Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You Win Some, You Lose Some

This is a wrap from Family Circle Easy Knitting, Spring/Summer 2005. Made with the recommended yarn, Patons Katrina. Of course, the yarn is discontinued. I was able to get some recently on a really nice trip to Lens Mill in Guelph. However, this was the only colour that they actually had 3 balls in. I don't like most of the colours that it came in anyway, but I thought it would be nice to make a pattern, as written, for once, LOL. What do I do with half a ball of Katrina now though? The two things I did do differently---I used my KnitSmart machine (c'mon! It was 287 rows of stockinette!!), and I grafted the seam instead of casting on/off and sewing it. I used KP 40 and I think my gauge was a little tighter than called for (the recommended gauge in the pattern was 16st/4" and the yarn gauge is 18st/4"; I think I got 17st/4"). I did have to unravel about 2 inches of the 287 rows. I haven't steamed it, I'm afraid of it growing too much if I do, but it could use a light steam to soften. It is a very stretchy yarn so you can really pull it down on your arms, or up on your shoulders. Nice for clingy tops, if it weren't slightly (very slightly) scratchy. I don't know if you can see it in the picture, but it has quite a sheen to it, giving it a more dressy look than most of my life requires. And I think I like it better with the twist at the back, LOL. Like my new shirt and pants? I've done a bit of shopping this week!

And this sadness.....almost half a baby blanket on the Singer 327, using Elann's Baby Lace alpaca/merino laceweight. I was having some issues and pursued it a little further than what I really should have. One issue was Megan 'helping' and when I came to work on it the last time, there was a mess in the lace edging that I just didn't have the patience to fix, knowing that I was already unhappy with it. (The red is waste yarn from the casting on process.)
Here, you can see the long strands underneath from when the yarn kept getting caught on the gatepegs at the short row end. This blanket is made by doing 16 wedges of shortrows; you cast on half the diameter, work the wedges, and graft the cast on to the cast off to make a circle. There was also a knot in the yarn, and the yarn broke once or twice, and a yucky spot in the yarn. All those long ends would need to be woven in, defeating the purpose of the 600yd ball.

You can also sort of see the line connecting the inner most points of the lace sections, making a stockinette triangle bordered by the lace. The line is from a bent gatepeg. Gatepegs are metal points sticking up between each needle latch on the machine bed. The separate each stitch, pulling the fabric tight so the carriage can knit. A bent one causes the two sts on each side of it to be slightly out of alignment compared to all the others, meaning that the yarn bar between the sts is slightly longer than all the others. Does that make sense?

Here you can see the ends of the short rows going up along the top left corner. In the center is some messed up sts, and other yuckies. I have one needle with a sticky latch I think, and it doesn't always knit, causing the yarn to pass behind the stitch, but it usually gets knit on the next row, with the stitch. This is technically called tuck stitch. When you DON'T want it to happen, it's called "That TUCKING stitch!". As close to swearing as I come, LOL.

Here's another view of those messed up stitches, and you can see the vertical line from the bent gatepeg. That might have gotten steamed out when blocking, but messed up stitches remain forever.

A close up of the edging, which forms points along the edge. I learned alot from that! There was something wrong with the pattern (did you actually think I created this myself?!), and I tried to figure it out, but it resulted in three plain rows where the edging goes from angling in to angling out again. I thought it would act like a border or something, but it just looked wrong.

And there you have it. I kept working on it, hoping the messed up stitches weren't too noticeable, but knowing it was way less than perfect. But in the end, I just knew it was past the point of acceptable and I unravelled it all.

Now, what to do with the yarn? Unfortunately, because of the knots, and the breaking, it's no longer a 600 yd ball. I was thinking of dyeing this yarn, should I re-join it all, so that I can do a long skein of two strands so I have two balls the same? By doing a long skein (ie---set two chairs up about 15ft apart) with two strands at the same time, and dyeing them together, they will come out exactly the same. But what colours? I have some nice blue laceweight, and some rusty mohair laceweight, and some pink I want to overdye....what else would I want, considering I don't wear shawls?

1 comment:

TracyKM said...

C'mon! NO ONE has ANYTHING to say?