeps you interested. Ooo, speaking of the cable pattern, here’s the back.
The yarn is nice and springy and I’m hoping it’ll get even softer after a wash. I’m not a big one for soaking and blocking, I appreciate its role in the knitting process and I WILL get into it one day but when I’ve finished something, I just want to get it on! Now all I have to do is finish the other three cardigans and jumpers I have hidden around the house.