Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bit of Ugh

[Well, interesting how it's been nearly 2 years since I posted on here.]
Knitting satisfaction seems to have ground to a halt, and I thought it might help to write a bit about it. It could be winter doldrums, except that this has been a lovely winter, and winter is generally good knitting weather. No complaints with having a lap full of knitted fabric in the winter. It's more likely a part of a more generalized doldrums - with what I do for work, with my lack of getting outside as much, and with the physical effects these are having on me.
But I still like to make things, I'm just not happy with how these things are turning out.
Such as:
Not one, but two hats I knit in 2010 was very happy with, and which then grew - and now are unwearable.
First, there was my version of Soulemama's "My Hat of Choice," in a dark purple Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed. I really loved this hat. Hat was great, then hat fell off my head onto the floor beside the garbage at daycare, so I washed it gently in Eucalan. And it grew. Now it just kind of sags off my head, down into my eyes. Well at least I can unknit the yarn and reuse it.
Unlike the next one, my version of the Bryony Cap in some purple Manos del Uruguay. I've had the yarn for at least a couple years, had tried it on a couple of different projects, and not been happy with it. The Bryony actually calls for Manos, so it should be a perfect fit. And it was. It was beautiful. For about four months. And then it grew. On its own this time, not with any washing. So, I tried to wash it in warm water to make it shrink a bit. Instead, it seemed to grow even bigger (not to mention losing a lot of color). So, in some bizarre fit of making sure this yarn would be done forever, I tossed it in the dryer, on a delicate setting. And so it felted. Not in a way that turns it back into a wearable hat. The best suggestion from friends at work was that I felt it more, and it could be a decent bowl.
More unsatisfying knitting? Sure.
There was the owl sweater for my little guy. I had been given some nice durable acrylic/wool blue Patons Decor from a friend at work that fit the gauge. I followed the directions in the pattern (from 1983 or so, but really - have children's bodies changed since the early '80s? Apparently). And came out with sleeves that were too long and too narrow. They're set-in sleeves, too, so the whole torso plan called for them being narrow at the armpit. I unknit sleeves, and body back to a reasonable armpit level, reknit body back up to the neck again, and haven't managed to reconfigure the sleeves to actually fit.
Then, there was the trucks sweater, again for the little boy. First off, I made the wrong size. He was currently wearing 2T, and the pattern jumped from 2T to 4T, so I made 2T. That makes sense, right? No, not really. It came out too small. So I unknit, and reknit in size 4T. This one seems to be successful, except that little boy will not try it on. Possibly remembering the 2T version, he insists, "That's too small."
Also in the fall, there was the ultimate disaster of knitting-for-little-boy, the batwing poncho in Morehouse Farm's 2-ply merino. This project was an utter slog, and just did not feel right - taking this nice soft merino & knitting scads of boring, boring garter stitch with it. And, little boy absolutely hated it. My husband & I managed to wrestle it onto the 2-year-old, and he had it back off in probably 10 seconds. So, not even a photo of that one. I frogged the yarn for happier uses.
And so, it's been the winter of scarves.
One dragon skin scarf made with the batwing merino. It's coming along. I've knit up 3 of the 4 skeins, and it seems like it should be a little longer. Not 4 skeins long, but a little more than 3.

One one-row lace scarf made with some purple yarn I purchased years & years ago at the old Cornucopia on Washington Avenue in Endicott. Sometime after I wound the skein into a ball, the label went missing. I do have about a yard left so I could do some burn tests to at least figure out what fiber(s) are in the yarn. This scarf is pretty, but so far too light-weight for the weather so far.

And, one feather & fan scarf made with some luscious-looking Universal Yarn Classic Shades from the current Cornucopia in Endwell. The color and texture are yummy, but over time, working with the yarn, I was feeling the 70% acrylic more & more. Now I'm not sure if it's too long, too skinny, or just too acrylic. Something doesn't feel quite right. My husband's niece liked it back in January, so maybe it will end up a gift this weekend..

Filling out the winter's knitwork, is the in progress cardigan in gifted Reynolds Chesapeake. Should be a nice, basic sweater, but I think I'm just afraid that there's no sweater that will fit this ungainly shape I'm in now. In hopes of making this work out better, I've just downloaded the Fit to Flatter collection from Stash, Knit Repeat. Let's see if Amy H's plans will help me ensure that this will work out.
OK, so a lot of frustration, but one piece worked out beautifully for a Christmas gift - a Hemlock Ring Blanket made with Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool for my sister-in-law. I loved working with this yarn, and loved the end result. Maybe more gifts are in order?
Seems like it's generally time for more thinking & more planning...


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