Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A puzzle.

As fall weather approaches I am thinking sweatery thoughts. I haven't given up on Eris, though other more time-sensitive projects have pushed it aside a bit. The cables are still very brain-intensive for me though - it hardly counts as sweater knitting to me until I get past that collar.

Looking at my project list, I can tell I am suffering from a massive case of startitis because it is taking all my might not to cast on everything that has been ruminating in the back of my mind for so long. The fact that I have not yet cast on for both Hanami and Flamenco is, I promise you, evidence of steel willpower and deadline knitting. Who knows where I would be if I didn't have this vacation coming up. Hopped up on laceweight and giggling like a lunatic at the very least - surrounded by newly cast on projects that seem under control now, but threaten to overwhelm me at any moment. Hanami is particularly insidious because it looks so darn easy. I'll totally knit Flamenco first though so that I can wear it at Christmas.

I'm looking at both Oblique from Knitty and the Diminishing Rib cardigan from Interweave Knits. The SO bought me some Valley Yarns Northampton as a present ages ago that I haven't figured out a project for that I think will be perfect for Oblique, and I loved the Valley Yarns Colrain I made my previous sweater out of so much that I bought more in two different colors. The original yarn called for in the Diminishing Rib cardigan is a wool-silk blend and I think the wool-tencel will be a perfect substitute. It has almost the same yardage per 50 grams so it should be perfect, right?

Well. I got out my swatch from the last sweater and checked the guage on it (I'm sure we all remember the guage issues I had previously with the thing turning out way bigger than what I had intended) and I measured the guage and...I had too many stitches to the inch. I couldn't believe it. Knit as loosely as it had been for that garment, how could I possibly end up with too MANY stitches to the inch? Seriously? There is no way I could possibly knit that yarn at the guage listed, and no way it would look good if I did. It doesn't look like it has a particularly loose guage in the magazine so I'm kind of stumped. In the immortal words of my ancestors, "It don't make no sense, y'all." I can only conclude that I had some type of measurement mishap. I will have to revisit the issue at a later date. Maybe I will go measure the guage on the actual sweater. The previous swatch was obviously flawed anyway. It was less than four inches wide, so I had to measure an inch and multiply to get the count for four inches, and that process is rife with peril. The Webs recommended guage for the yarn is 4" to the inch which is 16 stitches for 4 inches, so obviously 19 stitches to the inch called for in the pattern is not as crazy as I think it is. I must be the one who is a few jalapenos short of a zippy salsa.

Anyway, I'm trying to decide whether it is a good idea or a crazy idea to take Oblique along for plane knitting. Planes are boring so plain knitting doesn't work for plane knitting, so Oblique would be good. But, there is also airport knitting which usually has to be much plainer than plane knitting. I have a shawl that I work on pretty much exclusively on planes, so I might just take that. It's fine for airports, though it can be a little dull for planes. However, there's a snag in that plan. It seems I robbed that project of its needles some time back, and never put caps on the end of my cable. While it was lying carefully on the back of my couch this was probably fine, but as time passed I forgot it wasn't capped and moved it around, and while cleaning this weekend I found to my horror that it was about half off the cable. Fortunately, it is a sticky yarn and I don't think it's too badly damaged. I will have to spend some quality time with it, though, before we head to the airport. I'm not entirely sure everything that's wrong with it can be fixed with a crochet hook, I may have to tink back a row or two. The stitch markers all fell out and need to be replaced as well (they were the cheap rubber ones so I am not distraught, just inconvenianced, especially since I don't know where they all ended up).

Of course, the SO did buy me some laceweight recently, and I have been wanting to try out this whole circular shawl thing I see so much of...lace is much easier to carry on airplanes than sweater yarn, after all, even if it is just the beginning of a sweater and you get a lot more laceweight in a carry-on bag and ugh, can you imagine if I didn't put enough yarn in my carry on and I actually RAN OUT halfway into the flight??

Clearly this needs further consideration.
Of course, the other thing I could do, is use the plane time as 'finish it up' time.  I could take the featherweight cardigan along and probably finish it out before the trip is over with.  It's kind of mindless knitting, but still.  If I took that and the Eris collar maybe I could make some progress on stuff I've already started.
...but where's the fun in that?