Baby Norgi

August 4, 2005

Baby Norgi

I've started a new project: the Baby Norgi sweater from Knitty.


I never would have considered knitting it if it weren't for Felicia's gorgeous progress photographs.

There is no baby in mind for this sweater. I may save it for my someday future child, or give it as a gift if something comes up. I just like the idea of knitting this little sweater as practice in Fair Isle and steeking. It will just be a finished project when done, and not necessarily a garment.

The yarn is Louet Sales Gems Pearl a very soft fingering weight. Cream is the main color, with dark brown and grass green accents. Seaport Yarn didn't have the right shade of grass green, so I substituted Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Loden.

The Louet yarn is very very soft.


I am working at keeping my Fair Isle not too tight..apparently that is tricky.

The needle sizes for this project are soooo small - US 0 and US 1. They make the project feel very delicate.

August 10, 2005

There's Something about Fair Isle

There's something very addictive about Fair Isle.. it keeps you knitting and knitting, with promises of full revelation.


After the bottom Fair Isle chart, I buckled down for the tedium of white stockinette knitting. Figuring it would take awhile, Baby Norgi became my subway project. It was 100 degrees out, but there I was, subway knitting to and from work, anticipating days and days of imperceptible progress. But then it was done in no time! Gotta love baby sweaters.

Here's an (unblocked) reindeer.


With the top chart completed, there is just the neck shaping to complete the body. Unbelievably speedy!

Then, two sleeves and the inevitable cutting.

August 16, 2005

Closer to cutting

Getting closer to the inevitable cutting of steeks.


The Fair Isle on the sleeves was much more tricky than the body. Especially the little green parts. I redid the green crosses three times on one sleeve before arriving at something akin to reasonable tension. Its due to the DPNs I think. Irregularities in tension cleared up with blocking.


One sleeve I steam-blocked and the other I wet-blocked. Can you tell the difference?
P.S. In real life, they are in fact the same color.

Here's a bit of the reverse side of the Fair Isle.


Now, the next step is to work up the nerve to send this through the sewing machine.

August 23, 2005

Steeks, conquered

Ah yes, there has been successful steek-cutting.


I was most nervous about sending this little sweater through my sewing machine. Its a decent machine, but it tends to get away from me.. and sewing straight lines on it is not exactly my specialty.

After a bit of practicing on the subminiature swatch, I decided to baste in some guides.


This is pre-cutting. The blue threads are visual guides, whose basic function was to reassure me that I was still sewing in a straight line. They are 3 stitches out from each interior line of stitching. While sewing, I made sure the side of the presser foot maintained an even distance from the guides. Afterwards, I removed them. Quite helpful!

The steeks are not completely perfect. As you might be able to see in the image above, there are areas where they are kinda wavy. But I think this will not impact their effectiveness. *hopefully*

And the inside of the cut steek.


August 28, 2005

An Exercise in Finishing

Baby Norgi is so so close to being done. This little sweater requires a fair amount of care in finishing. There are all sorts of details that must be attended to.

First, I sewed down the sleeve hems. They were the easiest.


Then, I set in the sleeves. This was a little tricky, but not too bad. I consulted Vogue Knitting for the technique.


Next I sewed down the bottom hem. I pinned it all around with safety pins before sewing it. About halfway around, I discovered that picking up only one strand of the CO edge results in a nice, smooth hem. (in the photo below, I believe this is on the left side) There's no noticeable difference from the outside.


I've never done anything with a sleeve facing before. This is about 8 rows of knit stitches at the top of the sleeves. They get sewn down inside the armholes and cover up the cut steeks. Makes the inside look all nice and neat.


And now, all that's left is the neckband. When picking up stitches around the neck, I tried to err on the side of too many stitches rather than not enough. I'd rather have the neckband be a little too big.. to make sure it will fit its someday wearer!


August 31, 2005

Finished Baby Norgi

Baby Norgi is all done!


The Specs:
Baby Norgi by Wendy Johnson
Size: S, 24 inch chest.
Gauge: 8 sts to inch; size US 1 and US 0 needles.
Yarn: Louet Gems Pearl in Cream (3 skeins) and Caribou (1 skein), Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solid in Loden (1 skein)
Pattern Modifications: None. I only ended up using 3 skeins of the cream color, not 4 as the pattern specified.

Some Notes:

1. Louet Gems Pearl is simply the softest yarn I've ever experienced. I recommend it for Baby Norgi and for other projects. I am already thinking about the sport weight version for a sweater project.

2. This project was not boring. Often, a knitting project will become tiresome to me about 3/4 of the way through. I manage to get through to the end, but its not nearly as engaging as the beginning. However, Baby Norgi was totally interesting.. all the way to the end.

3. Steeks. They are not too bad! Thinking about doing them? Go for it. They are totally within reach. I used Wendy's Steeking article, and read through it about 3-4 times before it really made sense. Next time I do steeks, might try the crochet method.

4. Knitting a baby sweater for "noone in particular". Um, am I trying to scare off dates? Give my mother false hope? Really, I just wanted to try the technique! In the process, I've found that baby items are actually quite fun to knit. They are fast, potentially perfect, take just a small amount of yarn.

This was one of my favorite projects *ever*. The knitting was engaging and challenging, and I am completely satisfied with the final product. My next Fair Isle project just might be this capelet from Wrap Style.



diana AT streetsandyos DOT com