Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pay No Attention...

...to the sweater behind the curtain. It's not green and sparkly; it's not even there. Look over here instead!

This is Ariann. Ariann has been in timeout in the yarn closet, reflecting on its many, many evil deeds. This is the story of a love gone wrong. When I cast on Ariann, I loved the yarn (pure raw silk), I loved the needles (KnitPicks Options), and I loved the pattern (Ariann from Chic Knits). All one piece, and two tiny seams--how could you not love that? I loved it so much that I knitted it for 22 hours in the car on a trip to Lake Tahoe in February. (My husband still thinks he wanted to drive for 22 hours.) You can get a lot of knitting done in 22 hours. A lot. If, however, you want that knitting to turn out well, you might want to consider leaving the kids and dogs at home. Oh, and the Dramamine. Dramamine and knitting don't mix that well. (Of course, neither do vomit and knitting, so you've got to decide for yourself on that one.)

Sometime after I joined the sleeves to the body and began working the raglan section, I started to wonder if maybe something was wrong. Not terribly wrong. Just a little, tiny bit wrong. Like, the raglan seemed to be getting wider as I went up, instead of narrower. But I drew on my seemingly infinite capacity for denial and soldiered on. After a few inches, I realized that it might be a good idea if I checked to make sure that I was decreasing the lace pattern properly. I wasn't. I was still working yarn overs, even after I had stopped working k2tog's. So while I was decreasing for the raglan, I was inadvertently increasing in the lace pattern. Huh. I fixed that little problem--if by "fixed" you understand that I mean I stopped committing the same error, without actually ripping back and correcting the previous errors.

The raglan began to narrow, but the sweater now seemed to be unusually long in the shoulder area. Still, it was narrowing, and I could see the finish line, and how big of a difference could it possibly make, anyway? Don't answer that. I haven't told you the whole story. See, as usual, I had changed the gauge for this sweater. The yarn I wanted to use was a little thicker than that called for, and I did the calculations and decided that I could just knit the sweater following the directions for one size smaller than I would usually make, and I would get the right dimensions. And I was right, as far as the stitch gauge went. I got exactly the 37 inches in diameter that I was going for. But I totally neglected to consider that row gauge actually matters when you make a raglan, because the row gauge determines how tall the raglan gets. My raglan, with the thicker yarn (and multiple decreasing errors), got really, really tall. Much too tall. So tall, it wouldn't have fit...well, anyone, really.

That it would not fit me became apparent as soon as I finished the raglan and tried it on. The armholes hung down somewhere around my waist. The bottom of this cropped sweater hit about the tops of my thighs. And the sleeves sagged over my knuckles. None of this prevented me from binding it off, picking up ten million stitches around the neck, knitting the collar, weaving in the ends, washing and blocking this freak of nature, and then...here's the kicker...being surprised when IT DIDN'T FIT! At which point, naturally, I rolled it up, stuffed it in the back of the yarn closet, and pretended I had never heard of Ariann.

But it is amazing how productive I can be when I'm trying to avoid a task I don't want to do (even if it's just one frickin' seam on a sweater that shall remain nameless). In a frogging frenzy a few weeks ago, I removed the collar from Ariann and ripped back to the bottom of the raglan. Today, I dug the partially frogged Ariann out of the closet, put it back on the needles, recalculated the decreases, and started over on the raglan. I feel clean. I feel redeemed. Ariann will make an honest woman of me yet. (As long as we all agree to pay no attention to the sweater behind the curtain.)

8 comments:

Suzanne said...

Your story made me laugh! Good grief! It sure is pretty though...

sophanne said...

Why is it? What possesses us? I haven't tried so many sweaters but I will also bind off, seam together knowing full well that it's just a piece of crap waiting to happen!

Good for you for picking it back up. Not an easy mental endeavor. You're an inspiration today!

Redheadskydiver said...

Thanks for the comment about my tattoo. Your Ariann is beautiful! I just recently picked up a tank that I was working on last summer and had put away for the winter. Finished the back last night and cast on for the front, finally.

5elementknitr said...

I love Tahoe. It's where we got married. I love it almost as much as I love using a different yarn guage then the one called for in the pattern. Notorious for it, really. So much so that my knitting friend/teacher/guru actually designed a class that teaches one how to do those pesky calculations on their own. At home. Beautiful yarn!

Faith! said...

Armholes to your waist? Goodness! This is going to be so beautiful when it's done! Keep up the good work! (at least you know where you went wrong- I hate it when I can't figure that out.)

5elementknitr said...

Thanks for the comment! I would TOTALLY go to your Pump It Up birthday party!

5elementknitr said...

Dammit! I just noticed I spelled gauge wrong. Again. I hate when I do that!

sophanne said...

I think the spelling of guage/gauge should be one of those words that works either way.