The Friday before Halloween, I found some time to put into the back piece of my sister's latest sweater, and I was pretty pleased with what I was getting. Behold, the two finished sleeves (one blocked, one not) and the beginnings of the back:
Now, the eagle-eyed may note that there is no working needle there. That's because when I showed the piece to my sister that evening, I saw a shadow cross her face. A shadow that meant that she had doubts about the fabric I was showing her. Doubts that are pretty straightforward to identify: this is a variegated yarn, and she had concerns that the variegation in the fabric was competing with and obscuring the texture of the pattern.
To be perfectly honest, I don't think it's that bad. Then again, maybe I'm biased, because the Mister walked into the room right then, and asked why we were both staring so hard at a bit of knitting, and I told him that she was concerned that the texture was getting lost in the yarn, and he looked at it for about one and a half seconds and said, Totally. That sealed the deal. I pointed out to my sister that there was other yarn in a suitable weight and quantity available, and while it wasn't solid, it was tonal, so it should play better with the texture. I then proceeded to fetch up that yarn, and show it to her, and, in a fit of once-bitten-twice-shy attitude, expressed concern that the same muddling would happen.
So I wound the yarn, cast on for the back piece, and put in some time.
She's much happier with this go, which means I am happier. I'm coming running up on the beginning of the armhole shaping - I think I have three or so inches to go - and then once the back's done, I'll move on to the sleeves.
Sister expressed some concern over all the knitting I had previously done that was now all for naught. I just shrugged it all off. It actually doesn't bother me in the slightest. I reminded her that I really like knitting, so doing more knitting is never a problem. My priority here is to make a sweater she likes and will actually wear - I don't want to make something she'll never use, which would truly be a waste of my time. Starting over because it turns out the yarn and pattern combo wasn't working out? No biggie, in my books.
Of course, some might point out that the whole bad combo thing would have been made apparent much earlier if I had bothered to knit a swatch in the texture pattern. My usual strategy of knitting a sleeve as a swatch didn't work out this time around because the sleeves are straight up stockinette, with a garter stitch cuff - they're not textured the way the body is, so I didn't see the combination of texture and yarn until rather a bit later. Well. That's true. Use that information as you see fit. I'm going to carry on as I have because, as I said earlier, I'm not the least bit bothered by this setback.
In fact, there's a silver lining - no more yarn chicken! I've even gone back to my original plan of knitting the pattern size S, with all the positive ease that entails, and I'm not shortening it quite as much as I had been planning on before - still nipping out an inch, because we're still short (in terms of height, not in yardage!), but that's it. Should be cozy.
I am mildly disappointed that I'll now never know if I would have made it or not, and I realize that some others may also be disappointed that the potentially wild ride just won't be happening anymore. I'm sorry? I'm sure there will be other games of yarn chicken - though if I'm smart about it, none of them will have the odds stacked against me quite so firmly.
Others might be looking at my progress thus far and thinking it seems a bit light. Well. It's true that I don't get to knit as much as I'd like, you know, working and all, but that's not my entire knitterly output for the last little while.
I'm also super close to having a new pair of mittens. Which is great, because hand-coverings weather is here, and all of my existing ones are still in a box in the basement, and I have very little inclination to dig them out. Especially when I'm so close to having new ones anyway.
Yes. I know. My photos are a bit fuzzy. It's compression blur, I think. I take a lovely picture with my phone, upload it to Photobucket, crop it, and then it all goes fuzzy when I resize it to fit in nicely with the template here. I'm trying to figure a solution that doesn't cost me money. Suggestions are welcome.