Friday, March 2, 2012

The Chronicles of YARNia

Armed with many skeins of this charcoal heather yarn and a pair of circular knitting needles, I began knitting the sweater for my son. 

I made myself a test gauge to be sure my stitches matched up in size to the pattern before starting, and then worked on the ribbing for the bottom.  At that point, I only had to use knit, purl and cast on stitches,  and those were all familiar to me.

To start the body of the sweater, the pattern said to increase 6 stitches.  Feeling confident that I could manage that, I knit the first row, increasing 6 times evenly as I went.   On the return row of purl knitting, I realized that I did not remember how to increase because I had created 6 holes in the sweater instead.  Rookie mistake.

Ripped out those rows,  looked up "how to increase" in a knitting book and tried a second time.  This time I got it right, and began the body of the sweater.  Again.

About 8 rows in, I came across a random hole.  I think I had mistakenly done a "yarn over".  Ripped out about 4 rows and started up again.  After a few nights work, I had about 8 inches of the back done.


I laid it out on top of a sweater that my son already owned and that fit him well.  It was easy to see that my knitted sweater was going to be too small.  Another rookie mistake.  I should have compared my work to the storebought sweater about 4 inches sooner and saved myself a lot of time.   I had to start over.  Again.

I went back an looked through the pattern book I had bought, ignoring the crazy eyes and the sullen stares of the models and found a nice crewneck sweater that looked more roomy, then convinced my son that v-necks were overrated anyway. 
Then came the hard part, ripping out everything I had done so far:

Going....
Going...
Gone.....

Before I could start over, I had to deal with this...

a mountain of yarn sitting there on the table. 

 I lamented to my knitting expert sister about losing the convenience of a pull-skein, where your skein stays in one place while you pull yarn from the center.  She showed me how you can wrap a ball of yarn and make your own pull skein, a technique I will graciously share with you:

Start wrapping the yarn around your fingers, making sure to leave a long tail hanging out from the center:

Continue winding your yarn into a ball, always making sure the tail end is hanging free:

When you are finished, you will have a nice, tidy ball of yarn with a pullstring from the center:

Now I was ready to start the sweater project all over again, but not without a nice, consoling cup of tea and a good night's sleep first.

Stay tuned....

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3 comments:

  1. I definitely can feel your pain from here. I have done that more than once. I ball my yarn like that, but never thought to leave a pullstring so I could use it from the center. Great idea and thanks for sharing. Lane

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  2. You poor dear. Glad you decided to get some rest before starting again. At least it sounds like you are going to get this sweater RIGHT!

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  3. Been there done that. Thanks for sharing how to ball the yarn with a pull string. Will try that. Love the yarn you have chosen to use, great colour.
    I am currently knitting some baby things for my great grand daughter to be, late April she will be arriving.

    Patricia

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