Sunday, September 20, 2020

Seems Like I Need Seams

Opportunity only knocks once, but temptation leans on the doorbell. ― Malorie Blackman, Boys Don't Cry

I am feeling grateful that we've emerged from a week-long stint of smoky skies to a beautiful, sunny, fresh day. I went out for a gentle jog this morning and breathed in the fresh air. I am not so naive as to believe that's the end of the smoke around here, but I am glad that we have had a bit of a respite for now:

I had a lovely video chat with a fellow knitter yesterday where we discussed our yarn pet peeves: over-complicated patterns, never buying enough yarn, and seams... we both avoid seams like the plague.

"Oh yeah, I'd much rather pick up stitches and knit things in one piece than sew a seam," I said, haughtily, high-and-mightily, like I actually knew what I was talking about...

... and then I spent the next two hours trying to pick up 102 stitches to avoid seaming a sleeve. Two. Hours. But let me back up...

I've been working on my re-engineered Dahlia Cardigan all week, slogging through thousands of stockinette stitches one at a time. I had to make myself sit down for ten-minute intervals to get the other front side completed by the weekend. Ten minutes seems to be about my attention span at the moment, much like every other toddler in the neighbourhood.

Anyway, once I finished both fronts, I figured I'd lay the piece down flat and pick up stitches at each shoulder so that I could knit the sleeves on without any seams. All I had to do was pick up 52 stitches on either side of the shoulder seam, except I didn't really think about how I was going to do that properly.

I figured I'd pick up 52 stitches from the centre on the right side, then turn around and pick up 52 stitches the other way from the wrong side. Yo, folks... that meant leaving enough yarn at the start to pick up 52 stitches purlwise from the back, and of course, I didn't do that right the first time. It sucked, big time. I spent ages pulling the yarn stitch by stitch from the first pick up to do the second pick up, and by the time I did that, the stitches were so loose that it looked like the sleeve would fall out with the mere suggestion of gravity. Another half an hour later, I'd picked at each stitch one at a time again to get the tension right.

It looks much better now. And that's just the first sleeve. I have no idea how I'm going to do it better for the second side, but I've got a few thousand stitches to knit to muse about it. So, about those seams...

Meanwhile, my low attention span has expanded to daydreaming about colour combinations that I've been seeing on tv. I was watching an episode of the Golden Girls earlier today (which is now on Prime and is the best thing to happen for months) and was entranced by an outfit Blanche was wearing. It had rose pink, apple green, brown, and gold stripes. It was lovely. Since then, I've been looking through my stash to find something similar. So far, I've found these:

Do I have a plan for this yarn? No, of course not. But honestly, I am enjoying these little tours into my stash in a way I have not enjoyed in quite a while. I think that's what you have to do in a pandemic: you have to look around and appreciate what you have around you, like little warm pups that insist on sitting right up against you:

I'm off to go make myself knit ten minutes of stockinette stitch. Have a great week!

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