I am thrilled that I have gotten this far knitting my Miette cardigan by Andi Satterlund. I had been told, by some of my blogging buds, that the Miette was a good beginner’s sweater, but when I looked at the pattern it was like Greek to me. I never would have been able to get started without the help of the lovely ladies of Seattle Yarn‘s knitting night. In one evening, I learned all the stitches I needed to get going and I was on my way. Okay, that is not entirely true, I had to knit the first two rows, three times, before I got it right, but then I was on my way!
Since everyone on the internet has knit this sweater already, there are a lot of really great online resources, like Gail’s Miette Knit-Along. She covers the whole process, from establishing your gauge to the finishing stages, so I will definitely be referring back to her posts as I go. I found her blog right when I was removing the sleeves and she suggests trying your sweater on at this point.
Since I consider myself to be pretty new to knitting still, I need a lot of hand holding. My co-worker Lauren coached me through putting the stitches for the sleeves onto scrap yarn. This made me so nervous for some reason. My circular needles weren’t long enough to try my sweater on at this point and Gail points out that you can put half of your stitches onto another set of circular needles and then try it on. I then found this great tutorial on how to try on a top down sweater, so was able to put the pieces together on how to move the stitches to a second needle and try it on.
I was so anxious to try my sweater on because I was beginning to panic that I had picked the wrong size to knit. I tested my gauge and everything, but at the time I started my sweater, I didn’t understand the negative ease thing. The sizes offered in this pattern are for bust sizes of 34, 38 and 42. I have a bust size of 36″ and didn’t want it to be too small, so I chose to knit the 38 size. I then came to learn that, according to the way negative ease works, a 34″ inch bust, with the 2″ of negative ease, would have a finished dimension of 36″. Oops.
Trying it on reassured me a little. It doesn’t look like it will be too big, even once I add the button bands. I have also read that some sizing issues can be fixed in blocking. I just hope that once I knit the bust darts, they aren’t too saggy. My gauge was about a stitch under, depending on how you held the swatch, so I am hoping it will all work out.
I did have a moment putting the stitches back onto one needle, that I realize I had done something wrong. Originally, I think had just put a stitch on wrong and then in trying to fix it, dropped it off the needle completely. It was a total head shaking “oh fuck” moment, like “now I’ve really done it”. Things had been going so well! I thought I was going to have to stop right there and wait to bring it into work the next day, so Lauren could tell me what I did and fix it for me. Somehow I ended up fixing it though. I’m not even sure how I did it. I just kept trying stuff until it looked right and I had the right amount of stitches on the needle again!
Other than that, I’ve been having so much fun knitting this sweater. There is a reason why so many people have knitted Andi’s patterns, they are so pretty and cleverly designed. The Miette is so cute with the lace edges, but is simple enough for a beginner, since it’s mostly stockinette in the middle. I am so glad I picked the Miette as my first sweater. It’s challenging, but I am not too in over my head, so it’s encouraging me that I can do it, rather than scaring me off. Thank you Andi, for designing it. So far, it’s been the perfect entrée into knitting garments for me!