Sunday, December 13, 2015

Brain-Tipper, Finger-Tester

One tends to give one's fingers too little credit for their own good sense. -- Elizabeth Zimmerman
I like to think of myself as a pretty confident crafter. Once I know what I want to make, I can usually wander my way through a project until I get what I want. It usually means a lot of squinting at the ceiling for me, because that's what I look like when I'm trying to figure something out in my head. I guess I'm hoping that the answer is going to be written up there somewhere, or maybe I'm tipping my brain backwards in the hopes that the answer I'm looking for is going to trickle down through the mess that's in there. Either way, I'm usually pretty good at fumbling my way to the the goal...

... until this sweater came along.

I've spent a bunch of time fretting over this sweater. I realized this weekend that I really haven't knit myself many sweaters recently, and so my ideas of sizing and yarn allowance is really skewed. As a result, I'm still really not sure about this project. Is it too big? Too small? Too long? Too short? What ho, Goldilocks? Is it ever going to be just right?

But, as with anything you do, you can either give up or keep on going. And I'm nearly there.

I've learned a few things while knitting this:
  1. You need a lot more yarn than you think if you're knitting anything with a ribbed pattern.
  2. If I'm worried that I'm going to run out of yarn, I knit faster.
  3. When I knit faster, stop a lot more often to look up other patterns for plans in case this project doesn't work out.
  4. When I look for other patterns, I knit faster still, because now I have other things I want to make.
Knitting is a terrible affliction at times.

I had to keep re-imagining what I wanted this sweater to be as I worked away at it. Having abandoned the original pattern, my final goal was still somewhat hazy. At first, I thought I wanted it to be a fitted sweater with a tall collar with buttons that went all the way up to the neck... except, I realized this weekend that my fingers had actually knitted a v-neck sweater that would probably fasten at the bust, at best. 

Well gee, fingers. Thanks a lot.

That meant I had to ditch the tall, ribbed collar and knit a ribbed edging along the fronts and the neckline, which is pretty, but I'm still getting used to the idea.

I also had to re-imagine the sleeves from the long, wrist-length sleeves I wanted into a three-quarter length (or, if I'm honest, two-thirds) sleeve, because I was rapidly running out of yarn. The option to get more was out of the question, because this is a discontinued colourway of Cascade 220. The final bind off for the second sleeve was a bit of a nail-biter, because, as of the final stitch, I had 5 inches of yarn left.

Note to self: Stop buying discontinued yarns.

Second note to self: You've got a couple of bags of discontinued yarn upstairs that you probably don't have enough of either. Ya big dummy.

The whole thing is currently drying after a long soak to block out all my uneven stitches. Oddly, it shed a lot of dye in the water: I had to change the water three times before it looked like it was going to stop, which is odd for Cascade yarns. I'm still not sure of it. I'm debating whether or not it needs buttons, and if so, what kind it needs. I looked through my button jar, and the only ones that looked close to suitable were these ones I got at an antique mall a few months ago. I think they might be a bit too red, I don't know. I might have to have a wander through one of the local yarn shops to see if there's anything better. I'd appreciate an opinion or two here, really.

But there are still some things about it that I think I've done really well. I liked the way I bound off all the edges using Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, which I've used so often that I can now do it without looking. I actually do it with a crochet hook, which makes it easier for me to keep it even. Yup... the fingers did a nice job with this one:

So, here I sit with a wet sweater that I'm not sure of. What now?

I think I'll plan a project with this yarn. I've got five skeins of it. I think I'll make a sweater out of it. And, oh yeah... it's a discontinued colourway, too.

Looks like I'll be doing a lot of brain-tipping and finger-testing again. Yay me.

1 comment:

YarnKettle said...

Oh I like your interpretation of the sweater. I bet it will look great on you.