Yarn Along (by Bethany)

The first sweater I ever knit could stand up by itself. Putting it on was like wearing a suit of armor. I was a freshman in college then, and my roommate and I were both taking the same knitting class and using the same pattern. I was so jealous that she could actually wear her sweater when it was finished. I didn’t do anything wrong, exactly – it was just that my gauge back then was SO tight. Things have changed since then, though. It seems as if with every item I knit, my gauge gets a little looser. I’m not consciously doing anything differently, but I’ve come to expect that if I knit a sweater using the pattern’s designated two year-old size, the resulting garment will fit the child when he or she is ready to go off to kindergarten.

All of this is a long way of telling you that things are not going well with the little green sweater. I want it to fit a one year-old, and at first I – ever the optimist – cast on the one year-old size. It became clear very quickly that the sweater was going to be enormous, so I unraveled it and cast on the six-month size, which I STILL thought was going to be too big for a one year-old. I finished the back fairly quickly and cast it off, but once it was off the needles I realized that it really is way too wide, even for a one year-old. I did cast on the front and finish the ribbing, but I think I’m going to unravel the whole thing again and size down the needles.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that I LOVE working on this sweater. The yarn is Lanett Superwash’s soft washable merino wool, which may be my favorite yarn of all time. It’s soft, pliable, and forgiving, and I love having it in my hands. It’s just fingering weight, but this pattern calls for using two strands at once, so it knits up quickly. The pattern (also from Lanett) is wonderful too – very clearly written, with just enough cabling and pattern stitches to keep the work interesting without being at all hard to follow while also watching an NCIS marathon.

The book in the picture is Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s The Colonel. This is an Iranian novel that’s gotten a lot of press in the U.S. lately. Dowlatabadi is known for doing for Persian literature what Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and others did for American literature: he rejected many of the conventions and elaborate language of traditional Persian literature in favor of the language of the common people. Apparently this was very shocking in Iran. I’ve only read the first 20 pages or so, but I’m enjoying it so far. More to come when I review it in a week or so.

Happy Wednesday!

P.S. Yarn Along is hosted by Ginny on her blog Small Things. Originally I forgot to include a link to her site. Sorry, Ginny!

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7 Responses to Yarn Along (by Bethany)

  1. Heather says:

    Well! If you are enjoying working on it, then it probably isn’t a bad thing that you keep unraveling it! I’m sure you will eventually get the hang of it. I find that sizes never seem to run the way I think they will. My daughter is tall and skinny, so when I make something in her “size” it ends up swimming on her and being too short 🙂 So I have to adjust everything. I kind of see patterns as a guideline 😉 Good luck!

    • lfpbe says:

      Agreed! I tend to work the same patterns over and over, and I get to know them very well. This is only the second time I’ve worked this one, and the first time was about 8-9 years ago–I might have sized the needles down that time too, but I forget. And I have no complaints about starting over since the yarn and the pattern are so much fun.

  2. marvelg says:

    Nice to see you knitting again…. I, unfortunately, had to put my voracious knitting on hold due to slight carpal tunnel tendencies. My right arm feels better (was working both on an audit report that required lots of point-and-clicking and some 1×1 ribbing on a sweater with laceweight yarn at the same time and my forearm just HURT), but I’ve been really hesitant to do some major knitting. As a result, my poor sweater will probably never get finished…. Also, there’s a good chance that all my Christmas knitting won’t be happening.

    P.S. Did you ever join Ravelry?????

    • lfpbe says:

      I have carpal tunnel too, only it’s so far down my list of problems that I usually forget I have it – at least until my massage therapist starts digging into my left arm, at which point I say, “Oh right! Carpal tunnel!”

      I do have a login name on ravelry, and I go there every so often to look at patterns, but I don’t think I’ll ever be a very active member. Facebook and a blog (officially several blogs, but PFP is the only active one at the moment) are enough of a web presence for me.

      • Martha says:

        I don’t use Ravelry as a social media platform (there are too many out there that I’m a user of that don’t get any play from me these days), but I do love it for the awesomeness as a pattern resource and as a log of what I’ve knitted. Come look me up (user name above) and we can share projects….

      • lfpbe says:

        I’ll look for you the next time I’m on there – but it’s really not often. I am really loyal to Yankee Knitter patterns and have dozens of them in hard copy, so I don’t really look for new patterns very often.

  3. Pingback: Yarn Along (by Bethany) | Postcards From Purgatory

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