Mystery yarn & picking up stitches

One of the next steps after finishing the body of the cardigan is to use a sewing machine to sew two lines zig-zag stitches on either side of the middle stitch of each steek.

Use my sewing machine?

Can’t remember the last time it’s been used. Considering the pile of stuff that’s accumulated around it, I’m sure it hasn’t been used for a couple of years – maybe even since I took up knitting in earnest. Instead of clearing my sewing area, I started spinning and got so caught up that I didn’t stop until I filled two bobbins.

Woolgatherings - Corriedale

It’s that roving I pulled out of storage last month. It was purchased from Woolgatherings at the Black Sheep Gathering a few years ago. I love the colors but have been too intimidated  to dive right in. Handling the colorful Kuani yarn has inspired me to give it a try. I’m hoping that splitting the roving lengthwise – one piece for each bobbin – will work out OK.

Zig zag stitchesMid-week my sewing machine emerged from the clutter and I managed to sew the zig-zag stitches as the pattern mentions. I’m not sure if this is necessary. My past two FI patterns didn’t mention doing this, but I though I’d give it a try. Kauni doesn’t seem to be as “sticky” as the VY wool I used for the Firebirds cardigan and the Roscalie vest so it’s probably a good idea.

After sewing the zig-zag stitches on each section of extra stitches (front, back and armholes), I grafted the shoulders together with a piece of orange yarn.

Begin left arm

Next, I cut the extra stitches (steek) on the upper left side before picking up stitches for the left sleeve.

This time I came up with a quirky calculation to figure out how to pick up the stitches evenly.

1. Measure the row gauge from the start of the armhole to the shoulder. Turns out I’m getting 8.5 rounds per inch.

2. Since 8.5 is a fraction I doubled it to get 17. That is, 17 rows for every two inches.

3. The stitch gauge is 6 stitches to the inch so I doubled that to get 12 stitches for every two inches.

4. From the last two steps I now know my pick up rate – 12 stitches within every 17 rows.

5. After sifting through several number combinations to find a pattern that will match my rate of 12 stitches in 17 rows, I settled on the following.

Following the rows on the body, *pick up 2 sts in every row, skip 1 row, pick up 3 sts in every row, skip 1 row, pick up 2 sts in every row, skip 1 row, pick up 3 sts in every row, skip 1 row, pick up 2 sts in every row, skip 1 row*. Repeat from * to * until 114 stitches have been picked up around the armhole

By the way, there’s another online shop that will ship Kauni to North America. It’s Astrid’s Dutch Obessions and the website is in English. I haven’t ordered from her before so I can’t vouch for the service but I have seen her postings on Knitter’s Review under “Sales and Shop News”. I’m glad that there’s one more source out there for us on the other side of the pond.

Sorry that I have no review of Jean’s DVD. I finished watching it this weekend and started a post but couldn’t get back to the computer tonight to finish it. I should have it ready Wednesday.


Answers to comments:

Frances, I don’t consider myself a fast knitter, especially since I’m quick to rip out anything I don’t like. I might seem fast because I tend to work on one thing at a time and try to fit it into my schedule whenever possible.

KarenJo, I haven’t taken Peg McNair’s class but it sounds interesting. I’ll have to check into that. Thanks.

8 thoughts on “Mystery yarn & picking up stitches

  1. I’ve bought sock yarn from Astrid’s Dutch Obsessions (I’m in the UK) and she’s very helpful and fast, a lovely person to deal with.


  2. Wow-za! The spinning looks great! Maybe TMK got you inspired!
    The Kauni-Ruth’s Cardi is looking fab. I can’t wait to see it tonight!!!
    I keep hoping your patience and attention to detail will rub off on me! I’m detail oriented(goes with programming, huh?) but you are DETAIL ORIENTED!!!! I’m always intrigued and I learn so much from you.
    Thank you!


  3. looking good, looking good! I did NOT do any zig-zagging or anything on my steeks (never have) and they are nicely stuck together … I don’t own a sewing machine, so that’s probably the real reason –
    once we’re all done, we should somehow get ourselves together for a Kaunival!


  4. Melinda, you are knitting like a house afire! My Kauni hasn’t arrived yet, but I know that I will have great success with the help from your blog. You are so kind to share all the gorey details! Knit on!


  5. I love the Kauni Cardigan and am waiting to order my yarn (slight back order) — how are you doing with yarn amount? I know each skein is about 1200 yds — is that ample? I am tall and not the smallest cherub in the choir (48″ size for cardi). Do you think 2 skeins is enough?? Thanks!


  6. I live in England and regularly buy yarn from Astrid’s Dutch Obsessions. She is always helpful and orders arrive very quickly; you can order from her without any worries at all.


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