Thursday, July 16, 2009

3 Steps Forward, 2 Steps Back

It's been very busy here at the opera, but I have had at least a little knitting time. I've finally finished spinning the purple yarn I've been making for as long as Rachel has known me (she so kindly pointed out this summer) and have started knitting it into a sweater set. I often make my own patterns, which certainly carries it's own satisfaction, especially for those of us picky about fit, but for this set I had planned to use a pattern I already own in a 1950 knitting pamphlet. I think I had intended to spin the yarn to match the gauge given in the pattern (not sure, as my intention dates to about 2006) but while all of the balls of yarn are fairly consistent* with each other, they are not, in fact, the right grist for this pattern. So I had to do a very small rewrite of the existing pattern to match my actual gauge. Still faster and easier than writing the whole pattern, right?

This is how far I got under that plan:

Knitting in the round affords lots of chances to try on a garment as it's being constructed, and correct errors well before the end. This was my try-0n point, the point at which I instantly regretted second guessing my original instinct to knit 5" of ribbing. The pattern (authentic 1950 you recall) only called for 3" of ribbing, and although I knew better, I deferred to the pattern at 3" because I was sick of knitting 1x1 rib. Also, the body increases were too close together and the body itself a bit looser than I had hoped for (or indeed than they appeared on the model).

So instead of keeping 8" of the wrong thing, finishing it and hating it forever, I ripped out 5" of body back to the original 3" of ribbing.

Discouraging to do, but from this point I knit the additional 2" of ribbing I should have started with, and reworked the body shape and size to something much more flattering. At this point I've rewritten the pattern extensively, almost equivalent to just writing my own in the first place. Almost. I'm still trying to mimic the look and shaping of the original, but fit my non-1950-model-body.

* As a point of fact, I am incredibly proud of how consistent my grist is on 2 1/2 pounds of fine yarn spun here and there over a 3 year period.

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