Monday, October 5, 2009

Possible and impossible

The past few days have involved me strutting about somewhat triumphantly, for I have the glow of not just one finished item, but two.

Pictures will come after blocking is done. I suppose I could have taken pictures of the items while they dry, but I use my iPhone's camera for pictures - not a particularly high quality image, but decent enough, and I can email it right to the image host, no fiddling around with cables to connect a camera to the computer. I can't argue with that sort of convenience. So pictures will have to wait.

The first item I finished was my Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Ties (Ravelry link to my project page). I'm pretty excited about this one - it's the first sweater I've made for myself. Pre-blocking, it fit pretty well - I had been nervous about it coming out too small, so I made a size that was probably larger than it needed to be, judging by how much room there is in the sleeves. Still, I think it works - not sure I'd want the thing to be super fitted, and it's not billowing on me as is either. Of course, I checked my gauge, but didn't do the whole knit a little square, measure, then wash and remeasure thing. So if it happens that the yarn undergoes a massive change with water, then I could be in for a surprise! We'll see if this is the experience that makes me rethink my operations here.

The second item was my Ice Cream Stella. It feels a bit like cheating to include a hat, but it's done, so it counts. I haven't blocked it yet - unblocked photos on my Ravelry project page - but I think I should. I suspect I'll love it once it's blocked. I'm just not too sure about how to lay it while it dries - I don't want to distend the ribbing, and I don't want to end up with a defined crease at the fold. Then again, maybe I'm worrying where I don't need to - blocking is a relative term, and around these parts, it's definitely not a severe, shaping process - I don't use pins, so really it's more of an immerse in Soak-y water, then lay flat to dry. There's creases, but I have this feeling that they're not as well-defined as they would be if I were to block more severely. I'm still thinking.

I'll have more to say about these items once they're blocked and really truly finished. I must say, I find it much more interesting when one can see a picture of the finished object and read the accompanying comments at the same time. Seeing a parade of images only is useful, but being able to read someone else's thoughts about the process of making the object is more interesting and enjoyable. I've been reading through the archives of the occasional knitting blog here and there - I'm a couple of years late to figuring this stuff out - and there are several that I've finished up and now miss because they're no longer updating. Eunny Jang, for example - loved reading her blog archives, am sad she doesn't seem to blog anymore.

The real take home message here, though, is that I can actually finish a sweater! Without having to devote all my attention to it. This is good, because I want to make myself some more. I have a sweater's worth of Artyarns Supermerino in Cappucino, and I want it to be a sweater. I was thinking of making a Textured Tunic with Side Buttons, except minus the buttons. I tried to knit a little bit with the yarn last night though, to see how I was doing with respect to gauge, and not only was I off - getting about 3.5" out of 13 stitches instead of 4" - the fabric seemed impossibly loose to make a sweater. Unless the goal is a sheer sweater. But that's not what I want. So I thought to myself, well, maybe I'll just have to get thicker yarn for this sweater, and instead I'll make a Francis Revisited instead. But today, when I went to see what gauge I should be getting, I again ran into that 13 stitches to 4". Both patterns call for worsted weight yarn, knit on 6 mm/US 10 needles. How can this be?

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