Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rip, Rip, Rip Little Stranded Sweater

First, listen to this. (At least the beginning of it, okay?) That’s where the title came from.


Well, I was sailing along on Lotus for a good while. Naturally, that fact meant that I was due for another session of sweater ripping. I had reached a point where two not so good things were happening. First, the spaces between the brown stitches were getting long. In other words, the brown floats were getting long. Secondly, the pattern required me to use three colors in a single row. And to paraphrase what Theresa said here, knitting with three colors is much harder than knitting with two colors.

So I came up with one of my brilliant-in-theory-but-ugly-in-practice solutions. I would do a quasi-intarsia-stranded knitting thingy. (“Thingy” is a very technical term. It is similar to that other highly technical term, “stuff.”) The idea was that I would cut a strand of the brown yarn, use it to knit the narrow brown section, drop the brown yarn, knit around the sweater repeating the process. Then on the next row, I would carry the brown yarn backward from the end of the brown section back to the beginning of the brown section and knit across again. Brilliant, no?

I reasoned that these “backward floats” would not look much different from the regular floats AND, if I was successful in keeping the floats loose, the knitting would look no different than regular stranded knitting. I was correct on the first point, but not correct on the second point. Although my backward floats were sufficiently loose enough, the knitting looked weird. A little pinched. See? (Again, if you don’t see it, just pretend that you do.)


Now I know that it’s not THAT bad, but I can tell and if I leave it that way, I will forever glare at that section of the sweater and will always imagine that it is much more pinched than it actually is. So the offensive section has to go and I have to decide on how to rework these rounds.

My options are these:
1. Duplicate stitch those brown sections.
2. Have long brown floats AND somehow make 3-color stranding work for me.

I’ve decided to go with the easy way option 1 first, particularly because I already have strands cut to the duplicate stitching. Also, if I decide that I don’t like it that way, ripping out the work will be a lot less painful. If I were to do option 2 and then NOT like the way it looked, I would be cursing loudly as a ripped each and every triple-stranded stitch out.

Tooting my own horn

By the way, did you all see my “Extreme Weaving” in the most recent Knitty? Scroll down! That's the wrong side of my Moni. I believe that Theresa thought I was a bit touched in the head for doing that much weaving. But then I give everyone lots of reasons to think that I'm touched in the head. Why should this be any different?

Tune in next time when Laura complains about being in a knitting funk and attempts to resurrect the stalled out Gathering Intentions.


Debby said...

I am SO with you -- have some of those pinched stitches on the secret Christmas project, and am devising ways to fix them. But I can't leave them either...hope you get your sweater to behave -- the colors are gorgeous!

Hope Scout is well and enjoying a Christmas tree. Kitties can play fort underneath too!

Mintyfresh said...

I wonder what the pattern designer even expected people to do! go with your gut; you're right the previous method was creating some wonkiness. it looks amazing, though!

Jennifer said...

Nothing wrong with the duplicate stitch, I say!

I love how she puts your ends weaving in the Knitty article. Extremely conscientious... Yep! That's our Laura!

s t a c i said...

It looks so nice! When I knit the KnitPicks Palette sweater I was really bothered by pinched stitches, too. The pattern in that sweater changes every few rows (like yours), and so the tension did, too.

Oh - one other thing...I found that the 100% wool I was using was SO forgiving that if I just walked near it with the steamer, the stitches all relaxed and became even. It was like a Christmas miracle. :)

Kenny said...

Oh wow Laura!!! That is awesome. you probably mentioned this somewhere already, but what pattern is that?

What yarn are you using? I can't seem to find any fair isle yarn here in Houston. That is there isn't much selection of color here. All just frou frou yarn.

So, tonight is the knit night at cafe express right? Well, I can make it, but I have nothing to knit. I'm totally out of projects and I have no yarn. So, maybe I'll come next week.

Cordelia said...

That song sounds just like a christmas carol.
And I still think the sweater looks extremely well-done.
And congratulations on getting mentioned as "Extreme Weaving." You totally deserve it. :-)

Rebekah said...

Well I think you picked the good solution, sounds reasonable to me anyway.

Toot away!

Terby said...

Awesome weaving photo.

I'm still hesitating on trying color work. As intrigued as I am by it, I know it would be a lot easier if I could get continental down pat first.

Rachel said...

I have to admit, even I can see the pinching on the brown stitches. It probably would be fine in the overall finished object, but for once I don't think you're utterly crazy for deciding to redo it.

And heck, since it has now been demonstrated that your OCD tendencies bring you minor fame, why would you ever try to repress them?