Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

It was bound to happen. After all the careful contemplation of patterns, extensive swatching, a fair amount of math, and a sleeve aka lace pattern swatch I felt confident that I had done everything in my power to assure that this time the sweater I am knitting would fit. This one was not going to be wide enough for two persons like my previous attempts, after all, I am a much more experienced knitter now. O know what to do and I did it (that "S" thing).

I cast-on the stated 259 sts and started knitting this all-in-one-without-side-seams cardigan with great confidence. I knew the reverse stockinette stitch edging was supposed to undulate so it would take at least one repeat of the lace pattern before I could pass judgment on size. I chose to use a 60" Addi-Turbo needle so I could do a test "try-on" as I knit. Let's just say it didn't take a full repeat for me to know that once again, this cardigan was way too wide. It should be my motto...Way Too Wide. It was at least 4 inches too wide...possibly more. It was late at night (my best knitting time). I groaned and pitched the thing into a basket and called it a night.

The next morning I re-evaluated the situation. I did a bit more math, then I frogged the whole things and started over knitting one size smaller. The test-sleeve will have to be frogged too since the rate of increases is quite different in the smaller size. SIGH! This will be a beautiful sweater that fits...if it kills me!!!

In a fever of Startitis a couple of weeks ago I also cast-on a triangle shawl that I saw on Ravelry. It was a new pattern by an indie designer, Rebecca Hatcher of Archiknist, called Ariel. It was a simple top-down triangle shawl with one lace motif comprising the body of the shawl -- a style similar to that of my favorite designer Evelyn Clark. In a impulsive moment I purchased and downloaded the shawl. Then I dug out a cone of ColourMart merino laceweight yarn in a delicious pinky-raspberry shade and went to work. First I triple stranded the yarn to create a fingering weight (My ball winder and right shoulder have yet to forgive me for this), then I grabbed a big size 6 needle and cast-on. What a wonderful pattern! What a delicious yarn!! What a yummy shawl this is becoming!!! As of this morning I have ten repeats of Chart B (main chart) completed. I have lots of yarn so I'll knit until the shawl is big enough or until I'm sick of knitting on it. Either way it will be fabulous :-)

I didn't need to cast-on for the Ariel Lace Shawl because I have a backlog of KAL shawl projects that need my attention. But who's looking at the practical facts here? Not me. I also cast-on a brand new Stole from Birgit Freyer's Yahoo Group Knitting-Delight. I really love Birgit's design esthetic. Perhaps it is the German blood in me that bonds us, but she has more great designs that I would love to knit that I can ever imagine having the time for. The awful exchange rate makes it expensive for me to buy many of my favorites, but I do collect her free KAL patterns. When the 1st clue of her new Way of Life Stole was posted, I cast-on the same day using some Knit Picks Gloss Lace Yarn from my stash. This shawl is knit sideways having over 300 cast-on stitches. The pattern has been a geometric lace pattern that is repeated 17 times for the length of the stole. Not very complex really, but amazingly attractive and interesting. I have the 1st 4 clues completed and am anxiously awaiting the release of the 5th clue on Thursday.

All this spontaneity means I haven't finished several WIPS, nor have I written the sock patterns I have promised to do. I feel only slightly guilty. I will try to do better by at least getting the patterns done as folks are waiting on them. The WIPS are only about me, so they don't matter nearly as much. In the meantime, I'm trying to do as much knitting as I can given that my fibromyalgia is in a rage and my right arm fells like someone is trying to yank it out of it's socket. Yeeeouch! (that's a huge understatement). I rested it some on Sunday and Monday by taking time off to read Debbie Macomber's wonderful knitty novel The Shop on Blossom Street. The book was completely delightful and I've started reading the sequel A Good Yarn. If my shoulder won't let me knit then I guess I'll have to settle for reading about knitters. Such is life :-)

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