Sunday, March 14, 2010
in Sickness and In Health:The Sun-Ray Ribbing Sweater *from A Stitch in Time
I've never attempted a vintage sweater before. Wait. Let me think. Oh yes, I did try a crochet sweater from a Stitch in Time about four years ago. Even went so far as to buy some vintage yarn on eBay. I had trouble getting gauge from the get-go and the yarn kept breaking. I eventually ditched the project, and tossed the yarn. Now there are two reasons why I decided to attempt another vintage sweater pattern. I figure it's time. Why let a project gone wrong keep me away? The crochet sweater that wasn't meant to be is from another lifetime already! Besides, the Sun-Ray ribbing sweater is a new-to-me sweater. Fairly uncomplicated. Not one yarn-over in the top. How hard can it be to screw up a sweater that's strictly knit and purl? Besides, I decided to participate in a knit-along on Ravelry. If I went astray or the yarn went awry, I could always log in, whine, rejoice, get back on track or carry on as necessary.
Okay, here's the other thing. I've become one of those people with an iPhone nearly permanently attached to my hand. And I'm all for free apps! So I wanted to try the Knitminder. Downloaded the thing...and it has probably become my most frequently used app, even if it does drain the battery when I forget to close it out when I'm not using it. Yelp and the Whole Foods apps don't compare. Here's what I like about the Knitminder...it doesn't compel you to spend money! All those other apps....they're just trying to get you the buy something! The Knitminder is focused on counting rows, that's it. There are no advertisements either. Okay, there are some iPhone games out there...but a lot of them have ads on them too. I don't need dancing jars of yogurts across my screen to distract me when I'm working hard on my sweater. It's bad enough to have email and the mobile Safari browser at my beck and call when I'm on the bus or squirreled away in my bed.
So the sweater.....I'm using vintage yarn. Again. Totally different stuff. I've actually used the Evermatch Sport yarn for a pair of slippers. It's fantastic stuff. I got a bag of 27 skeins (all yellow) from my mother who participates in a knitting for charity group. So I actually owe her some hanks. The Evermatch is wonderful for the most part. It doesn't break...although it splits, but not enough to cause major problems. I just wish I could find more Evermatch in different colors! My batch looks like it's from the 1960s at the earliest. I look on eBay...nothing there. I see a few skeins here and there on Ravelry, but no stash substantial enough for a sweater.
Now this is slow going...no surprise, in a sense, given that this sweater is like 7 stitches to the inch. And I'm not doing it in the round, which I kind of wish I were. It would go much faster. There'd be less stitching in the end. But no! I wanted to do the sweater as it was written. Forget that the next time around. Speed is of essence, otherwise, I might just give up! I've finished the back, frogged 34 rows of ribbing intended for the front, and started the ribbing for a sleeve. How's that for progress? Who cares. It's all an adventure. I'm not competing against any one. Best part, beyond my initial investment of knitting needles, this project isn't costing my anything. For weeks on end, this sweater will singlehandedly keep me from purchasing sale patterns at Hancock Fabrics, more yarn and remnants at Vogue Fabrics. Even sewing doesn't keep me from buying stuff for weeks on end. Amazing!
I'm aiming to finish both sleeves this week and do the front next week. Can I just say I really don't want to have sew this up? My mattress stitches aren't great...and I'd imagine my not-so-great technique would stand out in a bad way on this fine-gauge sweater. I'm sorely tempted to hire this part out....with all the money I saved!
*I've been knitting this for the past few days while nursing a cold. Somehow I can always find the energy to knit when I'm ill, but you couldn't pay me to do the same on the sewing machine. Too much work when I barely have energy to move!