Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dither and Yon

Normally I am a rather decisive person, choosing fairly easily from a menu or in the grocery aisle (although I do get mesmerized by the colors and variety of labels), and even deciding what to wear the night before for the next day. This decisiveness also extends into my knitting and spinning. A few days ago I would have said always but now that is being modified to mostly.

Last fall my mother asked me to make her a sweater so we went online while I was there and chose a cardigan pattern. It looked simple enough as a take along and I was intrigued by the construction, which was knit from the back edge through the sleeves and neck/front opening all the way to the front bottom edge. I then forgot to take her measurements. After much reminding she finally gave them to me last month. Hurray! So I figured out the yardage, dyed the 1.5 pounds of bamboo/merino DK to the colors she asked for – silver grey with bits of blue, pink and lavender, made a swatch and a knitting I did go until

the evening Spin Off came in the mail whereby the Danish Shawl was enthusiastically started with stash leftovers. This was/is a fun knit; a rather mindless garter stitch with a 6 st increase every other row. It called for bulky yarn and size 6 needles (4mm). No way I say. So it is being knit in light worsted with size 6 needles.

Well this one has bogged down. Upon reflection I realized that it just is not progressing fast enough for the time I have put into it. Also the fabric is dense even with lighter yarn than called for. The solution? Frog it back to the first color and continue with size 8 or 9 needles. Meanwhile it sits in my knitting bag.

So the other evening. Jim watched me looking at 2 of MelissaJean’s patterns and laughingly said, “You’re ahead on the sock designs so you are going to fill that hole, huh?” I looked up with surprise. But you know he was right. It is so hard for me to have just ‘down time’ that I do automatically fill it in. In this instance I wanted to make a shop/vending sample and thought the space created between sock designs was just the perfect place. Twinkle Twinkle was quickly chosen for its use of a picot edge, slipstitch pattern, smocking and the fact that it used size 3 needles.  These are a few of my fave or it things. (Can I join The Yarnery Family Singers?)   I rarely make baby anything anymore as the grandkids range in age now from 6 through 16. However there is just something endearing about knitting a baby garment.

Even though the pattern is shown in one color I decided to make it in two. One yarn in a superwash merino/tencel colorway and the other in a coordinating bamboo /superwash merino /nylon tonal. That way I can show the differences in both yarns on one garment plus illustrating a different use than socks for the yarns. Perfect! as the pattern calls for three 185 yd (169m) skeins of natural dyed organic yarn translating into two of my hand dyed non organic 390yd (356m) ones. OK, so out to the shop to look at choices. I quickly narrowed the decision to Blueberry Patch and Clematis Vine with either Blueberry Pie or Jeans as the coordinating tonal. Jeans and Blueberry Pie both coordinate with Blueberry Patch and Clematis Vine. I brought them into the house to look at a bit more, as the decision eluded me. I must have *moved the skeins around dozens of times, looking at one combination then another*. Repeat between the asterisks- all evening.

(sorry about the blurriness)

My mind just would not settle on one combo. I even wrote to Ann in CA asking for her opinion. Then made a swatch. You’re right, so many swatches lately. Sheesh what is happening to me? By the morning Clematis Vine had won out over Blueberry Patch, as Clem is so much more springy in brightness and colors. Then I dithered on the coordinating tonal. Jim’s opinion was asked. He liked Jeans best with it but I was still unsure. However I was also itching to start this cardi. Then a light came on. It could be started with Clematis Vine and the second color chosen later. Ahhhh such relief. I cast on and happily knit the picot edge and hem. So sweet.

By this time Ann had sent a reply suggesting a really bright second color. Hmmmmnnnnn Well shoot! Am I an indie dyer or not? So 5 blank skeins of the bamboo/SW were made and promptly displaced the intended bfl from one dye pot. I am so pleased with this color. It is Leaves. Actually this tonal had been thought of weeks ago but did not get dyed by the very fact that green by itself just does not sell well. However this particular tonal now coordinates beautifully with Clematis Vine, Blueberry Patch, Roses for You AND Butterfly Bush. I love it and this little sweater!!!!

The sleeves, edging and smocking will be knit in Leaves. What fun!


Sandra D. said...

Oh My! GREEN doesn't sell well? I've been drooling over the Leaves colorway. I'm spinning up yarn for a green sweater, some of which will be from your green/bronze pixie batts. I guess I just haven't been shopping long or hard enough to make a "green" impact! I do love the color in the baby garment.

Your UFO trail grows sort of like mine does.

Rebecca jc said...

You are right on with the green. See, sometimes procrastination does pay. I also am very fond of green so I may just have to order some from you so you can get over that green doesn't sell very well attitude. I guess Sandra is the one who got the green/bronze pixie batt I wanted. Lucky gal.

Jenger said...

The Danish Shawl I just finished and posted to my blog was with fingering weight and size 6 needles. The one I am doing now is out of WW on size 10s. My MIL gave me a box of acrylic yarn that does not have a full skien for anything so I am making a Danish Shawl out of the 2 oz balls. I thought this might help with your sizing issues.