Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I'm 2/3 "real" knitter

I've joked before that I'm not a REAL capital "K" Knitter (despite knitting for 5 years and crocheting for over a decade) because I've never made myself a pair of socks (the kind with tiny yarn on tiny needles that can actually be worn in real shoes) or a sweater. In fact, I said so here at the end of May. Here we are now at the end of August, and I'm almost there on both counts!

I've got socks with heels turned, and a sweater with sleeves finished (FINALLY!) and over half the back in progress! My socks live in that orange bag (which is actually the packaging that a set of sheets come in from Target - fancy and thrifty!) in my purse, so I only pick away at them here and there. Mainly I knit on them during my lunch break, as a passenger in the car, and even in a few meetings when I just want to keep my hands busy. I worry that it makes it look like I'm not paying attention, so I make a conscious effort to keep my eyes up on the presenter or screen. I'd wager that I'm far more engaged while knitting than if I was checking email on my phone! 

That being said though, it feels like they've been taking a long time since I never work on them for more than an hour. Even so, I've turned both heels with a TON of mistakes (seriously, I ripped one almost completely out), but I was glad to be past that, mistakes and all, because now I'm on to the cuff and I don't have to think about that at all. Just keep knitting, keep your mind busy. I think working two at a time may have contributed to my heel mistakes, but that could just as easily be due to lack of experience at that particular technique, as well as always only paying half my attention to what I was doing. I've tried them on (oh the beauty of toe up and circular needles!) and decided it didn't bother me enough to make them perfect. In fact, the lesson learned may be that I need to start the entire heel increases a few rows sooner. Live and learn!

I think a potential lesson learned on the sweater side might be sleeves first. That may definitely be true in a sweater like this where the sleeves are done in a texture pattern while the body is a straightforward stockinette. I cast this on back on June 30, and didn't finish the sleeves until last Friday night, August 15! That's a long time! It didn't help that I made a ton of mistakes, and ripped a LOT. (There have been many rows and half rows taken back one stitch at a time - far less dramatic than a big ol RIP, but painful nonetheless.) The pattern definitely wasn't hard, but it needed to be focused on, at least a little. 

In contrast, all the knitting on the body so far was done in little scraps of time on Saturday and Sunday - it is positively FLYING in comparison to the sleeves. I think if I'd knit the body first, the long slog of the sleeves would have been tough to bear. I'm glad I did the sleeves at the same time too. If the first one had taken a month, it would have felt like a pretty big job to start the second one. I guess I just like doing pairs of things together! When you're done with one, you're done with both, and I like that. 

I considered doing the body all together in the round, but didn't think through needing a longer circular needle, and just wanted to get going already. Still, I might do the fronts at the same time, similar to how I did the sleeves. Yep, I'm a little worried about confusing my left and right side, but we'll see how it goes. And the bummer is that in the end, I'll still have to get that longer needle - I've left the bottom edge as a provisional cast on so that I can assemble and finish the whole sweater, and just do the ribbing on the bottom until I run out of yarn to make the cardigan as long as possible. Bah! I wish I'd remembered that before casting the back on to work in pieces. Ironically, the reason I started the back in the first place is because I realized I needed different needles for the sleeves of my Wonderful Wallaby. Oh knitting. You can certainly be an expensive hobby. Lucky I love ya!

1 comment:

  1. Very productive summer - I'm looking forward to seeing the finished products!