14 May 2007

Trip Knitting, UFO Resurrection edition

We're back from our Mother's Day roadtrip, visiting both moms (MrV's and mine) as well as sisters, brothers, and more playgrounds than you can imagine.

For trip knitting I took along my new, improved version of Cable-Down Raglan. Oh, I fell in love with that sweater as soon as I saw it in Interweave Knits. I immediately got some Classic Silk yarn (Classic Elite) in a lavender to make this most-perfect spring sweater.

I swatched it up, and my gauge was a little loose. My gauge is almost always a little loose lately, and I realize that this is because I am just about the only person in the world who knits in proper tension -- everyone else has started knitting way too tightly, and the patterns and ball bands reflect this. Y'all need to relax, for pete's sake, and stop knitting so tightly. Anyway, until that happens, I have to fiddle with gauge.

No problem, I thought -- I'll just forge ahead and knit the sweater according to a different size, and everything will be hunky-dorey. Except, of course, after I had knit into it few inches I realized the error of my logic -- since it is a top-down raglan, and every size casts on the exact same number of stitches, my large gauge made my neckline HUGE.

So, rip it back. Re-swatch. Many, many swatches later I cast on again. Oh, joy of cables! Oh, joy of silk yarn in pretty pretty color! After I had knit the first ball of yarn (that's 135 yards, so I got through the entire first cable repeat) just for fun I measured my gauge ... which was now too tight. Ack! The dreaded gauge-was-spot-on-in-swatch-but-gauge-is wonky-during-project syndrome!

I ripped. I swatched some more. I cast on again. I knit several rows, set down the knitting for a time, totally lost track of where I was in the pattern, and decided what the heck -- I'd just rip it back out and start again (at this point I pretty much had the entire beginning of the sweater memorized).

So, I ripped, started a fourth run on it ... and realized that I had totally missed spring. Spring in St. Louis lasts approximately 10 days. Just 10 short days between shivering in wool and sweltering in as little clothing as possible. We're already thoroughly into Swelter Season here. Cable-Down Raglan had missed its season.

And so, of course, I did the only sensible thing. I ripped it out again, and cast it on again. Only this time without cables. And instead of raglan, it has a provisional cast-on at the shoulder. And a deep V-neck. And little cap sleeves.

Why, yes, that IS a lot like Sahara, now that you mention it. As a matter of fact, it's exactly Sahara. I would be further along, but one of the charms of Sahara is that you can try it on as you knit and thereby customize the fit ... except when you're knitting in a car on an interstate highway, then the "try on as you go" doesn't work quite so well.

Goodbye, Cable-Down Raglan! Perhaps we will meet again in a different season, in a different yarn. For now, you have been resurrected as Sahara.


Pensguys said...

Oooh! I've been wanting to make Sahara, but I'm afraid I may be too busty....I just don't like the looks of some on the Sexy Knitter's Club who have made this.

I've got to get OVER the "too busty", "too fat" thing....

GailV said...

Really, now, I always thought v-necks made women look more flat-chested, and thought I was maybe too rib-cagey for Sahara. I decided to make it even though I think I'm too flat-chested and my tummy flab roll is too big for it.

melissa said...

OMG! You can actually MAKE that sweater for yourself????? It is absolutely gorgeous! And I do beleive that IS the perfect lavender. Simply beautiful. In VA this year, we keep switching back and forth btween early-cool-spring weather and sweltering-hot-summer weather........sometimes all in one day!! The sweater would be PERFECT! Thanks for the compliments on the hair....(gushing)ALWAYS appreciated!!

Nicole said...

Why does it make me smile when I read about you botching the beginning of a project...LOL. You're a blogger after my own heart! I've done that too many times to mention with guage as well; it's so frustrating. Can't wait to see the finished sweater - I love the yarn color!

Oh, and you totally cracked me up mentioning "pre-reading" in the previous post. I'm always so tempted to do that, but worried I'll get caught, so sometimes I read a chapter or two and am just very careful not to open the book really wide.

big mama said...

Do you mean to tell me that there are knitters out there who eye the pattern, do a guage swatch, and then knit the thing and it fits? Me, I like to get to really know my yarn (and tear my hair out in the process!) and work on a project for several, um, years, and then realize I haven't a clue how to put it all together. Sigh, so much to learn!

GailV said...

Y'all need to settle down about my ability to make this sweater look like the picture of the model. Even if I can make it cover my body adequately and correctly sized, we need to keep in mind that, unlike the model, my arms look like sausages with pointy little elbows, my tummy pooches out in a flab roll, and my face is more saggy then sultry. We do share the same bustline, though.

Nicole, I love your blog because I know we are twin souls, botching craft projects repeatedly yet still forging on with hope that THIS time it will be different. And, yes, when you pre-read you can't open the pages all the way. It's like eating junk food while standing in the kitchen -- it doesn't count if you're standing up, plus you're less likely to get caught.