March 11, 2007

Spring is in the air

...So it's a perfect time to be knitting a worsted-weight wool and mohair sweater, no?


That's right - I finally started Wicked. After blocking, my gauge was still a tiny bit off (4.75 stitches per inch vs 4.5). If my gauge were correct, I would be right between sizes. I figure slightly too big is cozy, while slightly too small means everyone would get an eyeful of my squidgier bits, so I decided to knit the next size up. That means I started with 100-some stitches and am gradually increasing to 300-some before splitting off the arms.

Now that's a whole lot of stitches (shawl knitters, feel free to scoff and remind me that some shawls have thousands of stitches in a row at some point), but really I'm a sock knitter, and socks have an entirely manageable number of stitches in a row.

I try not to think about it too hard, because if I do, I start worrying that I don't have the fortitude for sweater knitting. It doesn't have the architectural excitement of turning a heel, and it certainly doesn't have the thrilling variegated colors that keep me frantically knitting socks just to see what color comes next. Sometimes I look at Wicked and think "You mean, I've got to keep doing this same exact thing until I make an entire sweater?" Then I look at it and think "DUDE, I'm knitting a fucking sweater. How awesome is that?"

I've also been consoling myself with the Yarn Harlot's first book. Besides penning my new favorite phrase "trust your inner compass - it points to yarn", she also mentions that the average sock has something like 17,000 stitches. A pair, by extension, has close to 34,000. If I've knit socks, surely I can knit this. I will soldier on.

Plus, I'm a little bit smitten with my yarn. What with the stunning colors sock yarns come in, I tend to forget how much I like solid-colored Lambs Pride. Being just barely spun (or plied or whatever the term is) makes the yarn vary a tiny bit in width and it has a smooth, almost silky, but still very fibery sheen to it. You really feel like you're working with honest to goodness wool when you touch it, if that makes sense?

And there's just a hair or two of dark green/almost black twisted in with the apple green which gives the color more depth, and the mohair gives it a bit of additional texture. Really nice stuff. Unfortunately, this yarn has magical camera-defying abilities that prevent me from capturing its true deliciousness. Trust me, in real life, it's much prettier.

However, it is utter crap for train knitting. The mohair drifts off in a violently green cloud all around me that instantly clings to everything in a ten-foot radius. This hasn't entirely stopped me from subway knitting with it, but feeling bad about the exploding green hairball in my lap does take some of the joy out of it.

Meanwhile, my neighbors have this in the middle of their yard.

I keep looking around to make sure there isn't an old person lying crumpled in the bushes somewhere. Thus far, no old people, but the snow hasn't completely melted yet...


Kristy said...

Wicked is really looking great! 300 stitches is a lot, but it's only across the yoke. The main body of the sweater will be a lot fewer :)

Marge said...

A mystery walker can only mean one thing. There must have been some kind of bubba ho-tep like confrontation in the backyard, and this is all that remains from the slow but furious battle between mummy and octogenarian.

Deb said...

Your sweater is looking great, and like Kristy said, once you've gotten past the yoke, you'll have much fewer stitches, and it will feel like it's going much faster. The green looks even better knitted up, and that's a great description of the yarn. You're making me want to go buy some for myself.

bekka said...

such a pretty green. i love it. so springy and st. patrick's like!