Monday, January 21, 2008

Problems with tension

I finished Mr. Greenjeans. The jury's still out on this, but there'll be pictures... later. While knitting it, I got bored and started another project. A pair of socks, which are going fine, except for my own internal battle of "I'm bored knitting the same thing, I just want to finish it, but I don't want to have half- balles of sock yarn floating about, so I just need to suck it up and add the increases and make the damn knee highs." But I also started a pair of Spiderman hobo gloves for a friend, who saw the mittens I made. (Originally he wanted hobo gloves with his initials on the back, with a lightning bolt between them. Spiderman is good.) But they're not working.

My tension's wonky, which is nothing new with me and fair-isle, and most of it will block out. Except for the finger. There, the tension is so bad that they don't work as fingers. And I don't think blocking will help. I have, as I see it, four options.

1. Rip the fingers and reknit, paying more attention to the tension. Probably the best solution, but potentially an exercise in futility.

2. Rip the fingers and reknit them, only in red. Solves the tension problem, but will stand out from the rest of the glove.

3. Rip the fingers and just make mitts, without the individual fingers. Oh! And I can tack the edges together to give the illusion of very short fingers.

4. Rip the entire glove, order different yarn, in a fingering weight, where the pattern will be smaller, and there will be a better chance at appropriate tension. Okay, that's a bad idea.

Since I had the tacking/very short fingers idea (literally as I was typing), I'm thinkin' that's the best option.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mr Greenjeans is a go!

Having finished the first sleeve, I am feeling much better about the yarn situation. It didn't take two full balls. It took one and a bit, for a sleeve like I want. The astute among you will notice that I altered the sleeve a bit from the pattern. The cabling started earlier and the sleeve is longer overall. On the pattern, the sleeve just looks to be at an awkward length. And I like my sleeves long anyway. In the Boise cold, we have cold and wind, so I tend to wear my cardigans under a jacket, and the sleeves need to be long enough for my to grab and hold while pulling the jacket sleeve on, so it doesn't get pulled up around my elbow.

I tried to get a picture of the sleeve on me, but no amount of twisting and contorting and aid of the bathroom mirror was making that happen.

With the first sleeve finished, I this much yarn left:

Which, according to my calculations, is about 62 yards, using the highly precise and scientific method of drawing out the yarn from my nose across my armspan, and assuming that's a yard. So I should have over a full ball to devote to the body.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Part of the yarn my parents sent me was 9 balls of Reynolds Santana, a cotton/acrylic blend. A sweater's worth, in a self-striping beige yarn that reminds me of sand dunes. (As an aside, not that I would ever be rude enough to ask, but I'm pretty sure my dad got this on sale. He's never sent me a sweater's worth of anything before, and the colors are not what he, who gave me my love of bright colors, would have chosen. My mom, if you're curious, gave me my love of black.) Despite the fact that I still have some knitting for others to do, I started a sweater. The self- striping of the yarn was a concern, since that meant my pattern couldn't be anything too complex. Mr. Greenjeans seemed a good choice. Since the original was knit in a variegated yarn, it should go well with mine, and the end result should be a nice spring/summer night cardigan. So I started knitting.

With nine balls, I technically had enough yarn. The original used 3 balls of 280 yards = 840 yards total. I have nine balls of 102 yards = 918. Unfortunately, there's no way to account for how different yarns act, especially switching a 100% wool for a cotton acrylic blend. I figured if I could get the body out of 4 balls, each sleeve would get 2, leaving me with one for the collar. I still have hopes, but... 4 balls wasn't enough for the body. So I strung it onto waste yarn (which also gave me the opportunity to try it on, look in the mirror and exclaim "Cute!"), and started a sleeve. I think I'll have enough. I really hope I have enough.