Tuesday, March 18, 2008

knitting and going nowhere

Do you ever have projects where it seems like no matter how long you knit the piece just always looks the same? Me too. Unfortunately all of my current projects fit this description, which might make for some boring knit blogging for a bit. I'll try to mix things up a little in the interim and not make you look at seemingly identical photos over the next few weeks. Anyhow, here's what's going on.

Yes! A gray tube! One of the more exciting photos out there, I know. This is the beginning of Snow White, and it's probably going to look just about like this for a few days. Or so. Not only am I going nowhere as I knit this, I went backwards last night. Or I guess spent time treading water. As I was working through the waist decreases, I had the feeling that the tube was getting too narrow. I am not a curvy person. I am quite thin, but do not have a defined waist. So I looked at the schematic, and for the size I was knitting (my correct bust size) I saw a finished waist measurement that was far too small. Like three inches of negative ease too small. It seems to me that negative ease is good in the bust area but not so good around the middle - most of the time you don't want to look or feel like you are being squeezed into a corset. I think (and I went through all of this in my head last night as part of my decision making) a sweater looks better when it can show off the good bits and drape nicely over the not-so-good ones. So after some complicated and erroneous knit math, I decided to eliminate two of the four sets of decreases to come out with, I thought, zero ease at the waistline rather than negative ease. This threw off the stitch count for placing the markers for subsequent shaping. I got that figured out, and realized it also threw off the lovely lines of the ribbing. I decided I could live with it. I thought I could figure out what to do about all the problems this might cause as they came up and it would all be fine. Then I figured out that my complicated math was wrong. Decided the best thing would be to knit a size medium for the lower body and a size small for the upper. Which makes no sense because if anything, my body shape is the opposite of that configuration. Oh well I thought, whatever I need to do to make this work, which meant frog everything and start over from the beginning. I took a deep breath, ripped the needle out of the work and got ready to start pulling out all those stitches. Then I thought, hmm, I should maybe try it on. Oh. It's fine! It's perfectly fine, it fits, and there is plenty of room to keep going with the decreases as written. Either my gauge is off in my favor or the schematic is misleading...but it's totally fine. So then I had to pick up all 104 stitches and put them back on the needle, which required a crochet hook and patience, as the Cashsoft is slippery. All that time and effort and I went absolutely nowhere.

A note to myself for future reference - TRUST YSOLDA. Just follow her very detailed, thorough instructions and you will be fine. Apparently she knows what size I am, even if I don't. Gretel was fine. Snow White will be fine. And that's great, because her newest sweater, Coraline, is another must knit for me. I'm thinking Elann.com Pure Alpaca Fina. The only question left is what color.

My other main project is the Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery from Spring 2008 Knitty. The day Knitty came out last week was very, very bad - one of those days where I should have taken the first of many hints and just stayed in bed in order to avoid chaos and disaster. Ugh. I cast on this scarf late that night with some alpaca from the stash in an attempt to have one redeeming thing about the day. After a few inches I decided I didn't like how the yarn was knitting up. I really wanted a light spring and summer scarf in a pale color, and fuzzy charcoal alpaca, even though fingering weight, wasn't going to cut it. So on Sunday I officially broke the yarn fast five days early and bought four balls of Naturally Dawn 2 ply, which is a 50% wool 50% silk "lace" yarn. This is what is so confusing about yarn. This stuff has four plies, not two. And it's much heavier than any laceweight I've ever come across. I'd call it a light fingering weight. Oh well. The point is that it feels wonderful and it's exactly what I had in mind for this scarf.

Scarves, you know, just go on in a straight line until they are long enough. So, it will look pretty much like that for quite awhile. That's ok. The lace pattern was very easily memorized, the yarn is pleasurable to work with, and the project overall is perfect for getting in a row here and a row there while I wait for whatever.

The sock beginning that I shared last time is in need of frogging and starting over on larger needles. I'll just have to take a few stitches out to make it the right size. Another project going nowhere. At least I am consistent.


marycatharine said...

I think I may need to copy your Coraline yarn choice. Good luck with the knitting that feels like you're going no where. I'm stuck in the middle of the sweater of doom right now, I feel your pain.

ysolda said...

I think it's more a case that Snow White is super stretchy than that I have a psychic knowledge of your size! If you look at the photos of Snow White on me and my gf we have totally different bust to waist ratios but it fits us both fine. There's negative ease at the waist on me in theory, but it doesn't really work like negative ease because it's ribbed. I designed it so that it would fit women with curves really well but so that it on less curvy women (like me!)the shaping lines would work like a visual trick to give the effect of curves. Make sense? Good luck with it :)