Thursday, October 19, 2006

knitting knews

Last night's SnB was held at someone's home instead of our regular cafe, and our evening included a yarn swap (although I thought it was odd that a few folks interpreted "swap" to be synonymous with "give-away" and were taking yarn without having brought anything to trade...settling that was a bit uncomfortable).

I got a good deal though and swapped 2 skeins of my nice but neglected stash for 3 skeins of Brown Sheep Kaleidoscope (80% cotton/20% merino).

I have no idea what it's going to be when it grows up, but oh, how I love the colorway. Score!

There was also a raffle last night for...get this one:
An unseamed, but fully complete, handknit sweater.

Now, I never got the entire backstory, but somehow this cardigan was donated to our group. I have no idea by whom or the reason why. The lone ball band with the leftovers for seaming says it's KnitPicks Shimmer in Grape Hyacinth. That must be incorrect, as this thing is most definitely not knit in a laceweight silk/alpaca blend, nor is it variegated. But whatever it's knit in, it's really cute, and a bit more plum colored than what my camera is picking up.

As luck would have it, it appears that the sweater will likely fit the winner perfectly, but since she has impaired vision and doesn't know how to sew up knitting (I think she was a crocheter), she's unable to seam it up herself. I've agreed to finish it off for her.

Why? Well, I actually enjoy finishing work, if you can believe that...and I do a fine job, if I do say so myself. But more importantly, I'm seaming up this wayward castaway because I see this sweater as my golden opportunity to tame my fear of set-in sleeves.

In all this time knitting, I have only made one sweater (and I just realized that I've never blogged about it or showed photos--ummm, I'll add that to my list of things to do). It was a drop shoulder hoodie. It fits great for what it is--an oversized sweater. But I don't really like the most way drop shoulder garments look on me. I look like a slouch.

Since the finishing of the hoodie, I have set aside umpteen-million patterns for fitted tanks and shells I might like to try. I've also considerred a modular T-shirt pattern that would bypass the sleeve issue altogether. I have even pondered the possibilities of a raglan. MyFK wants a sweater, so I could try it on a smaller scale. But never once have I considerred a sweater with a set-in sleeve, even though I know I prefer the fit of a set-in based on my store bought sweaters.
What's the panic with set-in sleeves?? Well, I am afraid that I will knit the sleeves and that they wont fit into the body of the sweater. I'm afraid that I will never understand the physics of "row count" meets "stitch count". That I won't understand my "knitted gauge" versus my "washed guage" and that I'll knit something that will look fine until it is laundered and will then look like crap and live in a closet. I fear that when it comes to sleeve finishing, my confidence in my seaming abilities will vanish--that I will suddenly lose all concept of "ease" (hehe--that's kinda funny).

If left to my own devices, I'll probably come up with any excuse and never try knitting set-in sleeves and find many other projects to support that. Nope, I am not one of those fearless knitters that just casts-on and tries things...and yes, I fully comprehend the notion that knitting is only sticks and string and that there are other events in life far more worthy of my fear. Ok now, where's that ativan ;-)

Anyhow, this is my plan. I'm going to learn to do this set-in sleeve thang ass-backwards. I'm going to do it with someone else's knitting LOL. I'm not going to knit my own sweater with set-in sleeves, all the while chewing off my fingernails worrying if the fit is going to succeed or fail. Oh no. I'm going to seam up this total stanger's finished sweater. With any luck, it will just work, and I will gain knowledge and confidence. And if the sleeve doesn't fit, well then another knitter can be the ass for screwing up the math.

Wish me luck.

Hey. Should I block the parts before I sew them up you think?? The shoulders are already seamed, but the side seams are not. I'm thinking block first because the pattern is a bit lacy, but I'm open for suggestions.


I have also done a wee bit of knitting of my own this past week.
Wee. Very wee.

I sent a belated housewarming gift to Inky and Mr.Inky, and the basket included my attempts to create a couple of somewhat "goth-esque" Mason-Dixon Warshrags.

My other Finished Object this week is an ACKrylic, obnoxiously bubblegum-hot-pink, super Halloweeny, and "sooo last year" head covering thing, whose name rhymes with "Shallow Pig"....

...but I'm not going to model it yet . It will be donned at next week's SnB, where several of us are whipping them up (even Mz.Donna, who is going to make the pilgrimage to her first SnB and join us---woohoo!).

If I get permission from all involved parties, I'll post the group pic here.

I've also done quite a bit of writing about my knitting habits and their current parallels with the rest of my life. I've threatening to blog about it for weeks now, and be thankful. It's a mess. The more I write, the more there is to write about. It is growing to epic proportions, is and destined to become some sort of part-mini-series. It asks way too many questions and doesn't have enough answers and may need to result in some sort of science experiment. I'm enjoying the reflecting and the writing, but what I have so far has a huge need for editing. It barely makes sense to ME and I'm the one who wrote it. hahahaha

But what else is new ;-)


Mouse said...

{obnoxious commenter} Can you tell us where to find the pattern for the "Shallow Pig" hat?? I looked EVERYWHERE for it.. *collapses on the floor in fits of giggles*{/obnoxious commenter}

I really can't bring myself to knit or wear one of those Hallowigs.. even though it would have been PERFECT for Spinning guild as a costume.

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see your Shallow Pig project. I've always wanted to try it.

Love, Karen

TheBon said...

Lovely yarn, lovely sweater. I am the fearless type, but I tend to get distracted before finishing sweaters. I've started the simple knit bodice from stitch diva studios and I swear I will finish it. I have done set in sleeves in baby sweaters and enjoy how they come out. When I knit Trellis, I did block everything before I sewed in the sleeves and seamed the sides. It looked like I had flayed a baby.