For at least a week, I’ve been meaning to post about the next main-feature knitting project on the horizon now that the Sunrise Circle cardigan is complete. I’m kind of excited about this project – finishing Sunrise as quickly and successfully as I did has given me hope that I can whip out the next one if I just focus on it as well. But then there was the whole Sock Wars thing…
I’m in a lull with the Sock Wars business at the moment – I shipped of my killer socks yesterday morning, and I’m pretty sure my target has shipped off her socks to her target. I’m waiting to find out if my target’s target still has socks in progress and whether she will send them to me to finish before my assassin finishes her socks and gets them to me. The whole set of scenarios starts to get more complicated even than that depending on who “kills” whom when, so we’ll just focus on the project at hand till definitive information arrives.
Here’s the pair that I sent off.
They’re not too bad, really. I don’t think the stitch patterning shows up very well, and to be honest the Tofutsies yarn wasn’t as horrible as I’d expected. I still don’t like the way it’s spun, but I think it will be soft enough when washed. I didn’t bother blocking these because I needed to get them off quickly. And, because I know my target is reading, I’ll just mention that I was careful to follow the pattern as closely as possible because that’s what I thought the rules required. If I had realized that there was some leeway in the contest rules, I would have added a repeat or two to the cuff and done some more decreases on the toe.
So to get down to business with the “new” project. It’s actually a quite-old UFO project which I am determined to get off my back. I started this sweater in February 2005, and put it away for several reasons including a)it was too complicated to be working on with a cranky toddler who never slept in the picture b) we were getting ready to put our house on the market, and I didn’t have time to knit and c) I had reached a point in the design process where I felt stuck – in part because I wasn’t sure I’d have enough yarn for what I wanted to do.
Well, life is a little bit simpler now. I at least have a couple of hours to myself most evenings these days, and am not quite so utterly exhausted all the time. I pulled that sucker out and did some serious thinking about what I wanted to do with it – either finish it or throw the whole mess away. This is not a good project for frogging and re-knit, as you will soon see.
I decided to see if I could get some more of the main color yarn, which would solve the main part of the problem. Schoolhouse Press to the rescue! I bought this yarn when I was at Meg’s knitting camp in July of 2003, and I wasn’t sure they even carried it any more. Luckily, the nice lady who answered the phone helped me determine which yarn it was, figure out which colors I needed – I decided to go ahead and order a bit more of all of them just to be really safe. I knew I’d be getting different dye lots, but since this is an intarsia project I think I can live with that.
And the very next day, this box showed up at my door – I’d called in the morning, and Schoolhouse Press is just a few hours away in Wisconsin. Still, that’s awesome service!
Here’s what was inside. Look familiar to anyone? Probably not. It’s Bartlett Yarns wool, which is so very nice and heathery, a little bit squishy and not too itchy. Quite thick, and knits up a little heavier than worsted weight to make a great jacket-type sweater.
And this is what I had at home already. The main body of a sweater, the fronts and the back all as one piece, knit up to the armholes. The nice thing about pulling out a very old UFO is that it’s sort of a head-start kind of project. I have only to knit the sleeves, join them up EZ-style to the body, and knit up to the neckline. I’m even knitting in the front edging in moss stitch with the body, so there will be no added button bands and very little finishing at the end.
Here’s a picture of how the new dye lot of the main color goes with the old sweater. Quite well, I think. I’ve got enough of the old yarn for sure to finish the main body part of the sweater. I think I will use the new for the sleeves at least up to the join, and that should take care of things. After the join, perhaps I’ll alternate rows or something. But they really are quite close, and with the various-colored diamonds to break things up, I’m confident that I can be satisfied with at least that aspect of the results.
Here’s the back side of the main body so far just in case you’re interested. I was a good girl way back when I was working on it before and wove in my ends as I went. But that is typical for me. I can’t stand any more mess than absolutely necessary.
And just for fun, here is what that main body looks like when it’s folded as you’d see it in use.
I had started the sleeves during the previous incarnation of the project, and had to rip them back when I realized (if I recall correctly) that they were a little too narrow and that I had put a color in the wrong place on one of them. That was the true breaking point that made me put the mess away.
So I’m casting out for sleeve island, and I decided to go ahead and knit them both at the same time on the same needle.
It is a big messy mess, but I know that it will be easier for me to slog through them both at the same time rather than doing one whole piece and then doing the same whole thing over again. In my brain, it is somehow easier to do it simultaneously and then when I am done with that part, I’m really done. I kind of like intarsia – love the results, in fact, and don’t mind too much the wild yarn-wrangling that’s involved. It kind of makes me laugh to look at the giant mess and know that somehow I am going to magically transform it into a thing of beauty.
In the mean time, this is what’s piled (in one small spot) on my office floor. We won’t even talk about what the rest of the office looks like because it is too scary.
I’ll leave you with a cute family moment. Joe’s parents were over to watch Sophie for a while this morning, and when I came home they hung out for a while longer so that they could see Julie when she got off the bus from pre-school. Joe’s mom was singing songs (in Korean) with Sophie, and Sophie was loving it.