06 September 2007

The reveal

My downstream sock pal has received her socks.

Imagine the challenge, the intimidation, of knitting socks for the woman who makes this. And this (which I can't wait to emulate). I was practically paralyzed with anxiety. I am delighted that she likes them.

I am planning to work a new pair of these socks using her own yarn (since, after all, these were created for her, and Vesper socks should really be made with Vesper Sock Yarn) but rejiggering the pattern on the leg. The pattern I used is Charlene Schurch's, and though I like it, I want to design one of my own. Once I've done that I will post it here.

Other knitting news is slow, in part because of a cross-country trip over Labor Day (though the stranded-in-the-airport part of the trip was actually quite conducive to slog knitting) and in part because of an existential crisis regarding the Minimalist Cardigan.

To wit: is this the right yarn?
For while I am learning to reconcile myself to the handmade aspects of my knitted creations, I am also learning that yarns have certain distinct properties. I have read about this kind of thing, but have acted as if I were somehow above it. I do swatch to get gauge, so I suppose that galloping ahead knitting a pattern with a yarn that is not recommended for it is a kind of compensation for that (for me) atypical demonstration of knitterly irresponsibility

But after my experience with my Banff, I have vowed to be vigilant. (Remind me to tell you about that some time.) The lesson I learned with that is: if you suspect that the sweater is not going to look as great with the yarn you're using as it does in the pattern, STOP KNITTING.
(I haven't even photographed the damn thing. Too depressing. It's perfectly OK, but Banff is designed to be knit in a heathery tweedy yarn, and in a smooth plain-colored yarn it just looks, well, nondescript. Add to this the fact, which I also suspected from the get-go and wilfully ignored, that a sweater that looks cute and darling on a small frame is not necessarily quite as cute and darling on a woman six feet tall. Large and baggy, more like it.)

Now, what drew me to the Minimalist Cardigan was its groomed, tailored quality. But I have a feeling that with the yarn I'm using, I am already getting something, well, less sophisticated. I divide my clothes into country clothes and city clothes, and I want this to be a city sweater, and yet as I knit I seem to hear a rural twang emanating from the stitches. (Is that a hayseed I see before me?) So I made myself stop and consider, carefully, because it hurts a lot less to frog a couple of inches than a whole sweater (stay tuned for Banff, Part Two).

And if I could ever learn to use this camera indoors, maybe you could see what I am talking about. Point and click, my foot.

A final, if tangential, warning to beginning knitters. When you make two identical lace doilies, and you want to make them the same size but you don't have enough blocking pins to block them side by side, BLOCK THEM TOGETHER. That is, lay one atop the other and insert a pin through each crochet loop along the border. Do not, I repeat, do not, block them one after the other.

I rest my case.

1 comment:

Seanna Lea said...

Ouch. I see what you mean with the doilies. That is very extreme.

I would love to make the sophisticated city sweater (I'm working on the Tangled Yoke, slowly), but I couldn't afford the gorgeous tweedy yarn. So, my yarn choice is a little less ideal. I think it will still be gorgeous, but it will be two steps from perfect rather than one (accounting for potential knitting and finishing errors).