Loose Ends

Loose Ends

the creative impulse gone awry

Monday, March 14, 2011

Where did my knitting groove go?

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I haven't been knitting.  I have.  Actually, I've been knitting a lot these days, but none of it seems to be working the first, second, and possibly the 4th times.  In a run down of knitting disasters I've had recently:

The first is a sweater that I designed, that I love, and is knit from side to side.  I got the idea from a free pattern for this yarn we sell, called Giant Skeins from Handpainted Yarn Company.  It's 12 different yarns all dyed to match and all sold in one giant skein (well named, that yarn!) It's 1440 yards, which is generous.  They have this sweater, also cardigan, also side to side, but I found the pattern hard to read, hard to knit and the sizing was odd.  Also, my larger customers would have had to buy two (not inexpensive) giant skeins to make it and that didn't seem fair.  So I shortened it, and shortened the sleeves to make the yarn go farther.  I loved their striping sequence, so I kept that but instead of knitting it left to right, I decided to make both pieces identical and start at the sleeve ends and work toward the middle (on both pieces) and graft them at the center of the back.  Of course, I knit two left fronts. (go me!)  frog, frog, frog.  2nd time worked just fine, a left and a right front thank you very much and it's gorgeous (if I do say so...):

My better side (to side) details coming on ravelry and pattern available soon!

Then the clapotis, you stinker.  This is a gorgeous pattern and I wanted to knit it in some gorgeous yarn we have, the ever beautiful Rayon Metallic from Great Adirondack yarns.  I had heard that, yo, you wouldn't have enough yarn so leave off one of the repeats, and it's all good.  So I truck along, leave off one repeat and run out of yarn.  Hrm.  So I frog back to the beginning of the decreases, rip out one more repeat and truck along, and you guessed it - ran out of yarn.  Somewhere during this repeat my cat may or may not have consumed and then regurgitated about a yard of the stuff.  So I ripped it out one more time thinking, surely, SURELY, if two repeats wasn't enough, then three certainly would be, and um, I ran out of yarn again.  Careful readers will note that was the third ripping out, the 4th time I had tried to knit the decrease section.  Sigh, so I decided to get really critical.  I counted how many stitches I had on my needle (40) and since I was decreasing 1 stitch at the end of each row I knew I needed to knit 40 more rows each with one less stitch... (did I mention I was a math major in college?  stay with me) so that is 40 + 39 + 38 + 37 + 36 + ... + 3 + 2 + 1 = 820.  820 stitches of yarn is what I needed - so I figured out that I had 107 stitches on the needles before I started decreasing so if I ripped out 8 rows (8*107 = 856) then SURELY I would have enough yarn.  And I did, just enough.  To be precise, I had 2.5 inches of yarn left.  I was sweating it at the end, let me tell you.  It certainly is a thing of beauty, and it's a good thing the yarn was rayon or it would have become completely destroyed with all of the reknitting.

do you see that little tail there on the bottom right?  yeah, that's how much I had left!

Lastly, and most recently I wanted something mindless and easy to cleanse my knitting pallate from the (#*%&!!!) Clapotis from heck and so I started this little spring hat for our adorable (and now walking) Zozo.  Of course I had a pattern in mind that Denise had knit and it was so cute on that I grabbed the yarn and brought it home.  I remembered that the smallest size cast on 80 and the largest cast on 112, so I picked 96 (did I bring the pattern home too?  oh no, that would have been the smart thing to do, sigh) and cast on with some #4s.  And the hat fit me.  So I did what I always do, I pinched off the size I wanted, counted the stitches and cast on that many.... and made a yarmulke.  Because when the world is crazy, and Japan is underwater there is nothing less comforting than knowing I can't even manage to whip up a hat for my kids without ripping it out twice (or more for fun!)

bonus action shot, the hat is obviously too small!

I'm sure this bout of bad knitting karma will end soon.  These things always pass. It will probably help when Zoe starts to sleep a little better. She's cutting teeth like there is a steak waiting in front of her and she'd like to have enough teeth to eat it before it gets cold.  Overachiever!

I have to admit that my knitting may be turning the tide already.  I'm working on a pair of gauntlets for a friend of mine and the first one turned out perfectly with only one rip out session... and frankly that was the gauge "swatch" so it's all good, right?  I'd put a photo up - but they are kind of a surprise... so not yet!

I'm so sorry for the unexpected blogging vacation!  I expected my life to get significantly easier after our little trip to maine and somehow it all got more complicated!  Things are evening out and I will hopefully have a little more "free" time for the blogging next week.  As you can see, I've been knitting like crazy, even if I don't have a whole lot to show for it!  Hopefully there will be even more FOs for you to see soon! 


Amybel said...

I think it's the weather, or the moon, or the tides or something. I've recently frogged so much my winder almost broke. I'm hoping the warmer weather later this week works to clear the frogs out of my knitting bag and back into the pond where they belong!

Cambria said...

I can't manage to knit anything...ANYTHING...without having to rip some part of it back. Now I feel much better about it :)