Saturday, November 15, 2008

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    Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.
    -Anne Sullivan

    I'm glad we're all so in love with my Dale sweater. I am, too. In fact, after being a good Marine wife and making Christmas decorations for the squadron this morning, I decided this afternoon was a nice sunny time to sew the steeks. Plus, I'm trying to ignore the fact that it's 84 degrees outside in November.

    So, there I was successfully sewing in the arm steeks. No problems there. And then I went to re-read the instructions for the neck placket. I quickly noticed that I'd bought the wrong size zipper, but since I still need the shock cord for the bottom, that's ok. And then I read and re-read the instructions for what felt like the umpteeth time, trying to figure out the neckband/placket instructions. Those of you familiar with the . . . brevity . . . of Dale patterns know what I mean. And then I realized - she said, with a sinking feeling - that I had neglected a rather important section of the instructions relating to a certain "Pattern IV" that was supposed to hold the place of my placket and make it all nice and tidy. Hmmmm . . . too late for that part now that the sleeve steeks are sewn.

    Are you following any of that? Recycling yesterday's photo for clarity, there are supposed to be vertical lines of black with 5 white stitches in between running from the top of the center star (the divet in the middle) to the neck band. The white stitches are the cutting stitches and the zipper goes in between (with some facing added that I still haven't quite figured out). Obviously, I forgot to cast off the 3 neck stitches at that point, which I had realized earlier, but figured I would just reinforce them afterwards. It's this Pattern IV of vertical lines that is missing. I was just cruising along on the pattern, enjoying myself too much to look at the directions.

    As an aside, I also realized that the downside of being small and making the XS (which is a healthy 41" in Dale-land), is that I had to cut off some of the fun patterning on the sides - those two side snowflakes are just not there. Le sigh.

    So, anyway, what should I do? Any knitters experienced in Norwegian sweaters, feel free to chime in. And everyone, feel free to weigh in on the aesthetics question:

    1. Should I put a placket zipper in in spite of the missing vertical lines? Or just add the neckband and have a crewneck? (photos with zipper here, similar sweaters without zipper here and here)
    Pro: I had always planned to.
    Con: I'm actually completely in love with the way it looks now, with the center star being so prominent and I think it's not as dominant with the zipper.
    Pro: I like plackets, zippers, etc. for versatility, and being able to unzip if it I get too warm.
    Con: Too warm? It's already stranded Heilo. It's warmer than my parka.
    Con: It's easier to make a crewneck.
    Pro: After spending a gazillion hours knitting it, what's a few more for the zipper?
    Con: It will likely look better as a crewneck given the Pattern IV issues.
    2. And while we're asking questions and all, which should I make next?

    Lake Louise? Notre Dame? Or have you seen the slightly more modern (and lighter weight, if I used Daletta) Liberec, brand new for the Norwegian 2009 Ski Team?

    If it does have a placket, I'm definitely reading the directions all the way through many many many times . . .

    3. And, for the existential among us, will knitting all these sweaters convince either my husband or the US Navy or both to move somewhere I can wear them?



    Anonymous Carrie K said...

    My sole brush w/DoN is sitting in its box unknit. Brevity is not the soul of clarity. Also: I feel your pain. :)

    A zipper isn't going to make the sewater that much cooler for San Diego weather, I'd leave it as it is, with a crew neck it's really gorgeous, then I vote for Notre Dame.

    Yes. If you knit for it, you will be stationed for it? Wasn't there a movie about that? ;)

    11/15/2008 5:40 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Lake Louise...

    And otherwise... go for the crew neck. That star is too stunning to cut up with a placket. This was the universe helping you avoid a mistake.
    (oh, and it's stunning).

    Meanwhile, I keep hoping for a nice sportweight wool/cotton blend to make things like Lillehammer I can wear one without cooking.

    11/15/2008 10:47 PM  
    Blogger Wool Winder said...

    Gorgeous! Since you can't go back and add the placket, I think the best thing to do it make it a crew neck.

    11/16/2008 5:34 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Theresa, go for the crew neck, It is too beautiful to cut now. GM

    11/16/2008 6:05 AM  
    Blogger Dorothy said...

    So far it seems to be unanimous and will add to it - it would be a shame to cut into that beautiful star! As much as you like knitting Dales, there is plenty of opportunity for more plackets in your future and the placket isn't going to really cool you down that much. I think the Navy really ought to send you up here to Whidbey Island, don't you?

    11/16/2008 6:56 AM  
    Blogger Valerie said...

    Hey Theresa, not sure if this would be helpful, since I'm not even on the same knitting planet as you, but I remembered a pattern from Interweave Knits that is knit as a pullover and then cut, and it seemed to have some interesting color work - I went through my old mags and found it - Northern Lights Jacket in the Fall 06 issue. Good luck with it!

    By the way, I loved your Veteran's day post. I hope your hubby stays safe and well!

    11/16/2008 9:17 AM  
    Blogger Valerie said...

    PS apparently you would have to buy the Northern Lights pattern at interweave, because it's not actually IN the magazine. Lame...

    11/16/2008 9:22 AM  
    Blogger Jerry & Maxy said...

    Crewneck. Liberec.

    I, too, very much appreciated your Veterans' Day post.

    Your energy and crafting prowess amaze me.

    11/16/2008 9:58 AM  
    Blogger Angelika said...

    If you absolutely wouldn't want the sweater ;) I'd take it off your hands. Yeah, like that's ever going to happen, right?

    11/16/2008 12:10 PM  
    Blogger alligator said...

    Wow! It is beautiful! I vote for making it a crewneck. The center snowflake is just too pretty and I think without the pattern iv you would lose too much of it.

    Make Lake Louise next and you can have a placket in that one!

    11/16/2008 3:31 PM  
    Blogger Nanette said...

    I'd actually probably try to cut it because I like to cause knitting disasters. LOL I would ask on the Dale group on Ravelry. I am starting Whistler this week so I get to have some placket fun of my own!

    11/16/2008 10:25 PM  
    Blogger JayJay said...

    Yikes! It looks so perfect, so I would probably just do a crewneck. Either way I'm sure it will be beautiful.

    11/17/2008 12:16 PM  
    Blogger Pam said...

    I'm late chiming in, but in my experience the best way to get to move somewhere you NEED these sweaters would be to spend a lot of time & money on bathing suits and beach clothes. But then I'm that way . . .
    It's a great sweater - I'm glad you're not cutting the neck.

    11/17/2008 4:39 PM  
    Blogger Mary Lou said...

    I have done several DoN with zippers in the front. It makes them easier to get on, but I don't think it makes them that much cooler. It will definitely distort the appearance of the star to do it now, so I vote for leaving it. Then you have an excuse to start the next one with a zipper.

    11/18/2008 7:20 AM  

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