25 September 2006

9 Months and You Popped out This?

Last fall I got one of my wild ideas to knit lace for my grandmother's birthday and my aunt's Christmas present. Got a little cocky after the scarf turned out successful and assumed the Christmas stole would as well. I think at one point I even gushed that I thought I might even finish the present on time.

Gush and ye shall be stricken down with the fuglies.

At least I got to play with my new blocking set...

The Christmas Stole

Pattern: Arrowhead Lace from a basic stitch dictionary, with 4 st. of garter edging

Yarn: Knitpicks Shimmer Morning Mist, 1 skein

Needles: Crystal Palace 6, bamboos... my new favorites in this size. One reason I kept starting and stopping this project is because I'd rip out the needles to do something else. I'd usually put the stole on a spare #6 from a set of dpns, but that one time in the Atlanta airport at about 1 a.m., the needle tried to make a run from this fugly thing (do you blame it?) and there was a bit of creative re-knitting to get it all going again.

Dates: Nov. 05 - Sept. 06

Notes: Ugh... I think this is the happiest I've been to do a final cast-off. So why do I dislike this so much? First, the yarn. In my mind, when I was making my plans, I was thinking subtle. There's nothing subtle here. I don't like the abrupt color changes and may overdye it when I visit home again. (I just put the thing in a box and mailed it off today because I didn't want to think about it any longer.) The other colorway that I used for my grandma's scarf is similarly abrupt in its color changes, but there was a certain shine to it after I blocked it. Here, nothing. It was reasonably easy to knit, but it just doesn't have any punch to it. I've got another skein of it too... joy.

Second, the pattern. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the pattern, but I didn't do a very good job executing it here. You really can't see the pattern at all, which I think is due to the size of needle I chose. I did a swatch and really liked it, but final outcome, not so much. I wanted fairly straight-forward lace and looking back, I think I should've stuck with feather and fan or maybe something like several repeats of the Branching Out pattern.

Third, the size. Geez, a stole is a big, honkin' thing. I think I really ended this one too quickly, but it was either bind off, block and mail, or throw the whole thing away and go to Target and buy a new toaster for the gift. I was thinking that it wouldn't be that much more than the scarf and since that went quickly, heck, no problem. Yeah, not so much.

Well, I suppose this was a live and learn kind of project. I enjoyed knitting Branching Out but my other lace endeavors have been a little on the questionable side. For anyone keeping track, I decided to put Sarcelle on hold. I did one repeat of the lace with the fancy butterfly thingys (they look like butterflies until you get them blocked out), and I nearly lost my mind trying to do some of those stitches. As Christina said with the yarn that I was planning to use, it's yarn to grow into. Maybe lace is something I still need to grow into.

Or maybe part of growing is choosing your project wisely. I keep coming back to look at Evelyn Clark's Flower Basket Shawl pattern that I bought. As any horsey person knows, you've got to get back on after you're thrown in the dirt. But this time, I'm using solid yarn in a heavier gauge with the needle size that someone else picked out!

I wanted to apologize for being a little bit grumpy in posts as of late. I've been in one of those fall cleaning modes where I'm trying to wrap up some unfinished objects (or rip them as I did to several blobs of fugly) and I'm discovering why these things languished. I think I may be on to happy knitting for a bit, or more ripping!

And to balance the pics of the fugly stole, here's a bit of Buffalo. Last Friday evening Rachel and I went on a little sailing expedition with the graduate student group on campus. Dorks on a Boat, it's going to be the next greatest hit.

1 comment:

Kris said...

Don't sweat the fugly lace. Mail it out and be done with it. The other skein? Destash.blogspot.com, nuff said. Life is too short to knit something you don't like.

I have been cleaning house so to speak also. Mostly because I have a self imposed deadline, I am trying to clear up as much as I can in a short period of time. Out came the tank with the neckline that just didn't work. Out went the mittens that were 2 different sizes.

Timeouts are good for knitting, it shows them who's boss. Besides, we all have multiple projects on the needles so we have something for every mood.