Any knitter who has any experience with mohair will know the agony I speak of, and I only have to say three words. (You might want to sit down first.)
I’m frogging Kidsilk.
I’ll give you a moment to catch your breath and slow your heart rate back down. At least, that was my reaction when I realized what I needed to do in order to fix my Sweetheart Sweater the way I wanted it. (I think it was Lorraine who mentioned fickle knitting gods. Hush, you.)
Here’s the whole story: I started knitting this sweater some time ago. I bought the yarn and loved it, but I used a circular needle that I already had and was sadly rather cheap. I didn’t like the needle, so I let the project stall out. But I wanted to have the sweater done, so I bought a new circular needle of better make and quality. (This one’s a ChiaoGoo lace needle. I love it.) And I loved knitting the sweater again, and it flew along nicely.
Then I finished the back, and looked at how much yarn I had left, and started to think that I was going to run out of the sparkly yarn. So I started knitting the first of the two fronts, knitting slowly so that while I knit I could think about what I was going do when I ran out. Then I finished the first of the fronts, and was convinced that I wasn’t going to have enough sparkly yarn. A quick trip to the store where I’d purchased the yarn originally showed that I had already taken too long to finish this sweater: the sparkly yarn I had picked for this project had been discontinued.
Oops. Now what to do? I didn’t see any obvious way to get the yarn I needed. (Yes, I looked at the Ravelry destash page.) So the sweater hibernated a long time while I thought. Could I make it a vest? Could I knit the fronts in the same colors as the back and then do some creative striping for the sleeves so that I could use a similar but different (or very different) yarn to replace the one I would run out of, and call it a design feature? Or could I maybe shorten the sleeves and make it work that way?
Too many questions, not enough answers. But miracle of miracles, when I was talking about it with my S’n’B one day, one of my knitting friends realized she had the exact yarn – DOWN TO THE DYE LOT, mind you – that I was missing, and didn’t have any reason to keep it. She gave me the new yarn, and I happily started working on the sweater again. I finished both the fronts, and started on the sleeve. I ran out of the first ball of sparkly yarn right on schedule, and kept knitting happily away. Until I realized something scary: I was going to run out of the non-sparkly yarn, too. And it is ALSO a discontinued color now.
I checked the Ravelry destash page again, and chatted briefly with the one person who has – and is willing to part with – the color I need, and discovered that due to a move, the yarn isn’t available at present. Sadness. I could wait for her to get to the yarn, or I could get creative as I had originally thought I would need to do. But there’s one thing I have now that I didn’t have before: a lot more sparkly yarn than I will need. So, the logical thing to do is to use the sparkly yarn for both accent color AND main color for part of the sleeves, and pretend I meant to do that all along. The bottom of the sleeve is the logical place to have the double-sparkly yarn, because sleeves are often used as accents to the body of the sweater. Besides, it would look weird to have the sleeve cap not match the sweater it was sewn to.
And here we run in to the (HOPEFULLY) final problem: you start knitting the sleeves AT THE BOTTOM, and work your way to the top. And since I had made my way two-thirds of the way up the sleeve, that means I am now frogging two strands of mohair yarn which sometimes are knit as stripes and sometimes are held together. For you non-knitters, this is like trying to separate really stubborn Velcro. It sometimes comes apart nicely, but usually doesn’t want to budge.
It is slow going, but I am determined to be able to wear this sweater by Christmas. (I may or may not wear it ON Christmas, but that’s my goal completion date. A present to myself, if you will.) And I have a plan now, which is great.
However, I think I can be forgiven for slipping a bit on my “only these projects” decision from last week, and doing this:
(More details of the shiny new thing next week.)