I’m getting over it

March 17, 2009

Learning a new technique has an amazing restorative quality. I’m getting over the reaction of the resident non-knitter to the sweater. Oh well. Live and learn. I’ll finish up with the neck as it is and I might rekitchner under the arms. It depends how it looks to me after not seeing it for a few days.

This will all be on Friday. I want to retrieve my needles out of the sweater, get it blocked and call it done. But, I’ve got a hectic work week and this doesn’t seem like a good time to pick up “the” sweater. So Friday.

Meanwhile, I’m once again on the steep learning curve.

I started these:

I’m using spillyjane’s free pattern from Ravelry, Sea Mineral Mittens. I simplified it to work with three colors and I’m using Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. Looks good?


As you might suspect, I did not check gauge. I did not even compare the Jamieson’s to the wool called for in the pattern. I just started.

And restarted.

As I said, I’m on the steep learning curve. I reduced the pattern by 20 stitches so my cast on was with 63 instead of 81. Bear with me — my math is bad — but not that bad. I figured the lace ruffle at the cuff would have a lot of stretch, and that a few rows of ribbing would pull in the mitten at the wrist area. Next, I would reduce three stitches instead of the two called for in the pattern to arrive at a working count of 60 instead of 80. I would be on track with the pattern by simply omitting two pattern repeats. So far so good.

However, I learned a very interesting lesson. Ribbing in two colors does not have stretch. It looks messy. At least the way I did it. It might be nice if I knew what I was doing. Clearly I don’t.

Other key points I learned.

  1. Jamieson’s Spindrift can just pull apart if you pull too hard.
  2. Following a traditional fair isle pattern requires a boatload of colors.
  3. People buy fair isle kits because they are not interested in standing around a yarn shop for hours and hours on end trying to pick out said boatload.

This final item was a true revelation for me. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to stand around in a yarn shop for hours? Nirvana, I thought. Until now. Looking at the colors and trying to figure out what might work and how it might be placed makes my head hurt.

Besides, my training in graphic design has lead me to use color in one of two ways. Full blown color. Which is really only four colors. But that’s another issue.

Or spot color. More spots, more expensive. So it just goes against the grain to splash all this color in my knitting. It’s so, well, so, excessive. That’s why I picked three colors. That’s why my project doesn’t look much like fair isle. That might be why I’m an idiot to think that I could learn enough in one pair of mittens about working fair isle to go and start a KAL on this sweater: Glenesk.

I mean, what was I thinking????? Oh, and by the way. Will I get in trouble for linking to that sweater on the Virtual Yarns site? I hope not. I know that someone is pretty touchy about how her name and photos and all that get used. I hope I’m not stepping on her toes or anything. I mean, I am linking to a sweater I think is absolutely gorgeous and it is on her site and all.

Anyway, just wanted to share what I saw out our window yesterday:


2 Responses to “I’m getting over it”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    Hahah! I’m sorry. Gauge mistakes are so funny (once you get over the sadness).

  2. Chrissie Says:

    Oh dear, I think fair isle and yarn tension are the most accomplished thing one can ever learn in knitting. So many ways to go wrong. But there is a way around the colors. Make your patterns just in two colors and call it a calculated effect. ;-))

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