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:


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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  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

  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!

  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.



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