Archive for February 2008

There’s only one everything

February 24, 2008

There’s a critical point in long-haul knitting when you start to believe that you will be wearing the finished object within your lifetime.

There is another point, a little farther on, when you realize that although you feel like the garment is almost finished, there’s a lot more knitting to go than you would prefer.

I’m right at point #2 on the Simple Knitted Bodice (link to Ravelry project page). So happy, so excited, so ready to put on my sweater and parade around town in the first torso-covering object I’ve ever made for myself. But there’s still the long sleeves to go.

When I got done with the body, I looked at the yarn I had left (I was less than halfway through skein 4 of 7), and decided that I needed to hedge my bets. The long-sleeved version takes 300 yards more than the short-sleeved version, but I didn’t have a clear idea of how much yardage the short sleeves and neckline would use. I decided to:

  • knit the first sleeve down to the end of the short sleeve instructions
  • unscrew the interchangeable needles and cap off the cable on both ends
  • attach ball #5 and knit the second sleeve down to the end of the short sleeve instructions
  • unscrew the interchangeable needles and cap off the cable on both ends (both sleeves now sitting with live stitches waiting to be knit on or bound off)
  • attach ball #6 then pick up and knit the neckline stitches, binding off when done.

When I got done with all that, I’d know exactly how much yarn I had left.

I’m four rows away from finishing the neckline, and I’ll have 3/4 of ball #6 left. Ball #5, on the right sleeve, is still 2/3 full. I’m down to the last tenth or so of ball #4, which I used to knit the left sleeve after finishing the body with it. And ball #7 is untouched (and unwound into a ball, as of yet). That leaves me more than two full balls, or over 400 yards of yarn. There should be no problem finishing the sleeves long.

Which means I’m still a long way away from finishing.

Once I get the neckline bound off, I’ll be able to try on the sweater and get some short-sleeve version pics to put up. The SKB is still rocking my world. If it hadn’t take me so long, I’d be scrambling to get together yarn to knit it again, preferably worsted-weight so I could get closer to the recommended gauge and knit my actual size.

As it is, though, I’ve been spending so long knitting this sweater, for hours every night, only breaking to knit on my Diamante socks in portable knitting situations (few and short), that I’m ready for a different kind of project — one that will grow quickly and provide that thrill of finishing in the same calendar year as the thrill of casting on. And the Knit Picks yarn clearance sale gave me the perfect opportunity to move a few projects to the top of my queue.

Wool of the Andes hand-dyed colors were on sale, and I could not resist this colorway — because it’s called “Buchanan,” my husband’s middle name and Scottish clan. It’s going to be a So-Called Scarf for him.

I saw a gorgeous Clapotis (Ravelry link) done with one of the WotA hand-dyed colorways, and then I saw this blanket (ditto) done with the Graham of Menteith colorway. Combine the two, and you get a Clap in blue-green-purple like I’ve always pictured. So this will be my Clapotis (finally).

And these will be stripes on TECHknitter’s Pocket Hat, a chance to learn some new tricks and to make hats for everybody in the family who needs a hat. (Which is certainly the kids, and maybe one of the adults as well.

Someday. When I’m wearing the sweater. My first sweater. It will be worth the wait — right?

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One of a kind

February 7, 2008

My Simple Knitted Bodice (Ravelry links throughout, sorry haters) mojo continues. Buoyed by early success, I’ve pressed on into the lace section at the empire waist. This, however, has required some faith.

The pattern calls for a beaded yarn in this section. When I chose Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool for it, I decided to carry it through the lace with the addition of a carryalong — Jester, a metallic Trendsetter accent. But I really had no idea how they would look together. Would the lace panel be garish and tacky? Would the result be something only a maiden aunt could love?

I still don’t know for sure, but I’m feeling fairly confident. As I near the end of the lace panel and prepare to resume stockingette in the main yarn, I’m liking the way the carryalong yarn doesn’t change the color but adds flashes of shine and complementary colors like blue and pink.

And now I face the question of fit yet again. After I finish the lace, it’s time to put the sweater on waste yarn and try it on. And once again, I dread it. Information is good — I’m concerned about length — but I’m also scared of what I might learn. So far, so good, though. Can a sweater cure me of my bad-news phobia?

If any sweater can — it’s this one.