Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Case of the Expanding Sweater

Last month I completed my first ever sweater for myself - knitted. I did a couple in crochet years ago and have absolutely no idea what became of them. They were wretched acrylic things made out of a fuzzy brown yarn that shed everywhere.

Anyway, I was incredibly excited to completely this sweater. I made it out of Malabrigo worsted (merino wool for non-knitters. It's incredibly soft) and when I finished it, it fit perfectly. So, like a good girl, I washed and blocked it. When it finally dried about three years later, I put it on, and it fell off my shoulders. It was so large that there was no way in hell that I could have possibly worn the stupid thing. I contemplated trying to shrink it. I screamed a little bit. I died on the inside. I'd just spent three weeks knitting this beautiful garment and it was HUGE.


I went on Ravelry and talked to the Malabrigo users group folks, and somebody there helpfully told me that the yarn "blooms." Stupid bloomin' yarn. It didn't bloom, it metastasized.

However, one of Ella's friends was in town to help us with caring for Ella while she was in the hospital, and the sweater fit her absolutely perfectly. So I gave my beautiful sweater to her.

Looks great on her too. Perfect color.

And I went out and bought two more skeins of the same colorway because I still had one skein left. So eventually I'll make this sweater for myself, two full sizes smaller than what I originally made to see if that will actually fit me. Watch it be too small.

Whisper Cardigan

In other knitting news, I'm well past the point on my Whisper Cardigan where I had to rip the entire damn thing out. I'm past the halfway point across the back. I eliminated the center back gather, as it doesn't seem to actually add anything to the design and I hate useless lines on my clothing.

Also, had the morning from hell with this sweater. I may have to take my friend Auffermann's suggestion and just not even attempt to knit in the mornings. Catastrophically bad things happen when I do. This morning I managed to twist a purl stitch, and then completely mess up my knitting when I was attempting to undo the stitch, by dropping a few stitches (still don't know how), breaking the yarn accidentally and then unraveling a row or two before I realized what the hell was going on. AND there was a little kid sitting next to me, so I was desperately trying not to swear.

Sorry about the crappy photo. This yarn color does NOT photograph well in low light levels.


On Ella's sweater I made it to the 10" mark for the skirt portion, and have yet to actually look at the instructions or measure it, or see how long it will be on her. She wanted it longer than what the photo in the book showed, but she's so tiny I'm not really sure I'll have to make any length alterations. So that project is shelved for the moment.

Rhapsody in Cables (or some other such stupid name)

On our anniversary, I picked up some gorgeous Filatura di Crosa Wave in a slate gray to make a sweater for my husband. He has an obsession with knitted goods that rivals most men's feelings about sports. Of course, he loves really complicated intricate cables, which I've never done before.

This weekend I started swatching in a crappy acrylic yarn to teach myself basic cabling. As a hint to all other cable newbies out there, PLEASE do not use the Stitch n' Bitch books as a reference to attempt to teach yourself cables. That is foolhardy. These instructions are only for people who are either 1. psychic or 2. rusty. The Lion Brand website has some excellent instructions on cables, although again, don't go quite far enough for a bonehead like me. So far I haven't found any instructions on cables that really hold your hand, but I muddled through anyway.

Here are the results:
As you can see, I have a giant gaping hole between two of my tiny little cables. While that is an interesting design feature, I could imagine that giant gaping holes wouldn't necessarily lend themselves to the overall warmth of a sweater. So I will be attempting to correct that on my next swatch with crappy acrylic. I have the deep sneaking suspicion that cables are going to be a hell of a lot of fun on yarn that doesn't suck.

Look What Else I Made

In other news, I made this:

It's my first successful B&T. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwww yeah.

1 comment:

  1. Still having dreams about cabled sweaters. Yes, your knitting is affecting me just that deeply. Psychotic, but it warms my heart.

    And that's an awesome B&T. PLUS you get major props for your black velvet!