Have I told you all about this project? It's my Knitter's Dude by Andrea Rangel.
Oh man, it kind of consumed my life for several months. It is perhaps the most epic and difficult thing I have ever made, but it was worth it. I taught myself all kinds of new tricks for this one. I've been knitting since I was eight years old, so I didn't really think there were that many new tricks to learn...boy was I wrong.
I have never been a fan of catching floats when doing colorwork, especially with highly contrasting colors like I was using. So, I went to the Ravlery hive mind to figure out a better way to do the colorwork. I found a knitter who has employed a really cool technique often used in machine knitting and very clearly outlined in the It's Not About the Hat pattern. It was well worth the $6 pattern to learn the ins and outs and what-have-yous of this technique, and my contrasting yarns are invisible, even over the 24 stitch floats required for the pattern.
After many years of resisting magic loop (for reasons I don't understand), I finally caved when I started thinking about doing those patterned sleeves on double pointed needles. It's so easy and it works beautifully and I really should not have resisted for so long. I am knitting all of my socks using magic loop. Silly knitter.
The most terrifying thing I needed to learn was the steek. You know, just cutting my epic colorwork tube in half. No big deal. I used the technique outlined by Kate Davies, and it worked pretty well. I should have paid more attention to how I was doing the steek stitches while I was knitting, because a few places start to unravel. I ended up having to re-reinforce in a few areas to keep it all together, but that was pretty easy with the Cascade Eco yarn. Overall, her method is top notch and very clearly explained. I believe it was Elizabeth Zimmerman who suggests starting the steeking process with a shot of whiskey, and that might have been wise. I can highly recommend a lot of light and a steady hand, although the method I used made it very easy to see where I needed to cut.
Stay tuned for more...