Tuesday, July 17, 2007

To calm me down

Thanks for the kind words on the halter, everyone. I'm glad I persevered and got it done. Now we just have to see if I'm capable of writing a decipherable pattern!

I have a job interview in Swindon on Thursday, but it starts too early in the morning for me to fly in the day of, so I have to fly in tomorrow evening. What is there to do in Swindon for the night? Is there a yarn shop?

To calm my nerves, I've started another sweater. The deal with this one (there's always a backstory) is that I really wanted to finally knit up that Noro Silk Garden I've had in my stash forever. I bought it on my very first trip to Springwools. I'd been knitting for a couple years, and had heard lots about the wonderfulness of Noro. I'd seen some in yarn shops back home, but it always seemed too expensive. When I saw it in Springwools, it was the same price, but in Euro, so the number looked smaller. My desire for yarn short-circuited the math portion of my brain, and I thought, well, that's cheaper. So I bought some. As usual, though, I couldn't bring myself to buy a good, safe, sweater's-worth quantity of yarn, but also didn't want to buy just one skein. I wanted enough for a substantial piece of knitting, but couldn't justify enough for a sweater. So I had five skeins. Five. A totally useless amount.

I got it home, and started thinking about what to do with it. Then it hit me that I don't normally wear horizontal stripes. I'm short enough, thank you. So what the hell was I going to do with self-striping yarn? I hadn't seen this cardigan (on the cover) yet. I didn't want to make a shawl. So the yarn sat in my stash for a year and a half. Then I saw this:

Eunny Jang
's Autumn Rose pullover, for Jamieson's Simply Shetland 4. It's abso-fucking-lutely gorgeous, of course. Even though I'm not that big on colourwork, and don't normally wear that style of clothing, it is beautiful. However, I took two things from this: 1) the shape- scoop necks look really good on me and 2) it's horizontally striped, and it's not as bad as I'd imagined. Of course, it's on a model. But still.

So I thought I'd design my Silk Garden top with this as inspiration. I won't be doing the fancy-schmancy sleeve and armscye shaping Eunny's done. Or the fancy-schmancy coloured ribbing. I'm also not keen on that sleeve length, but with five skeins, I'll knit until I run out, I guess. Also, I'll make the scoop much deeper, starting below the boobs, I think. Definitely one where I'll wear a tank or shirt underneath. I'll have to find some yarn in the same gauge in a complementary colour for the ribbing later.

So far, I've done the back, and, thank the Gods, it took just less than two skeins.
The front, with its deep scoop neck, will take much less, leaving me maybe a skein and a half for the sleeves. I hope it will be enough for a 3/4-length sleeve, but I'm guessing it won't be.

I want the two sides of the shoulders at the front to match, though, so I'll have to learn something new for this: steeking. Otherwise, the stripes will be different on each shoulder once I bind off for the scoop neck, and that would drive me crazy. Of course, I don't have enough yarn to be this picky with the sleeves- there's no way those will match.

This may all be pointless, anyway, because I keep looking at the back, and it seems very bright to me. Too bright. I don't know if I could wear it.


jacqueline said...

I really like that sweater the model is wearing. I'd totally wear that. I wish I could knit something like that (i.e. something more complicated than a stocking cap).

Ok question: is buying the 5-10 skeins of yarn actually cheaper than buying a machine-made sweater of the same pattern in the store? I've always been curious about that.

a simple yarn said...

Okay, so it's difficult to tell the brightness factor in the pic, but I have to say that the colourway doesn't seem any 'louder' than the berry coloured halter...not that you asked for any opinions, mind you. But I think it'll look good on you.

Lien said...

Cheryl, I think it's all those bright colours together that makes me nervous. I don't normally wear lots of colours at the same time. But, hey, we have expand our horizons, I guess.

Jackie, it is totally possible, especially in the US where there are cheap sources for nice yarn, to be able to buy a sweater's worth of yarn for, say, 30 or 40 bucks or even less if you're lucky with sales.

Now the pattern is the problem. That sweater on the model you like, for instance. It would be very hard to find a commercially-made sweater like that. You'd find something in that style maybe, but that Fair Isle pattern is truly inspired. That would take, at a guess, maybe 15 balls of the Jamieson's Spindrift, which I found on-line for $4.90/ball. So, that's 75-ish bucks for that sweater, which is a total bargain.

On the whole, though, most people nowadays don't knit sweaters to save money. You can always buy a plain sweater for $6.99 at Target.The yarn for the one I'm making now, for instance, cost €30, so about $40. It's a fair price for a sweater, but I could buy one for cheaper.

Teaandcakes said...

I don't think it looks that loud - the darker shades seem to calm it down a bit.

Swindon is a kip - I've only spent a couple of days there (in an old job) but a mate lived there for a while - it's pretty grim. The only yarn shop she could find was an old-school few balls of acrylic type place - bring your knitting with you!

Laura said...

It is kind of bright, but I think the colour will look stunning on you. Keep going!

Ger said...

Lien that pattern is gorgeous and I think that the colour will be gorgeous on you. They just blend into one another.