Some of you might know that I volunteered to do another test knit sweater. Yeah – I know! I just finished The Reach – and the designer was so pleased she featured my photo on her pattern page! (YAY). I actually love that one so much I just swatched for another one…
But – yeah – another test. This one with a tight deadline, too. Sometimes I think that this is the only way I make sweaters. The current one is my fourth and my first for Tanis Lavallee – whose designs I’ve liked for quite some time now. In general I like designers who care enough to include LOTS of sizes in their patterns – especially plus sizes. Tanis’ patterns usually go from kids sizes all the way up to me – 3x. (I used to be a 4x, but I think the recent weight loss has shrunken me just a tad)
I like the pattern – challenging to begin – definitely a different construction technique than I’m used to, even for a top-down. I’ve never done a top-down cap sleeve before – only raglans. Then, once you’re over the hump and have separated the sleeves and joined the fronts and back it’s acres and acres of garter stitch. Nice and squishy, this one is!
But, I was not especially happy with my yarn choice. Its always a challenge knitting in my size because I need so much yardage. I know… I know – I’ve bemoaned this state before. 2200 yards of worsted weight yarn… <sigh> easily $250 for Tanis’ yarns. So, to the clearance rack I go and find what I think is a really nice silvery-gray Rowan Hemp Tweed. Good yardage, reasonable price – less than half what it would have cost for designer yarn. But, as I now work with it I keep finding loads of… mmmmm… vegetal matter. Strands of stalks and bits of stuff twisted into the yarn, so that every few stitches I’m pulling crap out. I’ve not gotten through a row yet without this stuff. It’s too bad, too because, without all of that the yarn is nice and soft.
I was just about to pick up for the sleeve caps when I changed my mind and decided to turn back. Frog and look for different yarn. This yarn was hard on my hands… It had all this stuff in it… I had even had a sweater quantity of another yarn of the same weight that should work… I didn’t mind that the Rowan was a bit rustic looking. I like that. Not slubbed or narrow-thick – not that way, but without the polished smoothness that most commercial yarns have. Go to any store and pick up a skein of Caron, or any LYS and pet a skein of madelinetosh, then this Rowan and you’d see what I mean. But… the junk!
So I slept on it. It was late – well early would be a better word – it was about 2am and I was too tired to make a decision.
Next day I picked it up again and tried a few more rows, tracking my increases, checking my tension – all that – and before I knew it I was done with the sleeve cap! Whaaaaaat? How the h-e-double-hockey-sticks did that happen? I sat down to do a few rows and the project changed my mind for me. So, now it’s really too late to go back (for me it is – unless the problem is severe or I really (like REALLY) don’t like it I don’t frog). And, once I joined the body pieces it began to fly.
10 inches of squishy garter and the ribbed border… After that it’s just sleeves, collar and blocking. Falling off a log….
I’m so glad I’m so good at changing my mind….