Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Things On My Needles

Finally, I got around to do the second Intrepid.
I wasn't sure if I was going to write a pattern, but thanks to the encouragements of fellow Ravelers, and coupla intrepid knitters volunteered for test knit, I decided to go for it.

I knew my notes were OK, but I made some changes that triggered quite a bit of re-calculations and instruction editing, so I decided that knitting second one is necessary to ensure the pattern not crawling with mistakes..



It ended up a bigger task than I'd imagined.  I think if I had a clean slate and not relying on the original notes, I might've  been better off.  But having to constantly edit, it ended up messing my mind.  I am slowly training myself to be more organized of my thoughts and my notes.  Sometime I'd be knitting something and all of sudden thinking, "did I change that in the pattern?" Then I jumped on computer and tried to back trace my steps.  By the time I finished the edits, I'd forgotten where was I on the knitting part.

If I want to continue to write patterns, I need to find a more efficient and organized system.  Maybe I should try to write the pattern first before I knit?  But I so enjoy the spontaneity and the improvisation process that is a lot more conducive to my creative ideas. The  improvisation often means having to knit the second one to write the pattern.  Fortunately with Intrepid, I like it enough that I actually wanted to make the second one  with more fall/winter yarn. I started with 3 different DK/Sports weight yarn in my stash and none of them seemed to work for my taste.  So, guiltily, I ended up purchasing new yarn for it. 


I'm using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Lite (fingering weight.)  It's the first time I've used the yarn, and I quite like the feel of it.  I'm just not sure if I'd ever turn into a true fan of using hand-dyed yarns  with a lot of tonal varigation for a sweaters.  Maybe I'll grow to liking the effect more???  The yarns sure look so wonderful and luring on all the Ravelry FO pages.  But each time I knitted with some I always ended up feeling weird about the mottled look. The effect certainly brings depth to the colors, at the same time, it also seems a bit distracting to the lines.   I do dig using the yarn for accessories like shawls, hats.  But on an entire sweater....I'll see if this one will change my mind.  Instead of getting the yarn online at Jimmy Bean, I actually drove down to Reno to check out the color in person.  I like the color, it's called Trodden.  Maybe when it's all done, it will look more unified?  Am I the only person on this planet that is not as crazy about indie-dyed yarn on a sweater as everyone else?  I mean I love the yarns, I love the colors, I'd love to collect them if I have the means, but  since I'm nuts about knitting sweaters, I have not embraced them as fully as I'd like. Maybe it's the cheapskate part of me sending subliminal messages, telling me not to like the pricier yarn in larger quantities.  I have 3 sweater lots of Indie-dye yarns. so I am determined to use them for the upcoming projects, wanting to prove myself wrong. 


I also have another project on needles.

This is very rare for me to have more than one project going on at the same time.  I don't have the discipline to manage multiple projects and finish them all, but I do have the discipline of not attempt that task too many times, so I always just have one going.  Prior to starting the Intrepid 2, I was working on another project. In my mind I thought I'd just follow a pattern and be easy on myself, and finish it shortly, then work on Intrepid 2 and send out the patterns to testers as I'd promised.  Hmmmm.... I definitely picked the wrong project for a mindless, easy knitting here.  It's Butterfly Dress from Rowan magazine 37.  I had the magazine for a long time and I always lusted after this dress.  The yarn was from my stash that I bought from Jimmy Bean's Wool Watch a while back. It's S Charles Luna, color light gray.  I love the look of mohair and the silver thread in it, but knitting with mohair is not the easiest.  Ripping back is even worse.  Threading on beads took a long time. The bottom edge border took just 3 days.  The rest of the dress was knitted bottom up and I changed to knitting in round instead of flat pieces per pattern.  The pattern  and stitches are really simple and should be very easy, but knitting with such lightweight mohair takes more focus than I'd expected, thus slower.


photo from magazine

I was too lazy to do a swatch.  Now it's too big.  I tried it on when I was in the middle of shaping waist.  I tried my best not to panic when I saw how big it was. To compound the situation, I was also afraid of running out of yarn. I'm on the last of the 3 balls, and not yet at the waist fully, so instead of just keep on decreasing more repeats, I decided to decrease more aggressively (every 2 rows) hoping that is not gonna look too horrible.  I also switched from #8 needles to #7.  I'll be so bummed if this doesn't work out. Plan B is to machine sew the sides.  And I pray it won't come to that, as I have no idea how to sew mohair lace.



I was planning on having the dress done and the pattern sent  to testers before I leave for a week-long trip this weekend, but I don't think that's realistic at all.  I'll see which one to tackle.  I just hate the idea of having to leave 2 projects hanging, knowing I'll be so lost and confused when I return to them. . 




We'll gonna go for a stroll along the lake this afternoon to unwind my brain from the pattern writing for Intrepid, and the disappointment of Butterfly Dress turning out too big..

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