If you want to destroy my almost-sweater…

Too bad, I’ve beat you to it 😉

What took about 3 months to knit rolled into balls of yarn in about 30 minutes and the top is no more. Weirdly, I’m not the least bit sad.

 

Mind, I was really frustrated. Who gets such a crazy result after following a pattern to the letter?! AND I wasn’t able to blog about my sweater adventures for months! That all ended seconds after I finally blogged once more.  Alex solved the mystery of the gigantic sweater and I went from feeling like I’d wasted a lot of time to feeling like there wasn’t time to waste before I could start again.
As a scientist, I don’t know how to exist in the land of “Inexplicable Fail.” Failure can be just as exciting as success but only when it sets you off on the hunt. This left me feeling like I couldn’t even find my keys. It just goes to show you that that colleagues, mentors and shop talk are the life of science. Yep-There’s-Yer-Problem-ville is a favorite place to stop for sandwiches before the real fun begins.

Alex, who will now be known as Fiber Yoda, explained that cotton blend do in fact knit bigger than animal fibers and further, that they grow under their own weight. And with that, I good to go!

As promised, I treated my almost-sweater as a massive gauge swatch and measured a couple of different spots.

I can proudly say that the gauge is consistent throughout the garment. However, it’s off by 1.5 stitches from my original swatch and now I know that this is something to watch out for. This time around, I’m swatching with the bamboo needles just in case. Said swatches will then go in the wash…. which doesn’t happen until Sunday 0_0 Waiting is really the hardest part of anything. Right now, I just feel like starting over on US 4’s and dropping to size M/L, but I’m not going to.

I mean first of all I haven’t started the swatches yet, but after those are done, I am treating myself to stash busting by way of a fun small project. Last year I ended up with some orange acrylic yarn that didn’t quite go with the color scheme I’d chosen for my granny square throw but that does perfectly match my needle case. Said case is not the best place for all my DPN’s or interchangeable tips, so I’m giving a knitting a needle case a go with this free pattern.

case-in-point
Case In Point DPN Pockets by Kristin Briney

Well, I’m basing my case off this pattern since I’d like to have interchangeable tips on one row and DPNs on another. Also, I think I am going to add a few more slots in case I get more needles, so that should keep me well out of trouble – for about 5 minutes or whenever I finish casting on 😉

 

Not to worry, I am also going to talk about needles at long last.

In October I wrote Tools of the Trade, in which pondered what kind of needles I needed to have if I was going to start making my own knit tops. A lot of savvy folks weighed in and in the end I was still feeling weird about working with circular and/or interchangeable needles. Then I took an awesome trip to Denver where I found my favorite LYS to date: Fancy Tiger. I got to sit down with the way amazing employees and just talk shop about needles. They really appreciated my wanting to skip all the shopping and research in favor of just skipping to the knitting but they told me that this is very much like buying a good pair of boots. You have to try several on to see what works and this is why I ended up buying a pair of circular needles. I took advantage of a KnitPicks promo to get some interchangeables for virtually zero money and as I already had the DPNs  in the sizes I needed, I was all set to do The Experiment. I would knit the same top three times using each type of needle to see which I liked best.

 

Then surgery happened and I had to stick with small projects for a while – until two months later, I head about the Summer Top KAL and found Flax Light. I saw that the pattern called for both DPNs and circular needles, the latter of which I didn’t have in the right size, and so I ended up reaching for the interchangeables. They took some serious getting used to and my gauge changed a bit but it worked out. The pattern still called for DPNs for a large percentage of the garment (collar, hem and sleeves) so maybe it’s just about having options. I do enjoy using DPNs above everything to knit in the round but I can see how a large  I am still going to knit those three tops, but given that I have to start over on the first, it will be a while.

 

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3 thoughts on “If you want to destroy my almost-sweater…

  1. RIP Sweater! That is a super cute needle holder! I totally agree with trying out different types of needles before deciding to buy an entire set. I now have four different sets…bamboo 16″ circular set (not interchangeable), KnitPicks Rainbow Wood Interchangeables, Chiagoo Interchangeables (in their regular set and their sock set) and Hiya Hiya Interchangeables. I find that I use all four sets for different types of knitting and I still love every single needle.

    If I had to give them all up and only keep one set? I would pick the Hiya Hiya’s because they are sharper than the others and perfect for lace knitting. However, I understand that everyone has their favorites and they must be tried out to understand which ones make your heart go pitter patter 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really excited about the needle holder! I might make two to keep things simple – and to make space just in case I end up getting more needles.

      Having the right tools makes a lot of sense to me and I can totally see, say having two sets of interchangeable needles – that said, the minimalist in me really just wants to keep things streamlined hence the dilemma. With the exception of a couple of sizes of DPNs, I think I’m good for the time being – and I might make a total destash a condition for getting anything else 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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