Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Making Up Lost Ground

A few days ago, I was bearing down on the finish of the Pine Bark sweater. I had it all put together and had visions of wearing it that very weekend... until I tried it on. And the mirror told me it was not to be. I had accidentally given poor Pine Bark a pair of gorilla arms. The sleeves were a good two inches too long, and a lot had to be ripped out to reshape and shorten them. I hope I'm not over-correcting; I certainly don't want to give it little kangaroo arms instead. And I do not want to have to redo it yet again. Sometime, maybe I'll tell the story of thrice-knit Ultraviolet.

But I'm getting close. I've redone almost all of the knitting that had to be ripped out. Luckily, the parts I'm redoing are just simple stockinette. I rather enjoy a long stint of mindless stockinette from time to time. It's nice not to have to pay attention to where I am in a stitch pattern, and just knit and knit. Anyway, I've got about twelve rows left to re-knit at the top of the second sleeve, and then I can seam the whole thing together again. Let's see, that comes to about 1,200 stitches. Wait, that sounds so much worse. Let's just stick to twelve rows, shall we?

The reknit parts actually have an interesting crumply texture that wasn't there before. You can sort of see it in this fuzzy night-time flash picture. It may not seem like it, but this is all plain stockinette. The part toward the left, which didn't have to be re-knit, is nice and smooth. The part on the right, well... isn't.

I wonder if this could have anything to do with it, hmmm?

Yes, I am re-knitting with the unraveled crinkly yarn. I think it's especially crinkly due to a little light blocking that it had undergone in its previous knitted state, to make it easier to sew the seams. When I hold the crinkly yarn taut, while actually knitting the stitches, it behaves fine. But as soon as I turn my back on it, it gets up to mischief. One leg of a stitch twists this way, and another sways that way, and the whole thing goes a little cattywompus.

I could, I suppose, go through all the rigmarole of skeining, washing, and blocking the yarn to return it to a pristine state, but is it really worth it? I don't think there will be any serious harm done. I'm sure the fabric will smooth out considerably when I block the finished sweater. I guess the biggest concern is whether the headstrong character of the crinkled yarn is going to result in a lot of unevenness in the size of the stitches. But this sweater is meant to be casual in the first place, not a marvel of smooth, precise needlework, so I'll try not to lose sleep over it.

Meanwhile, I'm starting to raise my gaze to where the next project is just starting to peek over the horizon. It might involve my handspun. It might involve a little more preparatory work on my spinning wheel. Incidentally, my beloved wheel has recently acquired the name Rastro. It chose the name itself, it seems. I had suggested a more ladylike name, but apparently it had its own ideas.

As excited as I am about using my own handspun, though, I'm not absolutely sure whether that particular project should be the next. After this long spell of beige-ish knitting, I may need a hit of color before embarking on the handspun all in its natural... beige-ish... hues. Well, we shall see.

1 comment:

Bess said...

I think it will smooth out in the blocking

and I know I always need some color after a lot of neutral. I haven't spun since November and I have been hearing my wheels sing spinning songs to me.