Crowing Ram

Thursday, January 09, 2003
Tonight is our local knitters guild meeting (Bloomington Knitters Guild in Bloomington, Indiana if anyone is interested), and our program is UFOs: Why are they languishing and do you intend to finish them? We're a pretty close bunch, so I don't mind showing off my unfinished projects at all, but I so hate that designation. I'm one of those people that production knitters love to hate. I enjoy the process, and quite frankly, I almost hate to finish an enjoyable project. It's almost like losing a friend. I like the WIP designation, myself. And as it happens, I have several.
One that I'll be taking tonight is a top-down turtleneck. It's made of one strand of a mossy green cotton chenille and two strands of heavy variegated cotton thread. It's knitting up at a chunky-weight (Cascade Pastaza or Manos del Uruguay), and I've gotten most of the body done. I still need to knit the ribbing and the sleeves, but otherwise, it's on track.
Unfortunately, it's languished for about eight months while I worked first on production knitting for ThreadBear (huge mistake-- HUGE), then while I was working on the Philosopher's Sweater and subsequent oh-I-need-to-give-someone-one-of-those and wow-I'd-really-like-to-make-one-of-these projects.
Started at about the same time (maybe even a little earlier) was another double-stranded sweater project that was a little more fiscally adventurous. It's a top-down cardigan (the pattern is the sister of the top-down pullover used for the chenille sweater) knit in one strand of red-orange Jamieson & Smith jumper weight and one strand of Brown Sheep Original Handpaint in their Sunbaked Earth colorway.
This one got stalled when Brown Sheep changed their dyeing process for Original Handpaint. Let this be a lesson to you. Because the yarn (BSOH) was somewhat expensive and we were struggling to make ends meet, I was buying it one or two skeins at a time. Then, half-way down the sweater, they changed their dyeing process, and it became impossible to find dye lots that matched or even came close to the older skeins. Fortunately, we've started ThreadBear and opened a wholesale account with Brown Sheep in the meantime, and they've assured us that if we would like to supply a skein of the old yarn, they should be able to match it (or come close) and that we'd just need to purchase the entire dye-lot. Oh, horrors. More yarn. You know we'd hate that. BWA-HEE-HEE-HEE!!
What does concern me is that the newly dyed yarn still may be far enough from the original that it would make more sense to rip the entire sweater and start over with the new dye lot. Eh... as I said. I'm a process person. I'd rather knit it a second time that to have a finished sweater that I didn't like.
Despite how all of that sounds, I really do have something finished to show you. I knit the cap of Kathy Zimmerman's "Cap n' Scarf" set that appeared in the Winter 2002 issue of Knitter's Magazine, but I substituted my own handpainted Lamb's Pride Bulky for the suggested yarn. I finished the project Christmas Eve at a get-together at the home of our friend, Christy. Christy was kind enough to help us put together shelving and rearrange the house when we had to expand our ThreadBear storage to fill an extra bedroom, and I wanted to do something special for her.
Actually, this hat was the second that I knit from the same yarn, and it has been customized to be knit in the round. The first was knit flat with the colorful yarn on the reverse-stockinette brim and the mottled grey on the seed stitch crown then seamed up the back. Eeeewww... It was terribly unpleasant. The colors were great, and it looked all right sitting on the table, but when worn, the seam up the back was firmer than the surrounding fabric and gave the appearance of a saggy butt on the back of the wearer's head. That wasn't exactly the look I was going for. This one, on the other hand showcases the handpaint yarn AND is very flattering on.
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