Monday, January 14, 2008

Lessons for a new year

On the last post, Jessica suggested that it was time for some maths. She was right.

The 2+2 type maths is not the problem. The problem is, that I never get to that stage. I look at the yarn, I look at the pattern, and somehow my brain thinks 'it will be alright on the night'. That somehow the Gods of knitting will magic away any imperfections or problems, and everything will be coming up roses. When you start with the wrong yarn on the wrong needles, well... you do the maths.

After writing the last post (and, dudes, I think Norah Gaughan commented on my blog. Dooooooooods. I haven't been that excited since Franklin Habit replied to a message I sent him on Ravelry. I think I might be pathetic) I thought about it. I realised I sounded whiny in my head. I didn't mean to. I meant to share my frustration at things not working out, but since the reason they didn't work out was my own carelessness, I guess it came out more petulant than I liked.

I went home. I looked at my projects. At the projects I had knit on so much that I had actually worn down the fingerprint on my left index finger (fingers are hard to photograph, fyi) and given myself a blister where the needle rests on my right hand. I took a deep breath. I frogged them. Both of them.

Goodbye, beautiful slip stitch

I fully intend to go back. I will order 5 ply yarn from good old Bendigo for the slipover, which does give me more colour choices. It won't be alpaca, but in case I hadn't noticed, I live in Australia. Cold is not that big an issue. I looked up the prices of Rowan Calmer and, I'm sorry. I am not paying $20 a ball for a 10 ball jumper. It's not happening. But Jo Sharp does a part microfibre cotton that is about $7 a ball. That's do-able. I have a leftover half ball from a previous project, and I did a nice fat swatch in it. Gauge I have got.

Then, as the yarn sat, malignantly, in its rewound balls, I got out all of my books and magazines, and looked for something else to make out of them.

This part was fun.

The cotton was a no-brainer. I had been tossing up doing one of the boleros from Jo Sharp's book - I think it's number 2? The summery one, anyways. So I cast on for that. the cotton is still a bit gapey - I really think it's not quite DK weight - but it won't matter for this.

I had more trouble deciding for the alpaca. Everything that was alpaca was either a thicker yarn, or a silk blend. Plus, I only have two balls of each colour. I was/am prepared to buy more, but preferably not more of both. I was looking for something small, or dual coloured. I was thinking of the Henley perfected from the Winter IK. Like, maybe I could do the body one colour and the lace another colour? But, I had another yarn in mind for that. And also, it looks like 5 ply to me, even though... well, in a minute.

I finally found two things I wanted to knit. One is the Lift and Separate from Big Girl Knits. I found someone on ravelry (oh, ravelry. How I love you. You are the best tool a girl could wish for, in Getting Things Right Before You Start) who has knit it in the Bendigo Alpaca. I sent her a message. She said she loves it, although it is extremely warm! So I thought I would do that with the fawn colour. If it turns out too blah, maybe I'll embroider it with something.

For the green, I settled on the Fairy Net Blouse from Summer 2006 IK. It's alpaca silk blend, and I've only got alpaca, so it won't look the same. And I'm not doing the netty thing over the top. So basically, it's an entirely new top. But I think it'll look good. I'm halfway through the armhole shaping of the back, and I've already done the calculations to do short rows for the front, so it doesn't pull upwards. But I'm a bit worried I'll run out of yarn.

See, it's knit in Blue Sky Alpaca Alpaca Silk. On the pattern in ravelry, for the FNB, it says that it's DK/Sport weight, and the gauge is pretty much DK weight. Which is fantastic, because that's what I've got. And yes, I've swatched. Although I'm half a stitch per inch more. And even though my row gauge is bang on, when I got to the end of the shaping, where it's supposed to be 12", it was only just over 11. Yarn substitution. I guess I'll just have to live with a little variance.

But the source of my confusion is the pattern profile on ravelry for the Henley Perfected says unequivacally that it's sport weight. Which makes more sense to me, because the lace looks way too fine to be DK. I guess the yarn is right in between, or it depends on the needle size, or whatever.

Anyway, now I'm a bit worried about yarn, as in, will I have enough? I'm almost done the back, and almost done the first ball, too. I'm not doing the net, so I should have enough, but... still worried. Which is kind of good, since I always knit faster if I'm just not sure. I hate suspense. Still, it looks good, and the yarn is soft soft soft. I guess I could see my way clear to ordering another ball. It's just the principle of the thing, you know?

In other new, today's xkcd comic cracked me up. I, of course, googled it. Here are the results. Padded, of course, by all the knit bloggers who loved it, too. I wonder if there are any knit blogging accidents? There will be now, I suppose.


Marta Saenz said...


found you through Clementine Ford's blog - would like to talk with you - do you have an email address?

Jessica said...

I'm glad you have made peace with your knitting.

As for sounding petulant....... to me you just sounded as though you were having a knitting behaving badly day.

I am having a packing behaving badly day today. The boxes wont pack themselves.