Today I woke Thor up by an enthusiastic rendition of the Norwegian birthday song, “Hurra for Deg som Fyller Ditt år!” (Click here to hear a more polished performance than mine.) I couldn’t wait for him to open his gift!
I used a cable called “Ragna” Elsebeth Lavold worked out in The Viking Knits Collection (see p. 54). It is a large cable set in between a set of smaller cables; I centered it on both the front and back sides of the vest. (If you aren’t familiar with Lavold’s work, you may want to take a peek at her designs. I am a fan.) I designed the pattern (it’s simple and really shows off Ragna), and knit it out of Tahki’s Chelsea Silk. (Anybody remember Chelsea Silk – 65%/35% silk/wool, 50g/150 y? Sadly, I didn’t have enough skeins in my stash to knit a whole sweater for Thor.)
For newer knitters: Here is a picture of my gauge swatch for this project. Notice it is large! When designing with cables, it is important to remember that your gauge over cables will differ – often substantially – from your gauge in straight stitch. Cables tend to “pull in.” Thus it is critical you gauge, and depending on your pattern, your gauge swatch has to be large enough to judge the effect of the cable. For large cable repeats, make sure your swatch holds at least one cable repeat. In this project, my gauge over straight stitch was 4 stitches per inch, and my gauge over the 40 stitch cabled section was 5.72 per inch. With those figures in hand, after calculating the width of my center panel and the equal sized-straight stitch panels on either side, I could determine how many stitches I needed to cast on for both the front and back pieces.