Feb 21, 2011

Knit-Knacks

I've decided to get back to the original point of this blog and talk about the random goings-on in my knitting. After all, as I am three weeks or so away from my due date, there may not be much knitting to discuss for a while once the baby gets here!

1. Ribbit
A friend of mine is a huge fan of raglan sweaters, citing the lack of seaming as a major factor in how fast they can be done. Having slaved through several seamed sweaters, I decided I wanted something that would go faster and cast on my first raglan sweater using Addi Turbos, and my newfound competency with continental knitting and purling, to expedite the project even more. That was a year ago.

The yarn for this project was purchased in a co-op, from which I purchased ten navy and five undyed skeins of Malabrigo worsted. I dyed three skeins with Kool-Aid to make an argyle using the navy as the main colour. After completing a long and difficult argyle pattern around the torso, I tried on my nearly knitted creation only to discover that my tension control in colourwork is terrible. It was so tight around my waist that I couldn't breathe and needed help getting back out of the sweater. Through tears of frustration*, I pulled out the argyle. I decided to knit to the bottom, and work 6-10" of a fancy cable pattern in place of ribbing. After a few repeats of that pattern (which involved 48 cables per round every 4 rows), I decided it wasn't what I wanted, and pulled that out. A few inches of K1P1 ribbing (which had to be done twice as I forgot which size needle had been used for the neck ribbing) later, and a very plain stockinette body was complete. I had really wanted to make something interesting with this yarn, so it seemed an awful shame to make the whole sweater in boring stockinette. To try and get some patterning onto it, I am doing XOXO cabling down the arms. So far, I am happy with it and hopefully it makes the sweater a little interesting.

I estimate that I will have four skeins of navy and a few skeins of Kool-Aid dyed Malabrigo left, so I will make a sweater with that, only this time I will plan ahead. I have come to the conclusion that while raglan sweaters are infinitely faster than their seamed counterparts, knowledge of their speed can lead the more impulsive among us into COing without thinking. More haste, less sweater.



2. The Kindness of Strangers
I received this blanket in the mail. It's a beautiful embossed leaves pattern in white baby yarn. It was given to me by a friend of my mother, whom I have never met. It matches a beautiful white cardigan that the same lady sent to me. It really makes me happy to know that there are people out there who are so considerate, they would take the time to make a baby blanket for someone they have never met.



3. The Future Tense of Ribbit
I should have frogged this blanket a long, long time ago. It's meant to be a crocheted Care Bear blanket, but I decided to knit it after I figured out that I am not very committed to huge colourwork crochet projects. Once I switched over to knitting, it started to go a lot faster, but as I got into the pattern, I realized that the Care Bear (Wish Bear, if you're interested), looked a tad squished. I decided to soldier on, reasoning that it wouldn't look so bad. The colours I chose for Wish Bear's rainbow that shoots out of the star on his tummy (they don't teach meteorology over at the DIC studios) were terrible and the star is a bit of a mess too. I decided that the embroidery called for in the pattern will fix the star, and some clever duplicate stitching could remedy the rainbow, and persevered. I am now about two thirds done, and it looks worse than ever. I have, however, gotten to a point where I have put so much work into it that I can't bear (hehe) the idea of undoing it all. I wanted to make this for my daughter by the time she was born. I can safely assume that isn't going to happen, and my time would be better spent making a Baby's Texture Blanket or Great American Afghan for her, but being oddly superstitious or ritualistic as I am, I can't quite detach myself from the self-imposed chore I have turned this project into. Clearly, my daughter is far less likely to say "What the heck is that meant to be?" if I present her with a blanket of squished bear who has a malformed stomach tattoo, than "You don't love me because you quit making a blanket of a defunct cartoon, neither of which I knew about because I wasn't born yet!". Reading this, I see how crazy I am. I am going home to frog this stupid project right now!!



* a slight exaggeration, but I was pretty peeved.

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