Sunday, June 28, 2009

Whine Pairing

It's been a most frustrating morning and it's barely ten o'clock.

Quite apart from the fact that my stupid body, instead of going "Hey, we went to bed late last night and haven't had enough sleep yet - dream on!" screeches "OMG! We've wildly overslept! IT'S ALMOST SEVEN O'CLOCK! We have to wake up now! NOW!"

It's a bit annoying when it's the weekend and there's nothing urgent at the crack of dawn. The lesson is to get to bed early which is problematic because there's always One More Thing I want to do before going to bed, which is why I'm bitching about this in the first place.

So yesterday I made this pendant.

I kinda like it.

It's completely unusable though, since it has no bail or pin and is not attached to a necklace, so I set about making a chain of sorts.

This has not worked out well.

I can't fix on anything I like.

After a few hours, I have piles and piles and PILES of short wiggly pieces of thread, the waste from cut-up beadwork.

Then there's the knitting which is going nowhere due to my apparent inability to count stitches.

I felt compelled to make this sweater (and why not) using a recently acquired variegated cotton-rayon blend. Since I'm a big fan of working in the round whenever possible, instead of casting on 188 stitches for the back, I cast on approximately (and this of course is where the problem lies) double that.

Since this is an actual pattern that the always innovative Norah Gaughan (I think I'm coming to terms with the fact that I cannot grow up to be her since she is about a year younger than I am) spent time figuring out rather than a vague idea of mine, there are constraints on the stitch counts.

The first inch or so is one-by-one ribbing, so of course when knitting in the round you absolutely need an even number of stitches in order to avoid Ribbing Unevenness. There are four double decrease points (two each, front and back) which of course should be equidistant as well as all centred about a knit column.

I smacked myself upside the head or shot myself in the foot - or both - when I started over-thinking but more especially, over-adjusting. 

When knitting in the round I always cast on an extra stitch so that I can work the first and last stitch together for a neat join. OK, one extra, an odd number of stitches, so far so good.

Then I sort of skimmed the pattern and realised that the first and last stitch of every row for both back and front was a knit stitch, which interferes with the whole knit one purl one paradigm coupled with the equidistant and knit-centred things, so no problem, remove two stitches.

Couple this with the fact that I don't have any overly long circular needles, and we're talking around three hundred and fifty stitches in a medium-to-heavy-weight yarn that is not smooshy and compressible like say merino, and that I kept on deciding, in that first row, to make adjustments (that I now cannot remember) to the stitch counts between the increase points AND that I only ever pick this up while I'm doing something else (like watching a movie) and the result is that for the past week I haven't managed to get past the point of being certain that my increase points are in fact equidistant.

I think I may have lost my mind since counting to three hundred and seventy-four, not to mention dividing it by four is hardly rocket science (which by the way, I'm pretty sure I could have successfully chosen as a career, which may have been more useful than what I actually do where my peers all seem to be twenty-nine year-old dudes who play halo), but somehow I'm stumped and have thrown in the towel (read: "I ripped the whole thing out in a fit of pique").

Besides (and this is totally sour grapes) I think a solid yarn would be better suited than a variegated yarn and besides (again) I have Another Plan for this yarn which suits me much better since it'll be lots of "continue in this manner until it's long enough/wide enough" and I'll use something else for the mitred top, something drapier perhaps, like the cone of brown silk tape yarn I picked up at School Products a couple of weeks ago.

A Couple of Hours Later

Apparently all I needed was a good whine in order to happen upon something that satisfied me.

I like the part that's next to the pendant, as it somehow has the correct balance between grey and purple iris, and between transparent and matte grey, and just enough metallic grey-green. For my taste, that is.

You can see how it evolved from the denser weave with no bottom edge picots all the way at the right. The current incarnation may not be perfection, but I can live with it, which is just as well, because the alternative is untenable.

[Edited to add that I'm especially pleased since I managed to use a variant - in terms of bead sizes - of something I was certain I'd use in a design which has completely not taken hold.]

The day might turn out OK after all.

1 comment:

Joann Loos said...

I like the way you opened up the weave next to the pendant. It looks very elegant.

I hadn't seen that sweater before...Now I'm going to have to make one LOL