Monday, February 23, 2009

Square - Uh, ROW 1.

I cast on for my sweater this past week and knitted happily along on the back. I LOVE the yarn (Valley Yarns Colrain in Grape Jelly), it's beautiful and it feels so wonderful to knit with, and it's not splitty. At first the plain stockinette was kind of boring, but it grew pretty quickly and I enjoyed watching it after a while. I got through a ball and a half of yarn and was about 8 inches in when I thought, you know, I should measure this to see how wide it is. Make sure I'm getting what I'm supposed to, and all that.

Yeah, I might be a little slow.

I measured cheerfully, and found to my disgust that I was getting 24 inches where I was supposed to be getting 22. I thought, well, no big deal, it'll just be a little big, and - here's the kicker. I kept going. I am a moron. It bugged me and it bugged me and I finished out the second ball of yarn and measured and again and discovered that I had been a little optimistic before, that it was actually over 25 inches wide and I was forced to face facts...I was knitting a tent. A giant, beautiful, soft, tent. The thought of having to rip out all that beautifully even stockinette and reknit it with wavy yarn made me want to weep.

I put it away. I fussed. I harassed the SO into entering into my misery, but we both agreed. It was madness and folly to continue on.

I got a fresh ball of yarn and started the back again, but this time I cast on for the size one down from what I was working on. I debated for some time between switching to a smaller needle or knitting the smaller size, and finally settled on the smaller size just because I was relatively certain, based on the amount my initial attempt giant swatch was off by, that this would give me the correct width, and I could not bear the thought of attempting it with a smaller needle only to find that I was going to have to start over a third time. I'm still questioning this decision a little, since I would kind of like it if the fabric were a little tighter, but I'm forging ahead anyway. I'm actually a little concerned because my row guage is also slightly off, but I don't really have a problem with the sweater being a little longer than it is supposed to be. I think. And if I do, I'm reasonably certain I can fix it in the knitting. The only part that is not fixed in length (in other words, the only part that does not say 'knit until it is x inches long') is the spiral chart, so if I find it is too long, I can always take out a diamond.

The upside of this whole thing is, that I was able to change the hem, which I was really wishing I had done. The sweater is knit entirely in stockinette so the bottom edge rolls, and the roll was driving me crazy. So, I knit a garter stitch hem on it when I restarted, to control the roll. It's beautiful. It's gorgeous. I love it. Almost enough to not be better about knitting it twice. Really, I wouldn't be bitter at all, except for the intense pain I feel at the thought of the wavyness of that frogged yarn. I *think* I may actually have enough yarn not to have to rip out the first try giant swatch.

I know that I could always frog the yarn, reskein it on my niddy noddy, and wash it to take out the kinks, but...I'm lazy. If I can avoid that, I will. We shall see.

Thank God I love this yarn so much. If I were indifferent toward it I think I would shoot myself, but since I have such an appreciation for its softness and beauty, it's okay.

I just hope it wears at least moderately okay - it will break my heart if it comes apart the second time I wear it!

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