August 10, 2012

A reasonable knitter

It took a few days, but the knit-a-palooza has started, and I don't know about you, but I think there's nothing more stupid than a brilliant tank top finished in January, so first up is getting all the summer knitting off the needles before the summer ends.

I'd finished the back of Flow (or the front, they're both the same) a few weeks ago when I was in Oakland, and all that was left was to pound out the other piece, sew two seams, put a couple of little bands on it, and there you go.  It would me be in another fetching top.  I'm sure I've mentioned it about a hundred times, but I love the other Flow I knit.  It's comfortable, wearable, matches just about everything I own, is a little dressy but not too much... it's perfect, and it's not just me who thinks so.  I wore it to dinner in Montreal the other nice and got four compliments on it.  It's a great top, and a lot of it has to do with the yarn.  Seduce was the suggested yarn, and perfect for it.  It's a little slinky, heavy, drapey... so when I decided to make another, I went looking for more Seduce.  None of my local shops had it in stock, and it turned out not to matter because I didn't really like any of the other colours it comes in, and all of that added up and because I'm not the sort of person who apparently delays gratification well, I ended up buying a substitute that I'm not as wild about.  Samea.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I don't think this is a bad yarn at all.  As a matter of fact, I think most of the time this would be a yarn that I chose over Seduce.  It's got less shine, less drape... and usually those are things that this less flashy knitter prefers - but for this top, I think I might not have made the most awesome choice. For starters, Seduce is primarily rayon, and Samea is primarily cotton, and I don't know if it  was desperation or fumes, but while I was in the yarn store, neither that nor the fact that I don't much care for cotton seemed to matter and I bought it and left, and now I think it's catching up with me.

See, I'm having trouble telling if I'm being reasonable or not.  As I mentioned, I love my previous Flow.  The idea was to make another one exactly the same, but in another colour.  So, I did a swatch, made sure it matched, started knitting the same size.. the whole shebang.  There's a series of decreases in the body of this top to make it that swingy  A-line shape, and then when you get to the right number, it says to knit until it's a certain number of inches.  Well,  since I want this top to be the same as the last one, I ignored that number of inches, and I took out the old Flow, and used that as my measurement.  I made them match to the underarm, then proceeded boldly with the rest of the directions, because my gauge is right. (I'm standing by that statement.)   When I was done,  that front looked too short.  Now, I'm a reasonable knitter with good instincts, so I listened to that little voice, and I did several things that reasonable knitters do. 

1. I re-measured.  I checked the old top and the new top to see if they are the same.  They are.

2. I lay the new front on top of the old front to see if they are really the same.  They are.

3. I thought about gravity, and then held up the old top and the new top at the same time to see if they are functionally, actually the same. They are.


I decided at that point that I was just getting jerked around by knitting again because knitting is like that, and I started the back, but this whole time the idea that the front is too short has been bugging me.  I can't stop looking at it and thinking that something isn't right.  Now, once again, I'm a reasonable knitter with good instincts, so I double checked.  I did the following.

1. I washed and blocked the finished front to see if it was hiding something and wasn't really the same but was actually a dirty lying sneak of a yarnthing.  Then I repeated the steps above to see if they were still the same. 

They are.  They are the same. They are the same width, length... gauge... They are absolutely the same....  So tell me, why do I have this feeling that there's some chicanery going on around here?  I'm up to the armpit on the back, and I feel like I should add a few centimetres, then rip back the front and do the same.  There's no reason on earth to think that these aren't the same, and now I'm wondering if I'm just being uppity because the yarn isn't the same, but maybe the fact that it's not the same is what's bugging me.   I keep measuring it to see if it's the same length, and telling myself "All right. Look at that - it's the same" and then some other part of me screeches "Same? Does that look the same to you? Are you kidding me?  Seduce doesn't even have cotton in it, you moron!" and then I measure it for seven more hours, and it keeps being the same, and now I'm stuck. 
I'm a reasonable knitter, and I've done what reasonable knitters do, but I still think this top is too short, even though there's zero evidence to support it.  I'd yank back and add a bit, but I bet then it will be too long - because dudes, it is the same length.  I swear it is. 

As a general rule, I trust concrete evidence over my own feelings... but..this is yarn, and yarn doesn't play by all the rules of the material plane.
What would you do?

Posted by Stephanie at August 10, 2012 1:00 PM