Stitch by stitch…

I have been posting pre-progress and in-progress photos of my Sixareen Cape since I purchased the yarn in early March. Anyone not familiar with the project could easily think — wow, this Knitting Sarah is the slowest knitter on Earth! Each photo is about 3 rows further than the last — it looks like I am moving at a snail’s pace! While it is true that I was just writing about taking my time & the merits of slow crafting the other day and that I have indeed been taking my time (not to mention busy with all the outside-ness of spring here), I thought I would talk about this project a bit today so that you can see the big picture of what this project entails & why it is such a labor of love for me.

Let’s rewind to when I found the yarn — I told y’all about the surprise I had when I walked into Cream City Yarn & found that they were carrying Quince & Co. yarns. When I first spotted Kate Davies’ Sixareen Cape, I instantly had this idea of using Quince & Co Finch. I had reservations only because this yarn was not available locally & I much prefer to have the actual colors in front of me when choosing yarn for colorwork projects. When I walked into Cream City Yarn and found myself face-to-face with it, well, it was just fate. After some deliberation and input from the very helpful staff, I walked out with my palette and hugged the bag the whole way home. Excitement doesn’t cover what I was feeling.

You are probably wondering, what’s the big deal about this yarn? Yes, it has very good word of mouth these days — as far as yarn brands go, Quince & Co. is definitely pretty ‘hot’ right now. Beyond that though, the reason I was so excited to use it was — once again — the whole ‘American wool’ thing. Obviously, this is something I care about & am spending time learning about through The Great White Bale. On some level, I think I have started to see American wool as sort of on par with an endangered animal. Finding it in a shop was like seeing a Whooping Crane in the wild. When it happens, you commemorate it; the Crane by way of a photo even if it’s a little white dot, the wool with a project.

Because the yarn has this special hold on my heart in that it grasps at a disappearing industry in this country, it was instantly a labor of love. At just under 400stitches around, it has continued as such for well over a month. If you didn’t know, 396stitches around in stranded colorwork takes time even for the most skilled knitters. For those participating in the Merry KAL, this project is pretty much the absolute opposite side of the spectrum. The Christmas balls we knit up in a day or an afternoon (PS–don’t forget that there’s a big giveaway for the KAL this month!).  The Sixareen Cape takes time & patience — lots of both!

In my eyes, this project is just unmatched in beauty, but as I said it is not for the faint of heart — it is for the devoted. Each stitch, each row for me has been an absolute joy. As the weeks pass & I plug away with a a couple rows per night, I feel like so much has been knit into this project — so many thoughts and ideas are a part of this fabric. Little by little the pattern revealed itself — not unlike a flower slowly opening its bud just to get a little overly poetic about it. I really can’t put into words the treat it has been.

I did learn early on that marking out each of the repeats with stitch markers was essential — the last thing you want at the end of a 400stitch round is to find you are one stitch off in the colorwork pattern… trust me on that! Once I installed the markers I had no trouble with the pattern until a couple nights ago. I was so excited to be within 3 rounds of the end of the colorwork chart that I knit later than I should have into the night & made mistakes. Out came about 5rounds of work the next morning, reminding me again that slowing down is ok. Stopping is also not a bad idea when you are tired. Let’s be honest though — we can chalk that up to advice I should but probably won’t heed next time around!

I finally made it last night. The colorwork section complete, I am now on the main color, upper portion of the cape. While the 396stitches are moving much faster in one color & larger needles, they are still long rounds and I will admit that I am looking forward to starting the decreases. I am excited to wear this beauty & I still have about 600yards of knitting to go!

In the mean time, while I click away, I thought I would compile my in-progress photos for you here and snap a few new ones so you can watch it unfold the way I did!

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The yarn…20130316-162935.jpg

The cast-on…20130318-132851.jpg

The start of the colorwork…20130321-085617.jpg

Here we go…

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Round by round…

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It grows…

(thank you to my good friend, coffee, for sticking with me through it all)

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Slowly…

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But surely…

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Stitch by stitch…

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All the way through the colorwork and on to the main color.

I am the first to admit my tension is not perfect throughout, but I am confident it will block out. I can’t wait to be washing & blocking & wearing this beautiful project!

5 thoughts on “Stitch by stitch…”

  1. Amazing! as fro the ripping out, I hear you – my first big lace project I ripped out far more than I like to admit. And it was before I learned about lifelines, so I painstakingly un-knit each stitch!

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