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Archive for January 22nd, 2006

Eternal Optimism

Sunday, January 22nd, 2006

Lynn in Before SweaterI am hysterically funny once again. I thought I could do five days’ worth of work in one day, then I gave in and went out for 3 hours, running reasonable errands, and in the evening I was really tired so I took a nap. Now the day is over and I did not do what I thought I might. I did not even get close!

For the record, usually Fridays are a day off for me. Since I worked eight hours on Friday, I figured I would do some things just for me on Saturday instead. I thought those things would be knitting things. I ended up with a different schedule than planned (when I thought I’d be snowed in), but it all worked out.

I did have fun! I went to Yarn for Ewe and cashed in my Christmas Gift Certificate from My Sara and her family. I got some wonderful, electric, one-ply wool/alpaca yarn in hot pink and hot green. I got 2 skeins of pink and one of green. And I already had one skein of each.

The yarn is called Nashua Creative Focus Worsted. It has 220 yards in 100gm. My DK yarn that I sell is 225 yd in 100gm, Cascade 220 is called Worsted at 220 yd but so is Lamb’s Pride Worsted at 190 yards for 4oz (166yd/100gm). This yarn looks much closer to a DK yarn to my eye than worsted, but since it’s a single ply it’s more dense than the Cascade 220.

Anyway, that means that I now have 660 yd of pink and 440 yd of green, rated at 5st/in. That’s enough for a sweater if I want, or a nice fat felted bag. I’m more likely to finish a bag, but this is certainly soft enough for a sweater if I get into the right mood or feel like pulling out the knitting machine again.

I’m not starting this any time soon, I have too many things half-done, but I’m thinking about it. I like to knit with really bright colors when the weather is miserable and spring is too far away. I’m thinking stripes, because stripes make bright colors even more wild, next to one another. I was thrilled to find these brights today.

I also stopped by briefly at Rae’s to drop off something. I was there yesterday, too, for another student. I bought sockyarn. Like I need sockyarn? But she had a nice bright green she handpainted herself, and again I needed to knit spring into existance. Not that I’ll even start that yarn for a while, it could be spring before I start. It made me happy to buy it.

I wanted to finish my bloom shawl today, but I guess went shopping instead. It has 18 sections when finished. I had 11 sections finished before today. I’ve knit two but I needed seven. I am thinking that it will not be done in time to leave it for the Boyz at Threadbear on Sunday. After all, I need to block and dry it, and it’s past 1am as I type this. And I have only 12+ sections knit.

I also somehow thought I might even do some personal knitting. I bought this incredibly colorful and fun sweater, handknit from handspun/hand-dyed yarns, label says it was made in Bolivia. I found it for merely $5 at Scavenger Hunt, a great resale shop on the lower level near Peanut Barrel on Grand River in East Lansing. Owned by a musician and a fiberartist… great people.

I almost didn’t buy it, though… it fit a little too tight and a lot too long, and the trim near face and hands was the scratchiest and ugliest yarn in the sweater. It’s sort of a mahogany brown with a lot of picky burrs and hay spun into the yarn. Ugh. The body is softer yarn, for the most part, and includes some electric pink and very nice darker purple and green, among other colors. I like it a lot. It reminds me of a huge Turkish Sock. I’ve seen several of these motifs in Turkish knitting.

When I tried it on in the store, the sweater was like a skinny tube for a stringbean. But I took it home, soaked and washed it in Eucalan, and stretched it wider (to fit around my hips since it’s really long). Now it looks the right size for my body. But the sleeves? They are nearly six inches longer than I would like them to be. And the collar is the darkest, ugliest color in the sweater… and scratchy, right next to my face.

Solution? Remake the sweater. This Thursday I cut the cuffs right off the sweater (I had been folding them up twice, for a huge heavy cuff that was still too long) and picked up stitches, and reknit with a pretty bluish-teal Manos del Uruguay yarn I got from the Boyz at Threadbear. The color is a zillion times better for trim near my skin than the color the sweater came with. Yet it’s handspun and hand-dyed, and thick/thin textured… which makes it look like it goes with the original yarns.

I knit a rolled cuff rather than a rib so that it would not get much longer. The sleeves are still pretty long but MUCH better, I’m pleased. Now I look like a college grrl, the sleeves are right for some styles of dress. Before, the sleeves would have pleased nobody.

Now the next step is to do the bottom hem edge, which will include a stockinette section and a simple rib section. Last, I will redo the collar. I’m looking forward to that. The collar as it is, is too big and floppy, and brown, and scratchy. I inevitably end up reknitting collars several times before I’m satisfied, but I’m sure I can come up with something softer, and more colorful, and more flattering than what I’ve got now.

My friend Anne/Nyla took this picture of me in the sweater before I cut it apart. I really like this picture. It’s not the most flattering of my face, but it really shows how I usually dress in the wintertime. Beret, leggings, legwarmers, turtleneck and huge, colorful sweater in tunic length. Aren’t the sleeves funny? Waaay too long. And considering how small the body circumference was, those sleeves just were not well-thought-out.

It’s on its way to transformation, but I thought I’d be starting that new bottom edge today after finishing the Bloom shawl. Not a chance now, but it was a great dream!

I think I’m just like a 5-yr-old. My eyes are bigger than my tummy, so to speak. A child wants a three-dip ice cream cone, and I think I can knit two projects in a day. I guess it’s a harmless problem other than the minor guilt I feel.

Off to knit more on Bloom before I crash. At least one more section… one more, one more…