Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A calm season of holiday knitting

Isn't he precious? His name is Mitten, and I made him for our knitting group Christmas exchange gift. It was very had to part with him, but he went to a very good home with my friend Nancy. I still have yarn leftover, so I'd like to make another one for myself, I just don't know when I'll get to it.

And in other knitting news, my holiday knitting is...DONE!

I did very well this year. No big projects to tackle, just a few toys for the kids, and a very few accessories for requesting family members. Here is Henry's hippo that he asked for:

He turned out pretty well. I'm also working on finishing up various works-in-progress so that I have a fresh knitting slate for the new year. The pair of mittens that has been sitting on the file cabinet in my office since September. The 2 sweaters on the needles, although that raises an unfortunate point...

The Christmas tweed sweater is being quite belligerent. Here is the anatomy of a doomed project, as evolved from the original ball of yarn to the final incomplete, yet hated item:

(1) I cast on. I immediately loathe the unconventional ribbing that the pattern calls for, because it's taking me at least 3 times as long to do it, but I persevere. It *does* look pretty.

(2) I get through the ribbing and breathe a sigh of relief. I begin to happily knit stockinette stitch in the round.

(3) I soon discover that my gauge is way off. It's much smaller than the pattern calls for, and I'm already knitting the smallest size (a mistake!) I mean, I usually wear a small, but an extra small is being extremely optimistic; I just wanted the knitting to go faster (definitely a mistake!). But I don't want to start over, so I keep going. (!*#$!)

(4) I try the sweater body on and it *does* fit so I again feel relieved. I'm getting nervous about the sleeves, but I set those thoughts aside.

(5) I cast on for the first sleeve, and once again am confronted with that insidiously freakish ribbing for the cuff. I push on.

(6) The sleeve takes far too long because I keep not knitting it (because I hate it). It also seems far too narrow due to my small gauge. It does fit over my hand, but I'm worried that it won't be completely comfortable. I seethe.

(7) I force myself to finish the sleeve, vowing not to cast on for anything new until I finish up all these unfinished projects (and purposefully not thinking about sleeve #2). The pattern calls for me to graft the sleeve to the body of the sweater at the underarm. I graft. Except...

(8) Something must go amiss and now my efforts to rejoin my sweater in the round incorporating in the sleeve is horribly awry. I re-start again and again, and nothing seems to work. I must have grafted the sleeve in the wrong position somehow.


To pick back the grafted stitches appears to be the straw that will break this sweater's back. It was already not on my good side, and now it's sitting in a pile on my desk and I'm glaring at it. I've threatened to unravel it, and it seems unmoved. It has clearly taken the offensive and is still refusing to cooperate. I'm now looking at new sweater patterns in retaliation, but the thought of ripping it out and starting anew is making me huffy.

So there you have it. I think I'm just going to let it sit over my Christmas vacation and deal with it after the first of the year. These major decisions can't be made quickly. In the meantime, I'm finishing my mittens and working on Karen's gift, so I'll be plenty busy.

Oh! And in other crafting news, I have found my way to the Catholic board on Ravelry. How did I not know about this before?! I mean, they're having an Advent and Christmas knit-along and all autumn were working on knitting Advent calendars and garland. Seriously, how could I miss this?! THIS IS SO ME.

Well, I'm an official member now and plan to participate in all the fun Catholic Crafting Revelry. I'm super excited.

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