Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Year of Sourdough and Adventurous Sweaters: Sweater Update #1

If this year has a theme, it is Sourdough and Adventurous Sweaters. This is figurative as well as literal--although I have not quite yet figured out how it is figurative.

I do plan on tackling projects both neglected for years, or more advanced versions of projects I normally attempt. I plan on trying new things and on following through to completion otherwise neglected lists and items. As far as concerns the theme of Adventurous Sweaters, I plan to finally knit with the yarn I have been storing, complete projects in hibernation that are taking up valuable needle space, and make things - even if it involves purchasing more yarn - from the patterns and books I have purchased in the last few years yet not used, beyond looking at the pictures.

A further addendum to my writing from earlier in the week is that life is too short not only to read bad magazines and bad books, but pointless Facebook feeds.

January is considered Selfish Knitting Month, the month that knitters, after working overtime on holiday gifts, devote time to projects for themselves. I have never celebrated this month before, but this year I have decided to try. It coincides well with my "adventurous sweater" theme. The first project is what I have titled my Selfish Sugarcane Shell. The pattern is the Petrie shell from I just became temporarily distracted Googling "shell" to make sure I'm not the only person in the world who uses that term for that style of sleeveless shirt, or that it's not actually the name of a different type of garment. The yarn is Araucania Ruca Multy, a yarn made from sugarcane. I found it at Isle Knit in Honolulu, a wonderful store which I highly recommend visiting, this past November. As a side note, if you do go to Isle Knit, walk a few blocks to 202 Merchant St, where you will find, inside of a convenience store, Ice Forest Shave Ice Wonderland, which specializes in Taiwanese shave ice and is a bit different from other shave ice places in the city. When I visited, the only other customers were locals, and one asked me how I had heard about the place, and that it was his favorite shave ice place on the whole island. (How I found it was Yelp. See, smart phones really can help you engage more, not less, with the real physical world!)

The shell was going well, I'd even say swell, until the following happened:

I know about dropped stitches and other mistakes, but this was new to me. After plastering this picture on the Internet and sending it to my mother, to show to her knitting group, I learned that I had accidentally added a stitch, making a buttonhole in the middle of the back of the sweater, which might have been okay if it remained a one-stitch-sized hole. But since I thought it was a dropped stitch, I attempted to fix it as if it were a dropped stitch, and when that merely moved the hole down a row each time, I tried so many different variations of pulling and looping nearby stitches that I turned the tiny hole into a bigger, more conspicuous mess of a hole. It could not be ignored. The answer, sadly, was only to rip out my work to that point and start over.

I was very unhappy when about six inches of sweater turned back into two inches, but a few episodes of Mad Men later, and my sweater is back to the length it was twenty-four hours ago, but without any misplaced buttonholes.

For more Selfish Knitting Month updates, feel free to friend me on Ravelry. My username is monotropa.

I hope to post more updates here. Aside from sweaters, I hope to tackle stranded knitting so that I can finally make these Fiddlehead Mittens, and I hope to get back into sewing as I used to be. I also hope to complete some ribbon embroidery projects, especially as gifts for people.

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