"I have Autism, but Autism doesn't have me."

I started this blog to share my thoughts on what is life as a stay-at-home mom. With changes that have developed and shaped our characters here on the homestead, this is now Tristan's blog (Captain's log?) about life with Autism. We will be sharing various topics, focused on Autism, ranging from the professional focus to being in the parent's seat and how every day is different from yesterday and may not come close to tomorrow. There is much to continue learning when it comes to Autism, and as a family, we are sharing our experiences along the way. Pull up a chair, learn, then go out into the world and make a difference with what you've gleaned. Knowledge is Power!

Monday, May 3, 2010

How to Transform a Cardigan Pattern into a Pullover Pattern

"Let me turn....."

"Ribbing on sleeves"

"Stockingnette Stitch for body & sleeves"

"How Do I Look?"
Now, I'm not an experienced knitter; I barely learned by teaching myself and a high level of long distance encouragement from a dear college girlfriend to go ahead and learn how to knit. I've been at it for about a year now, and I absolutely love it! It took me 20 years, most of them spent in discouragement on my own part plus the factor of being left handed while the women in my family are all right handed, just to learn to crochet; so I didn't plan on learning how to wrangle two needles, let alone one hook! Mind you, I consider myself a creatress, and love the challenge of a new project and the pursuit of the end result. The road always goes in two directions for me each time: I either don't try it again or love it so much that I can't resist to keep going in the direction of additional like projects.
I was given a huge bag of yarn, needles, and books not too long ago-I think it may have been just before the Fall melted into the cold of Winter by a neighbor-sweet soul. After sorting through, orgazining my new "stash," I started working on other fiber projects-hoodies, hats, scarves, etc...then, it hit me to try a sweater. I trialed increase and decrease stitches by experimenting with baby booties, and after the results of swiss cheese or moth eaten outerwear, I almost gave up on the sweater idea. It was right after that thought I looked in one of my "new" books again. Two sweater patterns, one for a toddler and one for a baby. The baby pattern is increase/decrease stitch loaded, so I looked at the toddler pattern a bit more closely. That's when the lights went on; I could see how you can alter a cardigan into a pullover with measurement modifications to the pieces, as needed. As I worked each panel-there's a total of four (one for the front, one for the back, and one each for the sleeves), I wondered about ribbing for the cuffs, bottom edge of the sweater body, and the neckline. Ribbing is NOT my best stitch, no matter how many times I've painfully followed the directions and almost resorted to using my needles as kabob skewers instead of the knitting they're made for; although, my understanding is that knitting needles can be used for so much more than just knitting.....
As I completed the panels for the sweater body, stitched each panel together where indicated by pattern directions, I settled into the idea that I was going to try ribbing. I managed, after much thought, a way to work my ribbing so that it works for me and how I can grasp the stitch. After some time, an additional week of fiber work and tearing out stitches-experienced knitters call it frogging-I managed to put the final touches on my toddler's new "spring gardening sweater." Happy with the results, I'm working to turn my modification over for publication. I'm not reinventing the wheel, mind you. I'm giving hope to other beginning knitters like myself that you don't have to make millions of scarves or hats before tackling a sweater for someone you love; just look from a different angle. Pattern directions in my next post.....~Mom

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