Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm a talker today

On my way back from Anchorage on Monday (more on that later), I stopped over in Juneau for a couple hours to see my dear old Dad. We had a couple hours to kill, and it was too windy and cold out to go for a walk, so imagine my joy when he suggested, "Well, why don't we go to the yarn shop?" The yarn shop, however, was closed. We briefly discussed breaking in, but a friend of ours does own it, so we concluded that such measures were a little out of line, even in situations in which the shop is closed but you can see the exact colorway of Lorna's Laces you've wanted for years hanging in the window and someone wants to buy it for you and you can't get in... I managed to get over it, we swung by the JoAnn on the way out to the airport, and he hooked me up with a nice stack of Patton's as a belated birthday gift, on sale and enough to make a sweater. Nice.


I wasn't sure whether I'd keep the grey or exchange it for another color...the last thing I need is more depressing winter clothing, but on the other hand, I'm considering officially giving my grey garter yoke cardigan to a friend of mine who has subtly co-opted it, so that would create an opening for a grey sweater in my life. (I have come to accept that the garter yoke sweater looks infinitely better on her than it does on me. I am 5'3" - okay, 5' 2 3/4" - while she is 5'10", which means that it is unequivocally too big for me, a fact I have been attempting to deny ever since I finished it. I'm trying not to be too bitter about this.)

Anyway, I'm planning on knitting it into a Gathered Pullover (since it seems my Pendulum of Fickleness has swung back in its direction). It's not the weight called for, but I never liked that pattern until I saw fellow SnBer Courtney's version, which is in worsted weight with positive ease, so I'm going to do something along those lines. Instead of knitting it as specified in the pattern, I'd convert mine to a bottom-up raglan with a steeked neck. Essentially I'd only be using the cable chart. Because, well, why do something simply when I can make it incredibly complicated and potentially fraught with peril? I have yet to knit a sweater actually following a pattern and am not sure I ever will.

Also, I have a terrible secret, the reason for the steek, the reason I don't knit patterns that combine knitting flat and in the round: I row out. Really, really, really terribly row out. As Priscilla Gibson-Roberts puts it in Knitting in the Old Way, "With the knit side facing, every other row will appear just a tad looser. But if you turn to the purl side, you will see a major difference - this is called rowing out, and it is not a mark of excellence."


What I think Priscilla is too nice to say there is that rowing out is bad. Very bad. I actually think it looks kind of cool, gives flat knitting a neat texture, but the problem with patterns that combine flat and circular knitting is that only part of the garment is "rowed-out," while the rest looks normal. Ugh. A lot of people recommend combined knitting to fix the problem, in order to tighten up the purl stitches, which are usually the loose ones. My problem, (naturally, since I am apparently determined to make my life difficult) is that instead of purling too loosely, I purl too tightly, so combined knitting would actually make the problem worse. Sigh. Mine is a sad lot in life. I'm short and I purl too tightly. How will I ever go on?

P.S. This is how much yarn was in my bag when I unpacked. I travel carry-on only, but I have my priorities right.


(Communist Manifesto included for scale)


mooncalf said...

I hear that some people use different sized needles to correct the problem. If your purling is tighter, use a needle one size up to purl with. Might be worth testing on a swatch...

Brie said...

I finished a sweater in that exact Paton's yarn just a few months ago. I really liked it, but striped some Noro Kureyon into the yoke for some color interest.

And yay for Juneau! I grew up there, and heard they've had abysmal (but normal) weather lately.