Thursday, December 11, 2008

I've got the pattern-making blues.

Years ago (YEARS? good gods, where does the time go), over at See Eunny Knit, Eunny discussed the differences, in her mind, between 'fancy' and 'plain' knitting, mostly in regards to how the knitwear is constructed. To quote her, "If the garment is going to be knit in the usual way, if the process is predictable, it's not harnessing the sun to drop in stitch patterns and the like, fussing here and there with the math to make it all work." She goes on in other posts to explain that she thinks of that type of knitting as 'pattern-making'. The fancy knits, now those are DESIGNS. And it was kind of cool to see someone legit (she's now the editor of Interweave Knits) express an idea I generally shared. Always a pleasant thing.

In this case, the pattern I'm knocking out is this:

My father-in-law's Christmas sweater. Sure, it's original, so I guess it's a design, but I can't bring myself to call it that when all I'm doing is measuring some gauge swatches and dropping some cables into Elizabeth's Percentage System.

Or rather, I should be knocking it out. Unfortunately, I've changed my mind, as I seem to do at least half the time in these 'design' situations. In this case, while sleeve-knitting (and looking at the calendar), I changed from the plan of a set-in, grafted-in sleeve to the basic seamless saddle shoulder, the same system I used on the Husbeast Gansey and the Steeked Jacket. Which, as usual, resulted in the need for a bit of alteration, in this case involving surgery.

There was so much to rip back I finally pulled out some scissors. If it turns out I need that yarn to finish the sweater (I don't think I will - I seriously over-estimated what I needed, which is also usual for me), I'll unravel that bridge when I get to it.

The sleeve took me twice as long to finish as I expected it to. Granted, compared to 1,728 stitches per round, the 91 stitches that were the largest the sleeve got was lightning fast, or seemed like it. But because the yarn and needles are heavier, and because it's a cable knit, it's killing my hands. Simply holding up the weight is hard. Add in the unholy amount of yanking and pulling and digging for stitches that you do in a cable-knit, and, well, it sucks. I fear I will wind up finishing this AFTER I give it to my father-in-law for Christmas. (However, odds are good I will be able to finish it while visiting, which is certainly better than the year I mailed him his Christmas sweater in February. It was a Dale of Norway. He didn't complain.)

Good thing the yarn is fabulous. That's all this project would need, shitty yarn. I'm knitting it with Bendigo Woolen Mills 8-ply Rustic in color Midnight Tweed. I am already plotting a major Bendigo order to take the trauma out of moving this coming summer. I will lay in a massive pile of yarn, crawl under a rock, and knit. (Actually, I tried this method when we moved from Hawaii to here. It didn't work out that well. I'm pretty sure I don't care.)

Anyway. Other than the usual, I made more cookies last night.

Snickerdoodles coming up soon, like today or tomorrow, after I make them. (That's on deck for tonight.)

The Goober decided she wanted to 'dress up' today.

You just can't stay stressed with THAT running around your house yelling "WHEeeeeeeeeeeeee I'm a PWINCESS!"

And, um, does anyone remember how I did the decreasing in cable pattern, on the sleeve? Because now I have to go knit another one that matches.

We all know how I love second sleeves. I think this makes the fifth one-armed sweater in the house.

Maybe 2009 will be the Year of Two Arms. Hmm.


organizer2003 said...

you're moving this summer? Are you staying in SC, just changing to a different house, or are you moving from the area?

Moving is NO FUN....


Roxie said...

Where's the cwown? Every pwincess needs a cwown. Wheeee!

Bells said...

It is SO good to see you making something out of the Bendigo yarn. I'm so glad you love it, being a big fan myself. I don't blame you for cutting it off and abandoning it for later use if you need it.

The Goober looks so freaking fabulous. Beautiful.

Bells said...

oh and what's the deal with moving?

walterknitty said...

I wondered when I heard you talking about moving if there was one coming up for you soon. Maybe it'll be out of the of the swamp you love so much.

Amy Lane said...

The princess is gorgeous, but *shudder* the sight of knitting, just, CUT OFF like that... well, I've got to tell you, I've seen CSI episodes with less carnage.

Alwen said...

Y'know, there's a reason I knit both socks at once, both mittens at once, etc.

That would be that I'm always dropping a pattern in and designing on the fly, and if I don't do both at once no two would ever match.