Last week I had some free time to dedicate to testing this pattern.
This is my first "top down" seamless garment and I must say that I have mixed feelings. I love the fact that when I am done knitting I will not have to sew any seams, but....the knit seems sooooo long! Of course no longer than knitting the garment in pieces, but... when you knit a sweater in 4 or 5 pieces you have "thresholds".. oh.. I finished the back! wow, I finished front! Whoopie! I finished the sleeves, now I just have to sew it together!
And then there is this knitting with the circular needles... I learned how to knit using the traditional "english" method with long needles and with the yarn coming from the right. I keep the right needle under my right arm and I hold the yarn in my right hand, tensioning it by wrapping it around my pinky and "throwing" it over the right needle.
With the circular needles this method is very difficult. First of all because the needle points are very short so you can't hold the right one still under your arm or in your belt. So if you hold the yarn in your right hand, each time you have to "throw" the yarn around the right needle you have to let the needle go with your right hand (so you can throw the yarn over it) and hold it in your left hand, but then what about the left needle??? now... if you are familiar with Elizabeth Zimmerman you know all about circular needles and top down construction. You also know that with circular needles you knit using the "continental" method.-
Supposedly the continental method of knitting was abandoned in the US, England and Western Europe during WWII because it was the common knitting method in Germany and Heaven forbid we should knit like the Nazis!! But then again ... in the US and around the world many women of Jewish descent knit using the continental method and so I doubt the whole German Nazi Knitter thing is true! Yes.. I do tend to go off on tangents.. sorry!!
With the continental method, you hold the yarn in your left hand (I still tension it by wrapping it around my pinky) and you "pick" the yarn up with the right needle to make the stitch.. It took some doing.. but I am now fairly good at this method also... the advantage to knowing both methods is, of course, that you can knit easily with two colors by holding one color yarn in each hand.. but that is another story!!! and so.. remember English knitters are "throwers" while Continental knitters are "pickers"!!!
Back to Mara's Cardigan!! I have successfully completed the little cap sleeves and two button holes.. and I am to the point just under the bosom.. so I'd say about half way done. I love the yarn I am using and I really love the colors!! Purple and apple green!! The buttons I picked up in Pesaro last week are perfect - as you can see from the photographs! Next week I hope to post the finished project!! That's it for now!