Monday, February 18, 2013

Worth Doing Well


If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.  -  an old proverb... and my mother

I have not failed.  I just found 10,000 ways that won't work.  -  Thomas Edison

Try again, fail again, fail better.  -  Samuel Beckett

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  -  Thomas Palmer... also, my mother

A depressed person is a perfectionist who finally gave up.  -  my sister




Just what you were expecting after all the brainy quotes, right?  A photo of another sweater?

So, anyway... the Georgia sweater, by Jane Richmond, was worth doing well. 
  



 It did require a couple of tries.  I was 2/3 of the way through and realized my gauge was off, so I reknit it in the smallest size.  Then I was finished and realized the garter edge was curling up too much for me, so I ripped it back and changed it to a K1P1 rib.  Seems like I knit a practice run on most things I love, but without too much frustration.  I'm doing something I love, that relaxes me, wether it's near the cast on or bind off edge.  It's rare that I throw a project against a wall these days.



 I fall somewhere between my mom's favorite saying and my sister's, willing to try over and over, but without getting bent out of shape over it.


 My notes- I used size 2 needles and knit the size 28"at a slightly larger gauge (1 stitch more per inch) to get a size 32" for a fitted look.  I also spaced my buttonholes closer together to avoid too much button band peek, about 1.25- 1.5" apart; and so, needed more buttons.  I really think there's just going to be a little gapping on a fitted cardigan like this, no matter what you do.  I see where plenty of knitters tried oversizing theirs in hopes of avoiding it, yet still found it gapped a little.  However, I'd rather have gaps on a fitted cardigan than a loose one.  Even Jane's sample has a bit of obvious stretch at the button band, so I'm not sweating it (like the perfectionist destined for disappointment).  I really like the fit, so I'm pleased.


The garter bottom band looked nice, but I really like the ease of 1X1 rib.  It's so much easier to not be worrying about the bottom rolling up all day.  Plus, I think the ribbing looks cute at this shorter length.


I also used a trick I tried on Caramel to keep the underarm stitches nice and neat.  I think it's the most flawless job I've ever done on picking up stitches for the sleeves.


What makes this pattern, for me, is the purl ridge and pleats across the front yoke and back.  My back pleats seem to have flattened out after blocking, but I'll fiddle with them and steam block them in place.


I'm also crazy about this yarn from Laura Jimenez of Gynx Yarns.  It's called faded jeans and has exactly that casual, weekend-ish feel to it.  I only used 1.5 skeins to make this, so I've got a little left for stripes on a hat or socks, or something.   Laura is behind The Dyer's Notebook and also dyes really cool Totoro themed yarns,  Catbus being next on my yarn wishlist.




The subtle color changes are beautiful, but I found the color changes looked differently on sleeves than on the wide span of the cardigan body.  To avoid a striping look, I tried something I read that a lot of people do when using multicolored, hand dyed yarn: alternate between two balls of yarn for every two rows on the sleeves.  It's sort of a pain to have two strands of yarn going at once, but refer to the quotes at the beginning of the post.  It was just worth it for a seamless color flow.  I can't see a difference between the knit fabric of the body and the sleeves (below).  Can you?


But even with all of this attention to detail, or maybe because of it, I finished, washed, blocked, then set it down for a while.  Maybe I reached my sewing threshold when finishing the Scallop of the Sea clutch last month.  Whatever the reason, it languished for a month or so, waiting for buttons; 12 buttons to be exact.  That was a whine you heard.


Then yesterday, on a spring cleaning kind of high, I decided to finish every knitted thing I've started, wash all the laundry, add compost to the garden, and outfit my bike with all the accessories I got for my birthday.   So, buttons were sewn while my sister and I had a little visit.


There's another Georgia post here , more details/ pics on my Ravelry and Flickr, and there's a sweetie who kept walking in front of the camera accidentally, below.


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