Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I suppose that I should encourage positivity by starting with the YAY part.

YAY for my dear sweet LYS, the ever-lovely Lakeside Fibers, for finally starting to carry Cascade 220 Superwash. I know, I know... I should really just grow up and learn how to care for regular wool garments. Which shouldn't actually be too hard, given that Mister Husband washes everything in cold. Still, I don't trust our combined brains enough to watch out all the time. Witness, for example, the Celtic Cable Hat, my pride and joy, getting turned into a near-yarmulke last month because it was just a leeeetle too close to the basket at wash time. (I suppose, though, it does provide me with a reason to make myself another awesome hat... no! STOP IT! There is nothing good about shrinking stuff in a non-purposeful fashion! Don't even think about it!)

So I've waited for ages to figure out just what to use for my lacey cardigan (Classic Elite leaflet #9001, specifically the purple one on the right here). It's supposed to be made in Lush, which is 50/50 angora/wool, but that would never happen. Even without the washing concerns, the angora would shed like mad. Plus it was like 9 bucks a skein at 124 yds/skein, which would have easily run me between $80-$100. I think, though, that even though the C220 Superwash won't bloom as nicely as the Lush, that it'll work quite well. It should only take me about six skeins, so if I buy a whole bag I'm sure I'll have something else I could do with it.

I won't be making it in that lavender, though. The store model was in kind of a dark celery color, which I thought looked quite nice, especially with spring finally here. It was one of the things I kept seeing that made me go bonkers wanting to knit something light and fresh instead of yet another cabled or fair isle hat suitable only for matching with a giant parka. Lakeside only had four colors in, none of which particularly struck my fancy (they were sort of Lands End-y colors -- just a little TOO bright in coral, or butter-yellow). However, I did get to check out the color cards. I think the most suitable would be 841, which resembles the celery I liked in the model. I also liked... umm... 803, which is a deep plum that doesn't come out very well on my current monitor. 811 is akin to one of my favorite regular C220 shades as well. However, for the springy look and the ability to go well with jeans, I think the green's the way to go. (I need to branch out from my 80-shades-of-brick-red look.)

The BOO this round goes to my friggin-fraggin-grmph!in Print o' the Wave Stole by Eunny Jang. This would be my second attempt at lace knitting, and my first with an actual decent pattern. (I tried the Mystery Stole-along, but -- forgetting for a second that nobody's made this thing before, and nobody knows what any of it looks like -- the pattern was written in a fairly confusing manner, and even after I rewrote it to suit my brain I had terrible counting issues.)

So a couple of weeks back I got into it on the bus and plane while headed to my Vegas shindig, and got about five rows in before losing a stitch near the end of the row. No matter how I counted and looked, the row seemed to be okay but the stitch was suspiciously GONE. So I said, "Eh, I'll live," and added one on the end in an inconspicuous manner. Everything went well until I got back up to row 11 and realized that I had the same problem again. Moreover, I found that my k2togs now bookended my stitch markers, which got me all in a tizzy worrying that I'd missed another couple of stitches elsewhere and had shifted all of my stitches down. Which, with an 80-stitch row and lots of weird tinkings, would have been a picky, niggling little nightmare to frog back.

After a little question-and-answer session with Eunny herself on LJ, I was satisfied that the stitch marker issue was just a figment of my imagination. However, this missing stitch thing, and the fact that I had added the stitch markers AFTER my row-five issue, made me go back and start over again. So I did. Got to row five, realized what I probably did wrong (spot with regular knit instead of k2tog -- the only row where this occurred), plowed through, got to row 11... missing a stitch. Counted again and again and again. Threw up hands and added another stitch at the end. Looked fine. Started in on repeat number two of the 12 rows... it looks like crap. The zigzagging effect looks like it's totally off, even though it shouldn't be, and suddenly I find that the stitch markers are causing more trouble than the problems were meant to solve.

So I've had it. I think this lovely greenish laceweight will just have to take a time out in the corner, because while it is obviously eager to be something, this ain't it. (Neither is a teeny tiny Clapotis, but that's another story entirely.) I'm still wondering if I'm cut out for anything that delicate anyways. I like my stuff sturdy and strong, whether it's the color or texture or yarn. Even in airier things I tend to go for denser, all-over patterns in repeats.

Furthermore, while I must stress repeatedly that Eunny herself couldn't be friendlier or more patient, I need only point you here or here to demonstrate that she is fond of projects that are, how you say, gorgeous but crazy. The girl makes up brocade in size 1 for fun. MIND-NUMBINGLY TINY fun, even -- that Frost Flowers shawl was meant to be on 6s but she did it on 0s just 'cuz. Ouch.

To sum up, this has added to my already long string of rather... unsuccessful projects. My Clapotis was nummy but too short, my We Call Them Pirates hat was too tiny... For cripes' sake, one of these days I need to do a project for myself which not only fits but is easy to fix if it doesn't. Grr.

On the needles:
I have three office baby projects coming up within the next few months. One's due mid-April and will be receiving a baby bath blanket in cotton chenille, a free pattern from Lakeside. The secoond is my husband's assistant, who is due May 6th (I think). The third is another person in my department, but she's actually due later in the summer, I think. I don't know what I'll do for the latter two, and I kind of forgot which needles I was using on the first one since I pulled them out last month for Clapotis. Tee hee. I guess we'll figure that out when I start it up again and it looks DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT. (Maybe the baby won't notice. Yay for developing eyeballs.)

In the meantime, I really need to get going on that cardigan. Really really.


At 2:50 PM, Anonymous froggy_dear said...

That cardigan is going to be lovely. I can just see it on you.

And the pain of frogging lace is awful. I had one of those moments a while ago.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Alexandra said...

Speak to me of Lakeside Fibers, please. The one time I was there, the one employee ignored me, sighed, rolled her eyes, everything but ring me up as I stood by the register, credit card in hand. I left with nothing and was sad, because they have such a good selection. Are they ordinarily (much) better than that?


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