In a profoundly Harlot moment, I decided not to spin the roving over the weekend. I promise that the moment the sun comes out and lets me take decent pictures of what I’m doing…you will be party to the whole shebang. Instead, all knitting time was devoted to the persuit of the perfect pattern for the green peace fleece dk.
What I want: I want a cardigan with a zipper, not buttons. I am short and not very big, so I know I want a smaller sweater so that I don’t look like I have borrowed my dad’s clothes. Further to that, I know that I want set in sleeves, since drop shoulders are unflattering to me. (The drop part inevitably lands below my elbows, meaning that either I get arms that are way too long, or if I have the presence of mind to shorten them in the knitting…that I am knitting freakish 6 inch sleeves.) I also know that I want something sort of easy…since I want this finished before the weather turns too much for it to be useful this season.
The hunt begins. I got every magazine, book, leaflet and pattern note I have ever written myself and put them all in a huge and untidy pile in the living room. I always start this way, but don’t actually recommend it. It’s overwhelming. I made a pot of coffee and flipped through everything, making two piles. One with potential sweaters in it and one of abject rejects. At this point, I don’t worry too much. If I like a sweater but it’s a pullover instead of a cardigan, I keep it anyway. If it’s a drop shoulder, I keep it anyway, If it’s the wrong gauge…I keep it anyway. I am only selecting things that I like in the broadest possible sense. I figure (in my misguided little mind) that these are all things I can fix.
When I have a loose pile, I start weeding through. In this case, I had seven left. Since I don’t swatch (Look…I said it. No lightning hit me…no plague of locusts…Nothing) I just start knitting sweaters. In this case, the first thing I tried was Alice Starmore’s “Fern”. Why I chose this (and I refer you back to the “What I want” section above) is beyond me, considering that it is A) Huge. B) has drop shoulders. C) is a pullover and finally D) is complex. To my credit, I was going to modify it fix all those things (except for the complexity, which, naturally…I was increasing exponentially.)
I cast on the back (Dumbass. Note to self: if you are going to resist swatching, and insist on starting things that are likely not going to work, why don’t you start with one of the fronts, or a sleeve..or something smaller than the back? Why?)
See the pretty texture? No? Me either. (I swear there are cables) Fern met a timely demise.
Next, having been thwarted by the texture, I decided maybe the yarn wanted to be lace. I cast on (The back…double dumbass) of a simple cardigan with fishtail lace.
This was abandoned when the cast on edge proved to be to “swoopy”. (This would have been predictable if only I were not a dumbass.)
Clearly, lace was not the thing. (Dumbass again. A more reasonable knitter would have thought that swoopy lace was out, not all lace.) I cast on a plain jane garter rib cardi with no bells or whistles.
This one was abandoned because…well. I don’t know. I can’t tell you. Didn’t have it going on. Little to rustic? Little to masculine? Besides, the gauge was off. Too floppy. I missed an opportunity here to waste way more time by reknitting it on smaller needles to discover that it was now rustic, masculine and not floppy. It did occur to me to give this piece a wash though…which was clever, since the gauge changed a great deal.
Screwed by texture, lace and ribbing…I decided that maybe I was overthinking (I do that) and cast on another sweater. Points for finally getting my head together and casting on a front instead of a back. (You will kindly ignore that I cast on three backs before getting my head out of my arse.)
This lasted a while. I liked it, was happy with the gauge, but in the end it was frogged for two reasons. One…I didn’t like the way the seed stitch border stuck out where it was horizontal and receded where it was vertical. (Completely unexpected …I mean, who would think that just because seed stitch has always done that in every single incarnation it has had on the planet that it would do it this time? Who would think that? A Dumbass. That’s who.) Two, I decided that I liked the yarn too much to knit it plain. I wanted something special.
Back to the magazines I went, and found a beautiful sweater by Sally Melville in Interweave Knits Winter 00/01 called “Ballet Cashmere”. While the sweater itself is lovely, it was all wrong. Wrong gauge, wrong style, pullover…..but the stitch pattern itself was lovely. I re-figured my basic plain cardigan above to fit the stitch pattern (I’ll worry about the set in sleeves when I get there. How hard can it be?) and started a front. (Ladies and gentlemen….She can be taught!)
I was basically happy with this one, but thought that that the garter didn’t show up very well, so yanked it back (an aside here? This hank of Peace Fleece two ply dk has now been ripped and re-knit FIVE times and still looks great. This is nice yarn.) I cast back on with a 3.75mm (US size 5) needle and started again.
Is it a keeper?