Sunday, November 02, 2008

Day 2 and Design Feature 1

Sweater #1 (Twist & Shout): Great progress! I'm past the waist decreases for the back and ready to start the waist increases.


There's just one little problem. Notice anything wrong? Neither did I, till I wondered why the notes in the beginning of the pattern included instructions for something called a Back Cable Pattern. I assumed that meant some kind of fancy cable, like a Horseshoe Cable or a Gullwing Cable, to be used on the fronts of this sweater, where clearly the lovely photos of the pattern show cables. But no, "Back Cable" also refers to the cable pattern used on the back of the sweater - you know, the one signaled by the part of the pattern that reads, "...begin working Back Cable Pattern between markers." Or, if that didn't catch your attention, you might notice, a couple of lines down, the sentence that reads, "Work 36 sts in pattern (to 12 sts before beginning of cable panel), place marker, work 68 sts in pattern (to 12 sts past end of cable panel), place marker, work in pattern to end." Or you might notice the photo, the second photo of four provided, that highlights the cables on the back and sleeves. Or, like me, you might skip over all that folderol, pleased as punch with how quickly this sweater is shaping up - why, I'm already well into ball 2 of the yarn! - and simply keep on knitting and purling in the rib pattern till your boredom with knitting and purling leads you to read a bit more of the pattern, whereupon you discover some damned cable pattern that's supposed to go smack dab in the middle of the back.

I simply don't know why they couldn't have given me more warning of such an event. Harrumph and really now!

Since I'm such a seasoned knitter, however, I have recovered nicely, or at least recovered in some fashion. You remember all my dithering over needle size and gauge for this sweater? Well, before I cast on, I had looked at what it would take to adjust this somewhat-complicated pattern for the measly, itty bitty, really-hardly-there, quarter of a stitch per inch I was off by using size 7 needles, and decided screw it, I'm just going to knit size B with size 7 needles and trust the designer when she said, " Because of the pattern’s giving nature, instructions for only 4 sizes are given – trust me, this is plenty. If in doubt go small."

Well, I thought, I could always just lose 30 pounds this month whilst I'm knitting and spinning three sweaters - I mean, obviously I won't have time to eat anyhow (especially now that all the good Halloween candy is gone), so of course size B at 20 stitches to 4 inches instead of the specified 19 stitches to 4 inches will fit.

But just for back-up, just because I like to be prepared, I have decided that the missing Back Cables on the back of my Twist & Shout are a well-planned design feature. You know that cables draw in a knit fabric, making it narrower than a non-cabled fabric, right? Well, if I need just a smidgen more ease in my Twist & Shout, then it makes perfect sense - really, a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself - to leave off some of the cables. Where better to omit cables than on the back, yes? I may not have done this consciously, but clearly my fingers know better than my brain, and they just went ahead and left out cables that don't really need to be there. I hope.


Sweater #2 (an interpretation of Norah Gaughan's Lite Lopi Pullover, but in handspun, not Lite Lopi): Sample skein knitted up; gauge is 8.5 inches to 2 inches. The pattern calls for 8 stitches in 2 inches, but I'm not at all worried about adjusting this pattern for a different gauge. [Translation: Stay tuned for yet another Design Feature.]


Sweater #3 (Pebbles): Cast on and coming along nicely, aside from the slight impediment of a furry beast on my lap. Interestingly and disappointingly, this yarn seems less soft now that it's dyed. It's not harsh now; it's just not as squishily soft as it was.


In other news, it was a gorgeous late-fall day here and I did get outside in between the fiber frenzies. Despite the late date and the hard frosts we've had this week, I saw a meadowhawk dragonfly and a sulphur butterfly. Global warming really is changing phenologies around here!


Laurie said...

I agree with leaving the cable off. Now that it is done, that is. It will add more room. Which you clearly need in your brain too, to be doing three sweaters and actually continuing to do three sweaters this month.

Bezzie said...

Good grief, you're too ambitious for me to follow! I can't wrap my brain around doing more than one sweater at a time! Ha ha!

Elizabeth said...

The only potential pitfall with your plan would be if you actually need the space up front instead of in the back. Having not met you in person, I don't know if that's the case.

Happy knitting!

kim said...

I knew there was a reason we connected - our logic circuits (or our rationalization circuits, depending on who you talk to) are programmed the same. :)

Lisa McGuire said...

You are such an inspiration...knitting three sweaters, spinning and on-the-spot design edits for a more personal fashion statment. I like the way you think.:)