Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Big 2008 Project - Fana Cardigan

I'm finally going to design and knit my own Norwegian sweater. I have been working up to it over the past few years, learning how to do stranded colorwork and reading about Scandinavian knitting in general.

I've read "Knitting In the Old Way", "Knitting in the Nordic Tradition", "Traditional Scandinavian Knitting". And all three of Annemor Sundbø's books (available here): "Everyday Knitting: Treasures from a Ragpile", "Setesdal Sweaters: The History of the Norwegian Lice Pattern", and her latest, "Invisible Threads".

I had been hearing about "Ethnic Knitting Discovery" on the web and debated whether I needed another book about Norwegian knitting. I decided I needed all the info I cab find and ordered it for Christmas from my husband. At the same time I started spending time on Ravelry and saw that the author, Donna Druchunas, is doing a Norwegian sweater knit-a-long based on her book. It seemed like I was getting a message - "it's time to do your Norwegian sweater". By the way, I am really enjoying Donna's book and so glad I got it. She encourages you to do it yourself, but gives you several levels of help. It's kind of like "Knitting in the Old Way" with tutorials.

The KAL blog is here. We are starting out making headbands to test yarns and learn patterns. I was originally going to make a yoked pullover. I enjoyed making one for my son (I haven't posted yet because I can't get him to wear it and hold still, plus it is still too large). I like working in the round, and not having to seam. I was picturing a white sweater with shades of pink, kind of Bohus, or pink with white designs.

The KAL is for a drop-sleeved pullover. And I already have a (purchased) pink & white Norwegian sweater, albeit a cotton cardigan. I am really drawn to Fana sweaters, and one part of my family is from the western coast of Norway, so I decided on that. I especially like the old cardigans with plackets bound in trim. So I'm not exactly doing the same project, I'll be making a steek up the front, and trying to set the sleeves in a bit.

The yarn is on it's way, I can't wait to swatch. I've done some charting, but need to know my gauge to continue. I'll post more after I swatch.


Kristen said...

Good luck as you embark on the KAL. I have always been attracted to stranded knitting and have made several items, but no matter what tricks I use I'm not satisfied with my fabric. Too tight and puckered. And I forgot to go up a needle size or two on my current project (Fana).

Janice said...

Thank you, my yarn came in last night. Now I have three little projects that I started while I was waiting that I need to finish.

I noticed that my fabric looks good on projects like this in baby yarn, but when I made a sweater out of Manos del Uraguay I could not get the tension right. I frogged all the colorwork on yoke, and did it a second time thinking it was really loose, but no. Hmm.