Saturday, November 28, 2009

New! Shiny!

Thank you all for your sympathy and well-wishes; I am indeed feeling much better, but I can tell I'm still weary. Just plain weary. So I'm being nice to myself.

Which, come to think of it, had nothing to do with finding out this week that I have the following in this house:
  • 13 sweaters in progress
  • 7 sweaters queued up (which for me means yarn/pattern/needles all matched up in a bag)
  • 26 sweater quantities of yarn in the stash.
That is 46 sweaters in some form of not-yet-finished around this house. (Also, it doesn't count the handspun, nor the laceweight, nor the weaving yarn, nor...well, anyway, onward.) (Are you all feeling better now about your own stashes?)

It's all Sarahw's fault, the very dear and charming Sarah from across the pond, who is asleep as I write this and thus can't stop me. Heh.

I met Sarah on Ravelry in the Abby's Yarn forum and then in real life at SOAR. She posted on Rav a day or two, asking for opinions on what sweater she should knit next, giving us several choices. I said something, I don't even remember what, and all of a sudden I find myself in a little knit-along with Sarah. (Also, there's something about walking, but that's tomorrow's post.) Sarah's very enticing and persuasive that way. Sarah's going to knit Mariah, and I'm going to knit something else, to be explained below. We'll swatch together and plug along together and whip each other (OK, mostly me) into finishing mode together, blogging all the while, of course.

Now, while figuring out this week if I had enough yarn of the right sort for a KAL of a specific sweater with another friend (details on that later) (lots of yarny chumminess going on hereabouts), I figured out two things:
  • I have 46 sweaters in progress, in the queue, etc. See above.
  • I did not have the necessary yarn (5 sts/in; 2062 yds.) for that second KAL.
Which is how I ended up at WEBS today with Marcy.

Where was I? I'm getting my sweater projects mixed up...

Oh, the KAL with Sarah. Right. So, since I had so recently inventoried the sweater stash, I was loath to go out and buy yet more yarn for another sweater (except of course that second KAL, which was actually the first, for which we're going to knit something specific that I can't tell you about yet because I have to coordinate with my second, but really first, KAL buddy) (got that?). Somehow, 46 sweaters to knit strikes me as possibly enough.

Thus, for Sarah's and my KAL I decided to pick one of the bulkier yarns from my stash, choose an appropriate pattern, and have a prayer of finishing something sooner rather than later. So, here's the yarn:


Cascade 128 Tweed, bought at a deep discount at WEBS sometime in the past 4 or 5 years.

And I thought I'd knit that popular DROPS jacket. There are only 1,040 yards or so between me and one of those mythical FOs. I am being smart - knitting from stash, knitting with bulky yarn, and knitting a pattern that many people think is great.

I started swatching, because I am a Good Girl and was brought up a Puritan and All That.

Then I realized that if I want to make a swatch that's about 4 inches wide, plus a little garter stitch on either side, I didn't need to cast on 50 stitches for a yarn with a suggested gauge of 11 stitches in 4 inches. I kept looking at this row and a half, thinking to myself, "Why is this swatch turning out to be 15, 20 inches wide? Maybe I better drop down 3 needle sizes...."


No, I needed to cast on only 20 stitches. Basic math had eluded me. How many years of high education and blah, blah, blah.

Take Two:


If this jacket continues in this way...well, that may explain why I have so few finished sweaters in this house.

P.S.: Does it strike you as odd I don't have 2000 yards of ordinary 5 sts/inch yarn in my stash? I may need to go shopping.

P.P.S: That being brought up Puritan? Well, let me tell you - back when my mother knit, when I was in high school or thereabouts, she didn't really care about gauge and swatching and all that. I think she knit to relax (5 kids in 9 years, ahem). She always figured that with 5 kids, a sweater would fit someone. However, I suspect she wants me to aspire to be a better person than she is - do as I say, not as I do and all that. Thus, I swatch (that's the Puritan part).


Laurie said...

Quite the tale. I don't think you can count the sweater yarn in stash as unfinished sweaters. It's still just stash. But 13 unfinished WIPS? Yegads. I don't have that many unfinished SOCKS. And I should be knitting more sweaters you say? Back atcha.

OTOH, isn't part of knitting adopting really good and solid yarn ADD?

sarah said...

Hey, it's not my fault you've got the yarn... it's my fault you're going to knit with it! And walk, too. Which is all good. Am I scary or what?