Saturday, February 5, 2011

a knitting saga...

It all started with this gorgeous sweater. I got it at the Salvation Army store for all of about $4. I mean... really! And, it's green!

Look at the workmanship! The wool on the inside was twisted after every stitch, so not only is it really, really warm, there are no loops for my fingers to get stuck in. And note that the neckband and the button bands are crocheted, not ribbed... makes them very snug and they keep their shape perfectly. Pity I can't crochet.

So during the volcanic eruptions in Iceland last year, I saw an image of an Icelander leading his pony to safety, and he had on this gorgeous sweater in shades of blue. I got a hankering to have a similar sweater. Alas, one cannot compel the perfect sweater to turn up in the thrift store on command... but wait! I was only a few weeks away from finishing my MA... I could MAKE one! I bought the wool, and got knitting. I finished the sweater at my cousin Geraldine's house in England, and when I got home, I entered it into the Fair. I won a 3rd place ribbon... the first place winner was not only a stunning Fisherman's pattern, but the knitter was also the alpaca raiser who'd shorn and spun her own yarn. She won fair and square. (I don't recall who won 2nd place. I was too boggled by the 1st place sweater!)

Behold the shades-of-blue sweater. I do love it!

While I was in England, I stopped into my favorite wool shop in the Shambles in York, formerly called "Sheepish" but under new management as "Ramshambles". Exercising superhuman restraint, I came home with only one skein of wool, with the intent to learn to make socks. When Karelia came to visit in August, she got me started.

Alas that I did not read the directions! I ribbed and ribbed on freaking tiny, toothpick-diameter double-pointed needles. Then I realized that I had two choices: I could either rip out several inches of that wretched ribbing (ugh!) or I could deal with the fact that I would have to rib that much again on the mate, when I made it. I couldn't deal with it, and I had some of the gorgeous, soft, cream wool left, so...

I raided my stash of Lopi up in the attic and started another Icelandic sweater. I looked through all the pattern books I have on hand, and didn't find a cardigan pattern I liked better, so I did the same pattern again. Alas, I ran out of the cream wool and had to buy more.

Once I'd finished it, I thought about starting the Fisherman's sweater I've been hoping to make... I've got the wool - rich, deep green - I know you're astonished beyond words - but honestly, cables terrify me. And I was tired. And it was cold. And the children were home for two snow days in a row. So... I could have dealt with the sock problem. Did I?

Heck no! I started a third Icelandic sweater. There was, after all, lots of the cream wool left over, y'know?

I can see already that this cream wool is going to end up like my Grandpa Chandler's mashed potatoes and gravy. He never could get them to come out even. He'd take more potatoes, then run out of gravy. He'd put on more gravy, then run out of potatoes. With any luck, I'll end up with Icelandics in every color of the rainbow before I give up!

1 comment:

  1. Hi's the old Elf. This is the first time I've read one of your blogs and I found what you wrote about the fisherman's sweater you found at Salvation Army, and all the wooly rest of the news very entertaining. Was that a shot of a Harry Potter sweater I saw? Looks so difficult to do! I tried crochet and knitting and never got the hang of either one. You are truly talented in many, many ways. Mary