Monday, September 28, 2009

The Yarn Is Always Greener

or, in Search of a Portable Project.

So, I haven't fallen out of love with the colorwork sweater, but progress has slowed down quite a bit since it got too big to carry around. Let's face it, anything with four balls of yarn attached to it is going to be awkward in the carrying-around department anyway, and only things like long car trips when a giant sized project bag isn't too much of a hassle make it possible at all. (Being just a teensy bit obsessive doesn't hurt either.) Since I finished the body and started on the sleeves, it's only gotten worse. (I'm going to pause here, and let you admire it- sweaters in progress don't always make for interesting photos, but I never get tired of this sweater!)
Now with sleeve

I know what you're thinking. "But a sleeve! Everyone knows a sleeve is a portable project! Elizabeth Zimmerman said so." Well. That would be true if I'd, say, copied down a sheet with all the patterns I chose for the sweater. (I've done it as a sampler- each band has a different pattern, and no two are alike.) Since I'm too lazy to do that- and also, it introduces another potential source of error- instead I'm just referring back to the sweater body to see which pattern comes next. And carrying around a completed sweater body, *plus* a sleeve with four balls of yarn attached- well, I think even EZ would have admitted it's a little awkward.

So I needed another portable project. Now, I could have grabbed the fine gauge bamboo sweater (which I occasionally do for variety). I don't think I've actually shown that one yet because giant rectangles are so widely known for being visually interesting. But I suppose now is as good a time as any:
Bamboo Sweater

Now, while the bamboo sweater is just the thing for when I need miles of mindless knitting/no brain required? There are times I find it just a bit boring. Plus, the point where I realized there was no chance I'd get it done in time to wear it this summer made it seem a bit less urgent. I'm thinking that after the Christmas knitting rush, when I'm up to my tailbone in snow, I'll be seized with a violent urge to knit light summery things. (It's a theory, anyway.)

But, I still needed a portable project. Socks are my usual carrying-around thing, but I've had socks on the needles continuously most of the year, and felt like a change. And (thanks to multiple designs rejected for the colorwork sweater), I had nearly a sweaters-worth of green wool hanging out without a plan. And EZ *did* say that a sleeve makes for a good portable project. So I spent one morning sitting on the floor of the sewing room surrounded by patterns, and finally selected one from a booklet I inherited from my grandmother. I think she liked it- she made at least two sweaters from the book that I know of (I still own one), though not to my knowledge the one I'm knitting now.
green aran sleeve

And I see why she liked these. In a continuation of the confluence of weirdly convenient happenings from last week, this sweater knit perfectly in gauge on the needles the pattern called for. I was so suspicious of this, I even washed my swatch (something I'm not always religious about), but it was real. My preference tends to be for densely knitted fabric, and this isn't, but once I got a couple of inches on the needles, I found the pattern draws the piece up into an air-trapping mass of poofy cables- I think it's going to be light as well as warm.

Now my only problem is- I keep knitting on it when I don't need a portable project, to the point where the colorwork is getting jealous. Really, sweaters, I can love you both. I promise.

This post brought to you by my new wireless router, which finally consented to speak to the computers on our home network after a couple of hours of pleading and the intercession of a professional matchmaker from tech support.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Ha! I wouldn't have actually written anything down on the color work sweater either, even though I LOVE that sweater and would probably want to make another one at some point. Still, it always makes sense at the time......:)

    I LOVE the green sweater too!!!!!!