Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Gremlins

Wow, it's been almost a week since my last post! I have a terrible habit of sitting back after writing one and basking in its doneness that I forget that I should write another one!

Part of the reason I haven't been writing is that I had a serious attack of the winter blues. Bleegh, sigh, cold, argh... It's cold and it's dark, and I'm gravitating towards sad stories of things gone wrong, people not well, and standing around shaking my head, tut-tutting and wondering what it's all about. Really, what is it all about?

Luckily, all this hmming and hahhing and sighing gives me ample time to sit down and knit whilst I contemplate the meaning of it all. As of last night, I finished the sweater for my mom, the Chic Cables and Lace Cowl Neck Sweater by SweaterBabe. It hasn't been easy. In fact, it was a struggle, but I think that's my own darn fault.

First off, even though it explicitly says in the instructions to go through and highlight the information for the size you intend to make, I didn't. "Nay," I said. "I am a seasoned and experience knitter. Highlight, you say? Pish. That's for suckers."

So, I didn't. And then, after knitting that luscious cowl, I starting on the shoulders... and after 5 inches of knitting, I was ripping back to the cowl, because I got mixed up in the sizes.

I must say, however, that if you're thinking about knitting this sweater, it is an extremely quick knit (provided you don't get cocky, like me). I probably could have finished it in a week, if I'd stuck to my usual lunch-hour-and-three-hours-after-work routine. Bulky weight yarn and big needles. What more can I say?

There are still modifications in my version, however. In the notes of those who did make this sweater on Raverly, it is mentioned again and again that this is a close-fitting knit, which, if you knew my mom, she just doesn't do. So, instead of decreasing five times towards the waist, I only decreased three times, then knit it straight until I increased for the hips (five times, instead of six). I also made it a touch longer, 25 inches instead of 24.

As I was knitting, however, I started to worry. It looked so small. All the little gremlins of worry started to circle around my head. "You should have knit the medium.," one said. "She'll never fit into it," another said. When I bound off and wove all the ends in (of which, there were only four - I love wool), I looked down at my bag, and saw that I still had a whole other ball of wool in there - this after thinking that I wouldn't have enough. "See," gremlin three said," you have a whole ball of wool left. You could have made a medium. What a bad daughter you are."

I shook off the gremlins, and they went squealing behind the couch. I grit my teeth. It might be fine, I said to myself. "You are delusional!" gremlin two said, before I kicked it back under the cushions.

I wet-blocked it immediately, and you know what? It's fine. I may steam-block it to set the size, but for now, I think it's ok.

It's interesting, this handmade clothing-thing. It's been a real opportunity for me to try to embrace my mistakes and my imperfections, something that I've always found hard to do. And it's a real balance between trusting my instincts and accepting failures.

I can't wax philosophical for too long, though. I have to cast-on for another Christmas project, but it's a small one - should only take me a week. Those gremlins are still behind the couch... but maybe they have a purpose after all.

Looks like one gremlin has emerged, though! And he's really not supposed to be up there:


fsf said...

Gorgeous sweater! And I love the shot of the gremlin behind the couch. [Sigh] I am so envious you have time to knit ~ Frances

kibbles said...

What a lovely sweater!!! I'm sure your mom will love it. :) Cute gremlin, too!