Thursday, March 18, 2010

March Madness

Remember how I promised pictures of the finished crocheted alpaca top? Well, it's a ball of yarn, now. I frogged the entire thing. I had to admit to myself that no matter what I did to it, it would be a waste of yarn because it was highly likely that I would never, ever wear it. Like that ten-ton boxy acrylic dress, or the summery brightly-colored lacy bolero that I made entirely out of wool. Granted, those were newbie mistakes, mostly due to total inexperience with different types of fibers, and this top would have been quite nice if I hadn't simply run out of yarn. Still, I read somewhere that if you know at any point during the process that you're going to hate it, you simply have to suck it up and frog it, right then and there.

So that's what I did. I also applied that philosophy to the summer hat I'm making with Mirasol T'ikka. It was in hibernation because I loathed doing the linen stitch part. When I picked it back up again, I realized that hating those tightly bound little slip stitches was not the first of my problems. Somehow, I had managed to use a 5 mm needle instead of a size 5 needle like I was supposed to, and the hat (which was only a brim at the time) was HUGE. How did I not notice this? I mean, I know I'm lazy when it comes to gauge swatching and I honestly can't recall if I did one for this hat, but a needle choice mistake of three whole sizes? I held up the circulars to my head and without any stretching at all, that thing went around my noggin with about four inches to spare. All sorts of pleas went through my head, foremost among them being: just switch to the right size needle now! This is only the brim! So it'll be a little floppy! It's a summer hat, who cares? I actually got a few rows in with the size 5 before I realized that not only was this not shrinking the hat quickly enough, but it was going to look stupid when all was said and done.

So, with a heavy heart, but at least some measure of the thrill of yanking those ripply little stitches free, I went all the way back to the slip knot, and started over.

By the time I got back up to where the linen stitch band should be, the hat was already a wee bit on the tight side, but I'm not worried, because it'll stretch a bit. I decided to try and tackle the linen stitch again. So brave. But, to my relief, I could tell after only a couple rows that no amount of stretching and blocking would cram that around my skull, so I happily yanked it back out and started in with the much more hand-friendly moss stitch. It'll give me the same textural effect without the shrinkage, although of course, it won't have the same stiffness that it's supposed to for shaping and all. Oh well!

Oh, by the way, I finished that Cabled Boatneck Pullover. The sleeves are a teensy bit too short and they tend to get baggy kind of easily, but overall it's lovely, fits me well, and got lots of compliments!