1 February 2008

Revenge of the Sweater Angst


It feels rather undeserved at the moment but Robyn gave me that 'Made my Day Award.' Now before Norway chimes in to argue with me, let me clarify. It feels undeserved because there's sweater angst. But I suppose even if I can't knit the Perfect sweater, I don't seem to have any problems writing about it. And this isn't a knitting award, so I'll graciously accept. Thanks so much Robyn! You've made MY day that little bit better. Now onto the post:

I'm cursed. I jinxed it. I should be sent back to remedial knitting. Elizabeth Zimmermann should revoke my right to knit & purl. The sweater angst is still going strong. Not even a day since boasting that the sweater was perfect, I discovered that I was horribly wrong. Sigh.

Yes, you read correctly. The perfect sweater is not perfect. The body? It's now too big. I'm the Goldilocks of knitting. First too small, then too big, hopefully this next time will be juuuuuuuust right.

So what happened between Wednesday and today? Weeeeeeeeeell. See, the Universe hates me. Whenever I think I'm a grown up and have things figured out, like being able to walk and chew gum, the Universe likes to remind me that I am in fact myself: uncoordinated, drop things and make big noises, rip things in embarrassing places, slip and fall hilariously on the ice, spill lunch on my boob, shoot fluids out of my nose or just generally miss my mouth. It's usually very Buster Keaton and hilarious for everyone else. Then I go back to concentrating when going down/up stairs and ALWAYS looking before crossing the street. Let's just say I generally stay away from pantyhose...yeah...tights work better with my temperment.

I tempted the gods with my hubris of declaring that I had achieved the perfect sweater and they decided to throw me some gauge fun. And I, thinking still with the hubrisness, didn't think I needed to really check the gauge. With most of the knitting being in social situations/at the food court at work, I didn't really measure. Instead I just kept knitting.

The sleeves were easy to check. At any time I could (and did) stick my arms in to see how they were fitting. But I was unable to do that with the sweater body. Maybe I should have listened to Mr. Peabody and his recommendation to use two circulars (one on each half of the sweater) so that I could easily lay it out to measure. Instead I knit and knit and knit until I had 2 more inches in length than I actually needed. THEN I put it on some spare yarn and tried it on. Too big. I've knit myself a pink potato sack out a good replacement for burlap.

So we sat down and analysed my potato sack and figured out the New Gauge with the new needles. This time I decided to measure over 10 inches and then average down to get a per inch number. It's what I learned from science. The larger the sample size, the more accurate the average, the more accurate the resulting calculations. From this we figured out that I had 25 too many stitches.

And because the itchy pink potato sack was right there, we also did a more pragmatic approach. I put it on and then Mr. Peabody pinned off the extra fabric and then counted how many extra stitches were at the boobs and waist. The median of the two was 25 stitches. So the math is good.

This time is going to be different. This time I'm going to measure more (or at all). This time I'm going to be Smart Knitter. This time I'm not knitting the perfect sweater, I'm knitting a regular sweater. It's not a race. I have to remember that.

Now I've got to give out some awards of my own. It's so hard for me to pick just 10 as I subscribe to 50 odd blogs (yes, Boring Job Inc. is really THAT boring) and this award has made the rounds. But award I must do, so award I shall. Oh and I think there's a probably a no-tag-backs clause in there too eh? 'Cause Robyn would likely be in there for making SP11 so fabulous.

In no particular order, here's my awardees in the category of 'Made My Day':

Brainylady— for fun theoretical conversations of the viability of knitted wrestling masks and wigs as potential winter attire.
Whistlepea— for making sweaters look so quick, easy & painless.
Jenna of Knits & Pieces— Random friending on Ravelry always makes my day (and is always followed by internet stalking).
Pinneguri— for always insisting I take a compliment dammit! and knitting amazing mittens.
Gretch0r— for hanging with the Pie and having mad interior design skillz (come redesign my apartment!).
Katie of Dyeing to Knit— for translating my vague personal preferences into a fabulous pair of thrummed mittens that rock my socks off every time I even look at them.
Cosmicpluto— for living my dream of knitting/designing/working in a yarn store. She also makes sweaters look so quick and easy.
The Ariadne Girls— for letting me use their microwave, hang out on the couch and talk loudly about various silliness, posting hilarious old school knitwear (and poking fun at times gone by) and general awesomeness.
Nicole Gastonguay— for creating the cutest creatures imaginable.
Missmalice— for living the dream life in Londinium and appreciating a bag of Swedish Berries.

Now I'm going to go see if Starbucks has finally got in some Earl Grey tea. Finger's crossed.

5 comments:

jenna said...

Awww...Thanks, Jane!! :)

missmalice said...

Thanks Jane! No tagging back but you should know that your parcel and those swedish berries certainly made my day!

Alison said...

Thanks, lady. That particular conversation definitely made my day. :)

Pinneguri said...

Thanks for the award :D I feel lousy for being so harsh on you that time so your award really made my day today!

jane said...

You all are certainly welcome.

And Pinneguri, don't worry about it. Your insistence didn't offend me in any way. It made me laugh at my own inability to just accept a compliment and not weasel around it.