On Giants' Shoulders

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Clearly the Yarn Had Other Ideas

Well, I finished the Effortless Cardigan yesterday, tried it on and decided that I hated it.  The yarn clearly didn't want to be that.  The sweater was way too big (despite the fact that I "got gauge") it hung funny, it just plain looked stupid.  My daughter told me on Thursday, when I was already having serious doubts about the project, that she thought that pattern probably only looked good on someone who was six feet tall and weighed 110 pounds.  Since I am neither of those and never will be either of those, it didn't look good on me.  So I spent three hours unraveling the sweater (and if I'd only unraveled the sleeves first it would have gone faster).  Now I've cast on and knit the first dozen rows of a February Lady Sweater.  Abby just made one and I really liked it.  So far my first modification is to decide I don't like the ultra heavy buttons that the designer used, so I'm using a simpler buttonhole than she suggests and will go with slightly smaller buttons.  Because I've got other knitting to do, this will almost certainly not be done by Christmas.   So I guess it's a good thing I have the other two sweaters I've knit this year.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee says that sometimes the yarn has other ideas from the project you chose it for.  Well this time, it clearly had other ideas.  I probably should have taken a picture of just how ugly this sweater was, but, suffice it to say that the males in the family agreed.  Although, to be fair they both pointed out that they didn't even like the style on the ultra thin model that the pattern showed.  As my son pointed out, the way she was posed didn't even show what was going to happen when she was standing more normally or walking.  So clearly I forgot one of the first rules of knitting, "don't trust a pattern where the model has to be posed in a special way."  Perhaps there's a reason why most of the "Ravelers" seemed to show their sweater off their bodies.  They mostly complained about it needing to be sized down, but I did that, so that wasn't the problem.  I did use (as did many of them) a slightly heavier yarn than the pattern called for, but it wasn't just the drape of the sweater that was wrong (and many of the people who used it got a decent drape).  It was truly that the pattern was a. wrong for me and b. perhaps too "high fashion" in style for someone who really prefers something a little more fitted and classic.  I love slouchy sweaters to hang around the house in, but this one just didn't do it ---  even for that.  I also like sweaters that I can wear with a skirt to church or with jeans for just running around elsewhere, and this really wasn't going to be that.  Hence it the yarn now sits in balls waiting for a second incarnation.

This new sweater is based on the baby sweater in Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Almanac.  I think I'm going to knit one of those for the new baby, but using stockinette stitch where she uses the gull lace, since Abby thinks the lace would be too girly for a little boy.  I've seen renditions of this sweater using stockinette, so I'm pretty sure it will work just fine.  It will also knit up faster that way.

We've got Mass today for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception  and then I'll come home and do some major knitting, at least if my arthritic hands don't object too badly.  I don't have all the yarn I need for all the projects I intend to do, but I've got enough yarn to get me through the weekend.