Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Part Two of the "Should'a Series" or The Working Shawl

So, yeah, I finished it. Sometime ago, really. In fact, only about a week after I last lamented about it. Took all of about 10 minutes to finish. Figures. Only then did I start to worry about my yarn choice. And rightfully so, as it turns out. When I blocked the "feather" rows, I could really feel the bounce-back of the yarn. I really had to tug to get the pattern to lay flat and with that much tension I started to figure the feathers were going to find their happy, bunchy place again once I pulled the pins from the shawl. Sure enough, they did and I really don't think re-blocking will change that. But, honestly, I'm not at all put off by the results. For one, the large-ish rib pattern at the top did benefit from the blocking and the YO's look pretty darn nice. And two, I'd already made the shawl one repeat short, intentionally, and I sorta' picked the yarn that I did so that I would be more inclined to "work" this shawl in the real world. It had to weather the weather, peanut and jelly sandwich fingers, and a regular pass through the washing machine. No doubt, acrylic yarn will do that like no mohair I know. So, I love it still. It wraps around my neck like a scarf, it's warm, I don't worry about my girls tugging at it and it still looks pretty good too.

Now, having said all that, I WILL use a better quality, more heirloom worthy yarn the next time that I knit lace....and I will knit lace again. A lot of it, I think. I've got my eye on a couple of sampler-type projects, in fact. So while, I should'a given myself more credit for being able to knit this pattern and not chintzed on my yarn choice in the first place, I am pleased with what was accomplished. Forward ho!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Part One of the "Should'a" Series

I should'a learned how a sock is engineered before I set to stitchin'. The ankle gussets are all wrong, on both socks. There's no point in pointing each error out, because the mistakes don't stop there. No, I bungled the toe shaping portion as well. Toe grafts....yet another talent I was born without. While you probably wouldn't have to strain your eyes to hard to find the problem areas, don't hurt yourself trying. Just know that they're kids' socks and kids don't care.

My son totally dug em'.

Another notable "should'a", it's probably wise to pick a yarn you *love* for such a task. I didn't. I totally settled, just because I wanted to see what all this sock knittin' hoopla was about. While I can't say didn't like the feel or look of the hand-dyed yarn (it really is charming), I was disappointed when I realized that I would never wear a pair of socks that looked like these, myself. Maybe it was something about the green that just left me flat. Or maybe it was thought of woolen foot coverage in a tropical climate that turned me off. Whatever the case, it left me no choice but to make a pair for my daughter, *ahem* kids, which became more a task than a longing. So I rushed and I ignored the huge mistakes I knew I was making, hands cramping the whole time because I knew that if I allowed myself to slow down one iota I'd just throw the whole project out of the window and never give it a second thought. But this is high quality ho-hum yarn and, well, I'm far to guilt-ridden a knitter to do that. It'd be like settling for a Picasso, when you really want a Lucian Freud, and then storing it in the garage till you could give it away. I'd at least hang the so-so Picasso in the bathroom, that nobody ever uses. I'm just sayin'.