Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Look Ma! I'm Done!

This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning-

Did Winston Churchill knit? The end of the beginning indeed! I finished the never-ending sweater! (I suppose I need to give it a new name now.) Being my first 'real deal' sweater, I'm completely chuffed. It fits me, there are no glaring mistakes, and I finished it with a skein of yarn to spare! Woo-hoo! It is blocking as we speak. The picture is total crap, but there will be more to come:

If I were to knit it again, the only thing I would change is the yarn. I LOVE the yarn (Misti Alpaca), but I didn't realize when I made the substitution that it would drape the way it does. If I had done my research I would have found out that Alpaca is much heavier than wool and well... more drapey. Great for some projects, but not for something that is supposed to keep it's shape. Oh well, live and learn.

On the subject of learning, I started keeping a knitting journal at the same time that I started this blog. Why have I never done this before? It makes so much sense! It's nice to learn from your mistakes, but if you forget what they are (and you know I will) you are DOOMED TO REPEAT THEM! Here are a few a learned the hard way:

1) Using larger needles is not always the best solution to get correct guage. The proof? My accidentally 'fishnet' shrug. It's currently sitting in my frog pile.

2) Read the pattern all the way through before you begin knitting. Keeping the fishnet shrug company: a partially completed cable-knit sweater the length of a dress, and (yet another) shrug - this one only large enough to fit a 6 year old child.

3) Cheaping out isn't worth it in the long run. Natural fibres are worth every penny.

4) Mohair is pretty. Working with it is not. After royally screwing up a pair of mohair gloves I decided to frog them. They decided they would rather tangle up into a big ball of fuzz.

5) What's the hurry? Take your damn time! My just completed sweater taught me that one. Even though I completed it relatively quickly, it was only because I have been knitting like a DEMON lately. I knit a guage swatch, I took the time to block the pieces before assembling them, and when it was time to assemble? I taught myself mattress stitch and 'fake' grafting instead of just winging it like I normally would. My reward? A sweater I will actually wear.



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