Saturday, September 26, 2009

Two rights can make a wrong

Sometimes the right yarn and the right pattern. . . make the wrong project.

After a couple weeks of good yet undiscernable progress on socks, wraps and sweaters, I decided last night that I wanted to work on something where I could see and show off a few rows of progress. My Celtic Knot lace wrap was perfect. I had only finished row 7. Two more rows, and my project grew by nearly 30%. That's progress.

Except. . . . that I really started looking at it. When you are knitting intricate lace (and new at it, so you have to factor in the many screw-ups that will inevitably occur and have to be re-done) with itty bitty yarn, you want to make sure you are doing it well. You don't want to waste a thousand hours knitting to end up with something that you stick in the back of your closet and never touch again. (I guess that makes me a project knitter instead of a process knitter.)

I looked at the now-completed 9 rows. I looked at my swatch. I pictured them both a hundred times bigger. And I decided that the needles were too big for the yarn. My lacey holes looked gapey. It just didn't look right to my admittedly untrained lace eye.

I considered just re-starting with smaller needles. Except. . . this stole was already smaller than I really wanted (I was hoping that it would magically block substantially larger), and dropping one or two needles sizes would make the stole, well, really more of a scarf. The design is too intricate for something that will be squisehed around your neck and burined underneath a winter coat. Time to abandon project altogether.

Even though the yarn is labeled lace weight and is 2 ply, it seems more like cobweb weight to me. So I got on Ravelry, and started perusing lacey wraps in cobweb weight or lace weight that could be easily enlarged by adding repeats. (I thought about enlarging the Celtic Knot wrap, but that would have required math, and figuring out how many stitches to cast on without knowing the repeat nunber was too much to tackle at 10 p.m. on a Friday night.)

Choice were considered, drooled over, added to the queue (like I need more things on there), and finally the winner emerged: Seascape. My yarn doesn't have the same halo as Kid Silk, but I would say is about as whispy. And we are kindly given the repeat count to easily increase in size. (I hate a wrap that covers only my shoulders, even a delicate, lacey, whispy one. My arms are usually the part that needs a little extra warmth.)

I was really tempted to cast on last night, but now it was nearing 11, and testing smaller needles, figuring out approximate size desired, and plugging that into "multiples of 36 plus 11" sounded way too complicated. Maybe later today.

And yet, today is sock club. I haven't gone in months, and my sweetie must have been feeling guilty, because he volunteered (or at least didn't protest loudly when I suggested it) to watch the little guy so I could spend 2 hours among sock-minded people. Woo hoo!

Today, it is all about the new project burning a hole in your knitting bag.