Monday, November 14, 2005

Scared, Giddy, and Annoyed

I want to design my own sweater. From scratch. I have a mental image of my sweater. I have yarn for my sweater. Now, all I need is a little more courage.

I've read the sweater-design sections from a few general knitting books and I think I've made myself even more scared than before. One book said not to invest too much money in a first design. Too late! I bought angora yarn. The same book suggested starting a sweater constructed with stockinette rectangles. No! I want something better fitting that has some lace. Another book warned of the difficulty of working set-in sleeves. Oops! That's exactly what I want.

Now, I'm not normally frightened by challenging knitting projects, but I am quite concerned about the design process. I'm waiting for Sweater Design in Plain English to arrive from Amazon and I'm hoping that the book will have enough information to make me comfortable starting my sweater. Meanwhile, swatching is happening at a furious pace.

I'm teaching my first knitting class this weekend. I'm excited even though I have no idea how it will go. I'd better write up a lesson plan before Saturday. Now if I could only make a career out of doing knitterly things, I'd quit my job in a heartbeat.

Remember how happy I was using Karaoke for Lady Eleanor? I'm not so happy now.* I'm on my sixth ball of yarn and have found knots in five of the balls used so far. Normally, I don't mind a knot or two in yarn, but five knots in six balls?? You're kidding me, right? I paid a pretty penny for this pretty yarn and I expect high quality for it. What's worse is that in balls #4 and #6, the knot was less than two yards from the inside end of the ball! Did the profit margin on this yarn truly depend on including those two yards?

Ain't no way to treat a Lady

This photo was taken when I was about 1/2 way through the 5th ball (otherwise known as the ball that did NOT contain a knot). At the time the stole was 21 inches wide and 26 inches long, unstretched. I think blocking will make the stole about 24 inches wide, which would be perfect for me.

*Late breaking update: I'm happy again. SWTC is going to send me more yarn. They believe that yarn from the end of a run accidentally got balled and packed. They also indicated that they have not heard other serious knot complaints about Karaoke.


GretchenX said...

Well, it looks lovely!! And don't worry about the sweater - just dive in!! The worst case scenario is that you do alot of frogging. Just make sure that you swatch everything.

Brutus says "meow!" to Scout.


Silvia said...

Do not be scared of making your own pattern up. Sweater Design in Plain English is a great book, I also use Knitting from the Top and Knitting Workshop alot. The secret of making up your own pattern is to not be scared to rip out something you don't like. If you think you can "live with" some mistake--rip it out! Start swatching to get your gauges until the books arrive, get those creative juices flowing.

Christina said...

A book that I use as a base pattern for sweaters for myself is Ann Budd's "Knitter's Handy Guide of Sweater Patterns." I love it.

I've had the same knot problem with some Rowan Cashsoft, especially the knot a few yards into the ball. So annoying.

Jennifer said...

I've got to agree with Christina, and say that the Knitter's Handy Guide of Sweater Patterns is a good book to help you figure out how to do basic designing. You can add, embellish, and shape the basic shapes and styles included in that book. That's what I did with my Snow White Sweater and I am very happy with the results. Plus, I don't think that my sweater looks like anything in the book.

Cordelia said...

I would never have one single concern about you designing your own sweater. Anyone who has the patience and the attention-to-detail to notice the difference between the pattern and the "style" picture will do just fine.
L.E. looks lovely (of course!); the entrelac is fantastic.

Trillian42 said...

Have fun with the sweater design - can't wait to see it progress! And Lady Eleanor is gorgeous! I love the way the colors flow. And yay for SWTC for sending more yarn!

Agnes said...

Good luck on your first design. Somehow I feel that you'll get it all worked out at the end.
The Karaoke colourway is amazing ... it's good that they have good customer service;

amylovie said...

I'm glad SWTC is going to send you more. How aggrevating.

You, if anyone, will be able to tackle desing.


Karen said...

After Xmas knitting, I'll be designing, or rather knitting a sweater from a picture in my head for the little guy from the yarn you sent me. We can agonize together! :)

Yay for SWTC for sending more yarn! It's looking amazing!

~drew emborsky~ said...

Your design will be a success I'm sure! You're obviously very talented!!

Atouria said...

It's amazing that they are sending you more yarn for your grief ~ that's awesome! I absolutely love the way your Lady is knitting up. That yarn is gorgeous for it.

Think happy thoughts for your sweater! It sounds like you know exactly what you want and that's half the battle. You can do it!

Anonymous said...

Hooray for SWTC, they keep their customers happy! I love the elegant colors of your Lady Eleanor.

And good luck with the sweater design!

- MJ