My typically structured knitting world has been blown asunder. In the short-ish time I’ve been knitting, I have been what you would call a monogamous knitter. I start one project. I knit on this project and only on this project until it’s finished. When I bind off, I typically weave in the ends right away and almost always before I start work on a new project.
I’m perfectly happy with this situation in general, but I have started (and discussed here before) the desire to have more than one project on the go – particularly projects that contrast each other in their skill and concentration level. To have a nice simple project like a vanilla sock or a dishcloth or something that you can pick up and knit when you don’t have time or don’t feel like knitting on your more complicated project. I’m rarely in a vehicle (I ride a bike, and I haven’t yet figured out a way to do both at the same time), but it would be nice to have something to knit on those rare occasions when I find myself stuck in one.
Anyways… after I completed my Piece Of My Heart Socks in late January, I thought I’d knit up the Biergarten Hat by Anne Hanson. It was from the October 2012 installment of Fall in Full color. Having knit the Biergarten Scarf, I wanted to use up the lovely yarn and make it a set. I’d only knit one hat up to this point so I was looking forward to it.
I worked up the brim and started to work the textured panel and was finding some laddering after my cables. I researched online to see if there were any tips for this and tried the reverse wrap. This did little to resolve the issue; My purl stitches were nice and tight but I still had long ladders on either side of the purl stitch. I’m familiar with the tug methods too and use them quite regularly. I finally had to put the hat into timeout and turn my mind to something else.
I’ve been thinking about it on and off ever since though, and I am resolved to figure it out! I might try redistributing the stitches on the needles. The cables in question are all where the work transitions from one DPN to another, and I’m hopeful that this might help. I have knit other projects on DPNs, so I have a fair amount of experience. I had to work on the laddering issue when I first started using DPNs, but I think I’ve got it pretty well figured out, so I’m fairly certain it’s not just a working with DPNs issue. Besides, I knit up the scarf with no issue… ?!
So, with the hat in timeout and still wanting to knit a hat, I pulled out some Bernat Roving from stash and knit up the Robin’s Egg Blue Hat. It was an extremely quick and satisfying knit. The little flap on the brim is not my favourite feature, as it sticks out rather bumpily when on your head. This might have been less an issue if I’d worked in a bulky weight yarn as the pattern called for, but I used super bulky. I think it would have looked quite nice to simply work the seed stitch brim in the round, but I’m happy with the hat. It fits my head perfectly, providing excellent coverage for the ears, and is nice and warm.
I then started knitting my DH a pair of socks on February 2nd. They are the Basic Ribbed Socks by Kate Atherley and could be considered a vanilla sock. While working on these my Noro Silk Garden yarn arrived, so I took the socks to work with me to work on there, and began to knit my Noro Scarf. Now I have two projects actively on the needles and a project in timeout AND I have plans for my first sweater in the works (yarn ordered and on its way!)
After giving up on beginning with a tubular cast on (I tried at least four different methods over two evenings – it was time to move on), I was finally on my way. You would think that 1×1 ribbing would drive you to the brink, but I was finding it really enjoyable. Knitting two rows with each ball of yarn, you have enough going on to engage your mind remembering to slip the first and last stitches on r2 and changing the yarn. Watching the colours interact and develop is fun, the yarn in general is a pleasure to work with (despite the two knots I found in one ball – I’ve decided spit splicing is gross, but it works), and the fabric that worked up is lovely.
I had some issues with the work pulling in at the edges and frogged back to rework it – careful to NOT tug the yarn as I changed balls. I started by using the simple method of holding the current working yarn across the front (just under the needle) and simply starting to knit the next row with the other ball of yarn. I also tried the twist the two yarns method that you’ll find everywhere on the Internet and this looked horrible, so I went back to the much simpler and effective method of holding the working yarn aside. It’s beautiful.
I agonized over my colour choices for the Noro Scarf, and literally after days of thinking on it, I finally made my selections and placed my order. With gradient-type yarn like this, it’s difficult to know how it’s going to work up until you work it up (even after viewing swatches online), and working it up with another colourway just makes the experiment that more dicey… The scarf looks like barf. Seriously. Turns out, I didn’t go with my gut and select the colourway I chose first in my mind, but chose another colourway instead. I’m not posting pictures because I don’t think you want to see my barf scarf.
So, this went into timeout too, and I’ve been knitting my husband’s socks (and of course there’s a whole story I could write about this, but this is getting too long as it is!) I broke down today and ordered more Spring Garden yarn in colours I hope won’t look like barf. It’s very dangerous and expensive and frustrating! And such a shame that I should be stalled like this with a project that I was enjoying so much. It will be weeks before the yarn will arrive and I can pick the scarf up again.
So, it’s perhaps a little dramatic to include “mayhem” in my title, and I hardly think this qualifies me as a polyamorous knitter, but it is a dangerous development that if left unchecked could lead to utter madness and chaos – which might be wonderful or might just drive me insane. Probably a bit of both.
Full disclosure: I have a half-finished boot cuff in my stash that has been sitting there for about a year. I also have a partially finished crochet blanket carefully tucked just out of sight (the guilt!) I know that projects you are not working on do not count for polyamorous knitting, but if I’m making my confessions I may as well confess it all!
Results for gifted projects: At a family function yesterday I was able to gift the Piece Of My Heart Socks to my MIL and THEY FIT!!! This is such a confidence building result. I also gifted my Stark hat to my nephew who put it on right away and didn’t seem to notice or care that there might be some small mistakes in it. He also liked that it was a little slouchy and not snug. Happy day!
As always, thank you for reading my little blog.