Saturday, September 22, 2007

tales of hubris punished and patience rewarded

Here is what is on the docket for this weekend:

Hali Meidhad and Seinte Margarete, a few Canterbury Tales, a meditation on the Passion by Nicholas Love, and some NPR knitting.

You may notice that there is a totally new work in progress there on the trusty natural light windowsill. It's true -- I have become an incorrigible starter.

But in this case, there is a tiny bit of an excuse. I made a shocking discovery earlier this week after looking closer at the car intarsia sweater I was making. The process of switching from flat knitting to in-the round knitting I had done in order to do the intarsia part flat had made a significant difference in the shape of the stitches I was making -- and not just a difference in gauge. Witness exhibit A:

In the top half you can see my even in-the round stitches. In the bottom half are a bunch of squiggly, twisted flat stitches. It was at this point that I began to question the arrogance of my claim to be an expert knitter and precocious autodidact. I began to suspect that something was wrong. I flipped open a knitting basics book that had been mouldering on my shelf and made the shocking discovery that for five years I have been purling wrong -- bringing the working yarn around the needles in the opposite direction from the normal one, twisting all my stitches as I did so. It felt akin to being friends with someone for a number of years, only to discover that you have been calling him the wrong name that whole time. So I chucked the offending sweater into a corner for a while in a clear case of killing the messenger, and set myself to knitting a new sweater and purling the right way. Exhibit B:

I have two other excuses. The first is the discovery that another friend is pregnant, thus clearly necessitating a brand new baby sweater. This one is another crack at the top-down baby sheep sweater like the one I made for Andrew. This time I am keeping better track of the process so I can write it up and post the pattern. The yarn is Knitpicks Swish DK, but the blue and green yarns arrived quite a bit more neon than I had wanted -- as is often the case with Knitpicks yarn. So, having been emboldened by my Bristow experience, I popped the two skeins in a bath of water with half a packet of grape kool-aid, and fixed it! I think that the result is quite nice. The mottling of the dye gives the blue yarn a nice homemade look, as opposed to the mediocre acrylic baby boy sweater color it was before, and the green is a more subtle and organic hue too. I'm working out the sheep charts right now: I'm thinking garter stitch for some texture detail.

The second reason to start a new project is a newfound desire to perfect some patterns and post them, because...

My Ravelry invitation finally came!

Ravelry is great! Definitely not a replacement for blogging, and I do rankle at the restrictive nature of the program as it exists now (not sure how to add new patterns, can't register myself as a designer, can only use books already on the site in my library, etc), but it has been fun and exciting to snoop around, and I love the "favorites" feature and the feature that lets me look at what other people are doing with the yarns and patterns I have chosen. If you're on Ravelry too, my ID is lookingglass.


Anonymous said...

You got to posting on Ravelry so much faster than I did. I have a stack of projects waiting for pictures and posting but they always seem to get pushed aside.

Ravelry itself is to blame because it has elicited more casting on than any other single influence of late.

vanessa said...

your sheep sweater is adorable!

have you ever raed of combined knitting, or eastern uncrossed knitting?
you purl the way you used to, but on the return knit row, you knit through the back of the loop.
the stitches are not twisted, and for me, it makes my knitting very even, no "rowing out" on the purl rows.