30 January 2008
The Progress of a Perfect Sweater
Pattern: Sweater no. 4 from Lopi no. 20
Modifications: Lots of adaptations for gauge (Létt Lopi instead of double stranding Alfoss Lopi). I think the patterns mostly inspiration with all the figuring that I'm doing.
Materials: Istex Létt-Lopi (PINK!) 9438
(Re)Start Date: November 30, 2007
I am actually pleased as punch with how this sweater is coming along! Monogamy DOES work! Sweater Angst is (hopefully) banished for good! Exclamation Points Abound!
K. So what happened? Why is this actually working this time? Weeeeeeeeell. I did the boring right thing and was realistic about my current body shape as opposed to knitting for my mental 'how-I-REALLY-see-myself' body shape. Super boring and realistic and lame but it's working......so.....yeah. The measurements are all based on a sweater I wear all the time (Cotton Navy Blue thing) just like Mrs. (Ms. ?) Zimmermann suggests and there's a reason people go gaga for her (it's because she's right).
Other thing that happened to make this sweater better? Gauge! I was on the bad crack/taking crazy pills (or something) and decided that 3.5 mm would be a good idea AAAAANNNNNNDDDDD then thought that I should also knit really really REALLY tightly (uh, life and anticipation MAY have been a factor there....) and ended up 5 inches narrower than I was aiming for.
Now what's the deal? Well I ripped it back to the ribbing (cause gauge was good there, even with the 3.5 mm and rolling with the Continental skillz) and on suggestion of Mr. Peabody (my brother, the local yarn expert) was super-crazy-nerdy-yarn-girl and wound it back into skeins AND THEN steamed those skeins with my iron.
Why with the steamy steamy? Well according to Mr. Peabody (super-nerdy-former-yarn-store-employee) reknitting with already-been-knit once yarn (the kind with all those Krazy Kinks) affects gauge (in a bad way). Soooooooo he recommends winding it back into skeins and then said skeins all loosey goosey in big loops next to the shower for a few days so it can relax. I mean who wouldn't benefit from some good sauna time really? But as I'm being Monogamist Knitter (Sharon's my hero) I don't have the attention span for such things. I mean what am I going to do, actually WATCH CSI?
So I steamed it with my iron. I secured one end of the skein around the pointy-er end of my ironing board, held the other end in my left hand and steamed away until it was well straightened. I, uh, may have been a TAD overzealous with the iron and the yarn MAY be felted in some places (mental note: steam on actual wool or lower setting). But it got the job done. Straight (!!!) yarn then to be immediately wound into the pretty cakes and then immediately reconnected to the ribbing via spit/felted joins. In case you were wondering, I did in fact also iron the meter (or so) of yarn that was left attached to the knitting (I say if you're going to be crazy-nerdy-yarn-girl, be crazy ALL the way!).
And what's with those little bits of other yarn in the sleeves? Well, that's my own Patented Personal Row Counting System™ (not actually patented or likely an original invention, but it's more entertaining this way)! Insead of using the pen with the papers or other row counting devices, I weave in little bits of yarn to mark the point where I should be counting from. Like the beginning of a pattern repeat or here, so I can count how many rows to the next sleeve increase.
Why not use the pen and papers or the specially-built devices? Well that's because I have an interesting memory. Have used the specifically-built devices and then forget (sometimes during the row) wether or not I've ticked of the row or not. The pen and papers? Requires stopping the knitting and I'm all about the rhythm baby! With knitting the body in the round, I have to yell at myself to stop knitting cause there's no end of the row to naturally pause at. Yes, there's the end of the round with a little stitch marker, but if I stopped there, the marker would fall off (bad) so I continue the knitting and then the rhythm starts and all of a sudden I've knit another round.
What's that mysterious line in the back of your otherwise lovely white background? That would be where the extra leaf has been added into my white vintage Ikea kitchen table. Inherited from my parents, that table has seen much family dinner action (as old as Mr. Peabody) and has the war wounds to prove it. The entire underneath of is all coloured with markers by two young future creative types.
So that's the progress on the Itchy Pink Lopi Raglan. And though it's itchy in the skein, it softens when knit up and then again when blocked into place. Don't believe me? Then next time you see me ask to see my Neopolitan Squirrely Mitts. They're knit with the Icelandic sheep wool (different company. same animal) and are SUPER soft now.
Us super-crazy-nerdy-yarn-girls and super-nerdy-former-yarn-store-employees (aka Mr. Peabody aka my brother) luv luv LUV the Lopi. If you think we were coocoo for coacoa puffs about the Briggs & Little, just wait 'till you see us in a store with the whole Lopi rainbow. There's drool & fondling & total loss of control.