Thursday, May 29, 2008

Money where my mouth is

I'm trying out my theory that non-wool yarns will be more flattering for me. I bought a STACK of light gray cotton yarn at The Knitter's Studio sale along with this Rowan magazine. This sweater, "Wonder" could hopefully be a summer staple for me. I can't wait to see how this thick cotton yarn drapes.

I'm adding waist-shaping to this loose cardigan, hopefully achieving my hour-glass but not clingy goal. I'm also knitting the front-back-front all at once way with a false seam, suggested by Elizabeth Zimmerman. That way I won't have to keep track of my modifications and all of the parts will line up! I'm saving the sleeves for last, which is not my normal approach, but that will allow me to see how much yarn I have left, and I'll make the sleeve accordingly. If I have to make 3/4 sleeves, that will be fine for a summer sweater.

I don't knwo if I have EVER used the yarn suggested by a pattern, I am always substituting. So I am always in fear of running out! I bought 20 balls of yarn, but the balls are small. I can only get about 10 rows of the front-back-front done with one ball-- can you imagine? I want it to be somewhat long, probably hit just below my bottom, so I'll sacrifice sleeve-length for butt length if I have to.

And really, doesn't this Rowan sweater just remind you of the famous Drops Jacket? I was planning to make that last winter but didn't finish Paul's sweater in time, so now I'm making the summer version!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Epiphany: Yarn

I think about knitting a lot. Lying in bed at night, waking up in the morning, when I'm bored at work, when I'm knitting... Actually not that much when I'm knitting-- then I'm usually doing something else. Time for one of those meditation books I guess. That wasn't my point, actually.

My point is, I think about knitting a lot but I hadn't realized the connection between the types of sweaters I like to wear and the types of yarns I'm choosing.

I fear clingy sweaters.

I get a bit self-conscious with sweaters that cling around my waist or bust, so the sweaters that I wear over and over again, that I didn't knit, are the ones that are hour-glass shaped but don't cling. And it has taken me a lot of thinking to realize that those are sweaters that are NOT made of pure wool. My black cabled cardigan is made of a soft, thick, heavy cotton and I wear it year round. My favorite winter sweater which has gone missing, it was likely accidentally donated to Goodwill in a mad cleaning frenzy (please enjoy!), must have been a mix of wool and silk because it's cables lay very flat and it held it's shape, rather than having an elasticity.

But elasticity was something I was always looking for in the yarn I bought for sweaters! It means that it will be a joy to knit with and will block out all of my inconsistencies. I love to knit with pure wool because it feels good and is a moderate price.

But my epiphany tells me that if I am going to knit a sweater that I love and feel comfortable in, I may need to begin exploring other fibers. I'm going to have to choose fiber content first, then color-- which is the opposite way I've been approaching things. I think a trip to ArtFibers in San Francisco would really help. I might need a tour around the fibers available with my new eyes.