Monday, May 01, 2006

Between the devil and the deep blue sea

I know, I know, it's been a long time since I've posted. Whoda thunk it - taking exams and spending time with friends and family takes away from time spent chronicling my eventless life on the interwebs!

Anyway, there has been quite a bit of knitting. Remember Tubey?

I'm going to quote myself here: "But I know eventually I'll finish it. Could you frog 55" of hard-fought St st?"

Apparently you could.

It was just getting very, very boring. Plus, once I finished the shrug, there was going to be 13" of straight ribbing. Gaggity gag gag gag. There's a reason I never made Tempting. So into ze land of frogs she went.

I began Teva Durham's Dreamcatcher Medallion Cardigan. You can see gorgeous versions here and here. Has anyone else noticed that in Loop-d-Loop, the sizes get larger the further you go into the book? I mean, the Ballet T's size large is 28", and some of the Fair Isle stuff is up into the 50" range, I believe. It's really a sign that I wasn't even knitting the largest size, but the next one down. I know, I know. But I like my cardigans to not have much ease. I wear them open most of the time. I liked learning in Stitch & Bitch Nation about ease, but I think it really is more useful to measure the fit of the sweaters you like.

Ooops, did I say that I was knitting a specific size? Not that I am? Yeah, about that.

Isn't she cute? Lookit that big ole hole! Look at all that careful pattern-reading! Look at those carefully made and attractive bust darts! And what's all this I hear about making buttonholes as you go along?

Yeah. About that. No, it's not crumpled. That's how it looks.

Essentially, you make buttonholes every 12 rows. But I misread the pattern and did them every 11 rows. When I realized my error, I was on the last buttonhole. Oh, how the mighty fall. It just shows what happens when you get cocky. I remembered to do the really cool bust darts (which, incidentally, has got to be the most painful-sounding term in clothing), and I followed the decreases for the dreamcatcher so carefully! And it's the counting of rows that kicks my ass.

So I began to worry. Those 6 rows or so could make quite a bit of difference, I thought. And it's not exactly like I could just add in length when I realized my error because of the shaping of the medallion opening. So I decided I was going to drop down the 3 or so stitches involved, and rework the buttonholes one row later on each.

I'm not going to go into why this was a particularly bad idea. It was. Suffice it to say that I should have remembered that buttonholin' makes new stitches and gets rid of old ones and oh it's just messy and I don't like looking at it.

So I know now how to fix it - I'd drop down all the buttonhole ribbing and rework it all. Easier on everyone. But now I can't stand to look at the thing. And I'd gotten so far . . . and it was going so fast . . . [silent weeping].

But, just like the best way to get over someone is to get under someone, I am a knitting ho and unable to even conceive of waiting until the body's cold. I need someone new. Someone with more than 25% natural fibre, baby. Maybe some . . . merino? And cables, that's right.

My own design. Let me say it again: my own design!!! It's just a raglan from the bottom up, but I did the cable swatch and blocked it and everything. I'm much further along now, but it's just eactly the same as seen there, only longer. 248 stitches per row. Ay ay ay. Twenty cables. I think the sleeves are just going to be plain reverse stockinette with a single cable running up the centre.

This sweater was another reason I didn't post for a while (yes, that's adult, blame the sweater). No, really. I was considering writing it up and submitting it to Knitty or something, but the thing is, the sizing wouldn't work. I'm making mine 40", then I added on the buttonhole edging so it'll be a bit bigger. To make it smaller, you'd have to remove one cable from each cardigan front and two from the back. That would make an 8" difference in sizes. Eight inches! Have you seen many successful patterns that go 32" (40", 48", 56")? I don't think so. The alternative would be to add or remove stitches between the cables to give different gauges for different sizes, but since I'm already using Teva Durham's way of making buttonholes, I'm not going to rip off her Cabled Riding Jacket in the very same garment.

So I'm just going to write up the 40" size when I'm finished. It'll be a free pattern here. I know, you're quivering with anticipation. Me too - but that may be because I'm going to a yarn store and a Hershey factory today. Yay!


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