Friday, September 01, 2006

More on listening to your yarn.

When I first started knitting I was fearless with my yarn subs. Granted most, alright, all of my yarn subs were 100% Acrylic Caron Simply Soft. But hey, it worked... for the most part. We will never speak of the pink beret knit with bulky yarn when the pattern called for dk. It was a hat only Hagrid could wear. Hey, I was a noob, what did I know about gauge? And my mind was completely blown when I realized yarn came in different thickness.

The fact of the matter is things mostly worked for me. I found a pattern I like, I found a yarn I liked and I threw the two together regardless of the consequences. I got good at adjusting gauge and working the math. I've always been better at math than I allowed myself to be. (Why oh why do young girls think they can't be smart?) For the most part things turned out for me. There is truly something to be said for beginner's luck.

Because lately? It's not working for me.

Take a gander at the side bar. All those projects on the needles.

I mean, the project on the needle.

From my UFO August I have finished Five projects and frogged three.

I finished

  • The Spirit of the Southwest Shawl
  • Mon Petit Chou
  • My First Sweater Design
  • Anastasia Socks (which I will not be frogging)
  • Interweave Knits Eyelet Chemise

    I HAVE frogged

  • Somewhat Cowl
  • Lucky Clover Lace Wrap
  • Evil

    When I started my Somewhat Cowl I knew I was making a mistake. I knew the yarn was too stiff and itchy to be wearable against the skin in such a tight sweater. I knew the gauge was too small and that I don't know enough about raglan construction to properly adjust, so by the time the sweater was wide enough it was entirely too long. I'm all for a v-neck, but one that ends three inches above your belly button is entirely too deep. This yarn was not meant to be a somewhat cowl. I also don't think it was meant to be plain stockingnette. As I knit I kept thinking Cables. Cables would show nicely with this yarn. A cabled cardigan with a t-shirt underneath perhaps? Cables would be better for this yarn, yet I knit on. I knew it was a disaster, but I kept knitting for lack of better knitting inspiration. My time would have been better spent doing laundry, or scrubbing the bathtub.

    Evil. Well I frogged that sweater because, after all, it was evil. Now that the wool has been washed and conditioned it will be easier to work with. It won't be so stiff and carve deep grooves in my fingers as I knit. Now that I'm starting all over the sweater will hopefully have one continuous gauge throughout instead of three distinct lines where I let the sweater lay neglected for months then picked it up only to discover my gauge has changed. Now that I know more about sweater design and sleeve construction I am more confident about making this no pattern sweater for The Greatest. And if I can stall on it for a few more weeks we'll find out if we got the job or not, and if we did he won't need a heavy 100% wool sweater and I can sell the yarn on e-bay.

    My Lucky Clover Lace Wrap is my biggest disappointment.

    I love, love, love, love, love Knitpicks Shine. I love it. And I love this shiney apricot color it comes in. I ordered this yarn specifically to make the lucky clover lace wrap. I've been in love with this sweater since the moment I saw it. I've used the Knitpicks Shine on several children's sweaters and coveted a soft cotton sweater of my very own. See: pattern I love + yarn I love = knitting regardless of the consequences.

    Now I knew enough to know that Knitpicks shine does not want to be knit in a clover lace pattern. It likes stockingnette, and knit/purl textures, but not lace holes. So I was knitting this wrap plain. Just inches and inches of soft orangey fabric. And the entire time I was knitting I knew this was all wrong. Knit Picks Shine did not want to be a wrap sweater, it wants to be a raglan sweater.

    "But I want a wrap sweater."
    "So use a different yarn. I want to be a raglan." It replied.
    "But I bought you for this sweater"
    "Lady, I'm awfully sorry but this pattern isn't right for me. I want to be a top down raglan with a v-neck."
    "Look Shine, I like you a lot, but we're going to have to get something straight here. I am the knitter and YOU are the YARN. I tell you what you will be not the other way around. Now hush, I've got decreases to concentrate on"
    "Fine but you'll be sorry, you'll never wear me as a wrap."
    "Are you sassin' me Shine?"
    "No ma'm but I'd really like to be a top down raglan sweater with slight bell sleeves and 1x1 rib edging along the neckline and bottom. Try me on and you'll see I'm just not working as a wrap"
    "Alright, If you shush it while I finish the sleeves I'll baste you and try you on before I seam you."

    So I took my pieces and safety pinned them together and tried my almost done sweater on. My sweater that was going to be knit in a week and my final August UFO project. I was so proud of this sweater.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Don't mind my jammies under the sweater. I know that between the orange top and the coral pants I look like a sherbet swirl, but in my defense I don't intend to wear the top with these pants in public. And my arm looks odd, but that's because I'm holding the wrap shut.

    As you can see Shine does not want to be a wrap. Shine has been frogged. I only cried a little. I have printed the Incredible Custom Fit Raglan Sweater Worksheet. So hopefully Shine can fulfill it's dream of becoming a real sweater.

    I've got to start listening to my yarn!

    turtlegirl76 said...

    Can we try for a frog-free September? I think I'm gonna cry FOR you if I see one more announcement that something knit in it's entirety (or near) was frogged. I can't imagine it. I just can't. Good on you for listening to your yarn. I think I'd play mute.

    Bitterknitter said...

    It is a wise woman who heeds the subtle whisperings of the yarn (I need to do more of that, myself).


    Zonda said...

    Wow, that is a really nice color on you too! (don't worry, I focused in on just the sweater!;)
    So sad!! Can't wait to see it's new life! :)

    Ceci said...

    So, does that mean that you're becoming a Yarn Whisperer, or that KP Shine is a Knitter Whisperer...