Sunday, April 01, 2007

10 Year Sweater Complete!

10 years ago, I moved from Boulder to Los Angeles and joined the El Segundo chapter of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA). I had not knit since the 1980s and did not understand much about knitting and fibers then.

So, when the very talented Joyce Renee Wyatt taught a workshop about a new sweater she had designed. I fell in love with the lines of the bias construction. She gave many stitch and gauge options and suggested I visit, Yarns Unlimited. (Yarns Unlimited and The Slipt Stitch are sister stores, run by a husband and wife team.)

In warm Los Angeles, I should knit with cotton, right? The back room of Yarns Unlimited had many tasty colors and I settled upon these two DK weight yarns. I had never knit with cotton or in garter stitch before. I had no idea that I would have to go down to a size 2 (!) needle in order to make a fabric that I couldn't see through.

I brought my yarn and little swatch in to show Joyce. She was much to polite too tell me to cease and desist. She just stared at my choices for a minute and then complimented the subtle stripey effect of the yarn combination. But, I should have paid more attention to the expression on her face.

My sister was a bit more blunt. She looked at the sweater in progress and asked what I was thinking. Garter stitch stretches. Cotton stretches. Bias knitting stretches. I would not have a sweater when I was done; I would have a sack. I persevered because big sis could not be right again-at least this time.

I lost my way several times. Each quadrant of the sweater body should have had the same number of stitches by the time I got up to the shoulder join. Alas, stitches mysteriously appeared and disappeared and the sections refused to match up. I fudged the stitches to make those suckers join at the shoulders.

The bands were another trial. The first time, they came out much too loose on one side. I ripped out and began anew, picking up a matching number of stitches on each side.

The sweater looked too short so I added a triangle edging in garter stitch that looked so cute when I used it on one of Iris' baby sweaters. The bottom edging was too tight so I ripped it out and I knitted two more repeats.

I should have listened to big sis (and my inner knitter). This sweater did not want to be.

I could not decide how to fasten the sweater so I put it away in the closet. Today, I found the perfect clasps while browsing at the Cotton Shop. I have decided to call the sweater complete.

Look at the lemons ripening on the tree behind me. There are still a few late-season camellias on the trees. Look at the cute new gardening clogs. Look at the fake grass we put in to do our part for water conservation during this drought.

Iris and I got the spring sewing bug. She decided to try both the black and white graphic print and the animal print trend at the same time. I found this lovely zebra print at the Cotton Shop. I decided that I must have a trapeze jacket in a light linen. I found the cream linen at SAS fabrics. I also bought Iris' applique (0.01 pounds = 14 cents) there.

See the Top-down Hall of Infamy for other knitting disasters as I learned that my ideal armscythe does not match the Incredible, Custom-fit Raglan Sweater.
My incredibly industrious coworker put in a meadow of drought-tolerant native plants.

1 comment:

  1. It's a beautiful sweater, even if it was 10 years in the making. I love your choice of clasp.

    I bought cotton yarn (sold in the one pound cones) because it was really cheap and it was a natural fiber. I tried to make a roll brim hat out of it. No matter how much I reduced the needles, it ended up so floppy and unattractive.

    I finally gave all of the yarn to my MIL to use in crochet.


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