Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's Not You, It's Me, Or Frog Weather

You'd think I'd know better by now. I have been knitting for more than 15 years, I have steeked successfully, I have Fair Isled beautifully, I can cable with the best of them, yet I still make stupid mistakes. I don't make all the stupid mistakes possible, mind you, I just make at least one per project.

So, for my Sloane Pullover, I really did swatch and got gauge. I did think about the need for using a light-colored yarn for a cabled garment and, in fact, I chose a light color. When I got confused with the pattern, I emailed Elizabeth, the designer, who got back to me with a clarification within the hour. I chose a smooth yarn that would show off the cable. I chose a color that flatters me. I chose yarn from my stash. I knit steadily along; I did not put it away for months (years, decades). It's a top-down sweater; when I got down past the armholes, I tried it on and asked my friend Sue (the one who is blunt and honest about what looks good and what doesn't) if it fit - she said it did. I was a good little dutiful knitter.

Except I chose the wrong size, damn it. I have a 38-inch bust. I knit the Medium size, because I foolishly persist in thinking I am a Medium size forever and always, despite all current evidence to the contrary. The Medium size has a finished bust size of 40 inches; the sweater is 38 inches around at the armhole, pre-blocking.

Two inches of ease is not enough if one is making an aran-weight sweater for a plump person. I should have knit the Large size, with a 44-inch finished bust. It's a good thing I didn't weave in any of the ends, isn't it?


Luckily, I have enough yarn for the Large size and as soon as we're finished with a little dip in the frog pond, I intend to cast back on again. I will not be beaten by my own stupidity.

Speaking of frog ponds, the weather here is appalling - the humidity is so high and the air quality so low that I feel as though I'm living deep in a frog pond myself. I was sorting through my breeding population of plastic food storage containers this morning, seeking to exercise a little birth control and selection for desirable traits like matching lids, and I found myself literally dripping sweat off my nose and chin, just standing still in the kitchen. Lovely New England weather. I think I'm going to have to hang the reclaimed and washed Sloane yarn in the basement near the dehumidifier, if there is to be any chance of it drying before Labor Day.

Given that the weather is awful and Sloane needs to swim in the frog pond, I also decided to bite the bullet and cull ruthlessly through my WIPs for other garments that need systematic rending. My Sloane reminded me that I have made the same error before, so I am reclaiming the Kureyon from this Debbie Bliss cardigan that's been sitting unfinished for more than two years.


Nobody, and certainly not I, wants a bamboo Clapotis.


There's got to be a better use for purple Calmer than a boring Caddy's Sweater.


And when I'm done, I'm going to go get Chocolate Moose Tracks ice cream on a sugar cone, just to keep up my size-Medium-yeah-right girlish figure.

(Don't worry; there are plenty of other unfinished WIPs around that I couldn't bear to part with. And I've started two new projects and bought even more yarn in the past week, so I'm still normal, or what passes for it among knitters.)

Edited to add: Kinky!



Elizabeth said...

Aw, Lynn, I still would have waited until later in the summer to frog. You might still slim down a bit in the summer's active months.

I wonder, too, if it would stretch a titch with aggressive blocking.

It's hard to know about sizes in the modern era. I still like a nice roomy sweater with at least 3 inches of ease. But the younger gals scream "frumpy" at anything other than negative ease. Negative ease makes me look 6 months pregnant. Positive ease allows people to just wonder what's hiding under there.

Bezzie said...

Yeah, my girls have been messing up my sweater measurements lately here. I dont' think I'm a medium myself anymore. But at least on the plus side you don't have to swatch again right?