Saturday, October 14, 2006

Consistency Is Not My Middle Name

So, sometime last week, I posted about my plans for Sock Hop. Right here, in this public forum, I revealed the full extent of my socks-in-progress - I only scanned six pairs but a seventh pair was later found lurking under some Pastaza in my project bin. I issued myself a mild, no pressure challenge to see how many socks I could finish this month. Since that time, I've been knitting obessessively. Stitches have flowed from my needles as I've watched the Detroit Tigers devour the Yankees and leave claw marks on the Oakland A's. Want to see a progress shot?

I considered trying to convince you that this is a sock. A really big sock, maybe part of the campaign to warm elephant toes. Reluctantly, I abandoned that plan in favor of the truth. I've barely touched knitting needle to sock in the last week.

Those who know me well might have seen this coming. You see, I hate being told what to do, even when I'm the one telling me what to do. So, as soon as I told myself that I was going to knit socks, I immediately began knitting something else. If I'd been thinking clearly, I would have announced plans to finish the Peacock Feathers shawl that's languishing next to the barely begun Forbe's Forest scarf. Or I might have told myself that I absolutely couldn't knit socks this month. Then socks would have flown from my needles. A little reverse psychology can work wonders. But I didn't think of that and here I sit, with minimal sock progress, a victim of my own perverse nature.

On the bright side, I do have close to half a sweater done. The picture above was taken a couple of days ago and I'm now almost to the point of dividing the stitches to knit the back and fronts. With luck, this will eventually look something like this:

This is the Eliza Cardigan from Simply Shetland 2. The original was done in Jamieson's Shetland Chunky Marl. My version is done in Elann's Highland Chunky. (The link takes you to Elann's main page. They seem to be out of the Highland Chunky but I think they're expecting more in soon.) The matchy-matchy color was something of an accident. I had the Highland Chunky in my stash when I saw this pattern and it seemed like fate was whispering in my ear.

I know this sweater may not be the sort of thing that inspires a buzz in blogland. It's not fancy or challenging. It's a little dumpy, actually. Not much shaping, just a bit of simple lace to keep it from being totally plain. So why, when I've spent the last two years lusting after Rogue, is this the sweater pattern that's grabbed me?

Pure comfort. The knitting is easy with just that touch of lace to keep it from being terminally boring. It's good baseball/talking to my husband knitting. And the sweater itself reminds me of one of those comfortable old sweaters that are the first thing you reach for on a chilly morning while you wait for the tea kettle to boil and the sun to melt the frost off the grass. This is a sweater to cuddle up in, the kind of thing you might wear out to the garden to pull the last of the green tomatoes off the vines or throw on when you're running out to pick up milk. I lust after Rogue for the sheer beauty of it, for the challenge of knitting it but Eliza is the kind of sweater I'll wear to shreds.

As for project details - I've already told you I'm using Elann's Highland Chunky. I like the yarn a lot. My guess is that it's not going to be as durable as the original Jamieson's would be. The twist on this is very loose and the yarn is very soft. In my experience, that does not suggest a yarn that's going to wear like iron. On the other hand, the softness makes it nice to knit and will make it very comfortable next to the skin and it's very reasonably priced and I already had it in my stash.

I'm using Denise Interchangeable needles on this. I have something of a love/hate relationship with these needles. I love the nice sharp point and the cute little case they come in. I'm impressed by smoothness of the join and generally like the quality. On the other hand, they're plastic and yarn just doesn't glide over them the way it does over my beloved Addi Turbos. Also, the cable that joins the tips is heavier and has more drag than the Addi cables so there's a little more time spent in sliding the stitches along the cable. I don't use the Denise needles very often, almost always preferring the Addi Turbos but I do love having a set. They're my fall back needles, the ones I reach for when all my Addis are already occupied.

So, this is what I'll probably be working on while I root for the Tigers, who just might be the ultimate comeback kids. My husband only watches baseball to indulge me and he's generally pretty indifferent to who wins or loses, happy to root for whichever team has caught my fancy on a given day. At the moment, he's not so much rooting for the Tigers as he is rooting against the As. He's still annoyed over their departure from Philadelphia in 1954 and can't quite shake the image of their 'clown suit' uniforms sometime in the 70s. You've got to love a man who can hold onto a good sports grudge.

7 Comments:

Blogger Fran Baker said...

Pretty color of purple, Dallas. And comfy looking sweater, too. Hope you'll post a picture when it's done!

10:02 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

I LOVE that sweater! Definitely going to be one of those old favorites you can't live without sweaters! I have so many sweater patterns set aside (and with stash yarn no less) but I don't seem to cast on for any of them. What's with that anyway? It's socks socks socks around here.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Dallas, I think that sweater's gorgeous! I'm deeply impressed--and the color...oh baby baby.

And a big Me Too on the Addi Turbos. (Go ahead and snicker, BB...I am thoroughly hooked.) Now that I've felt how smoothly they work, I want some in every size. Still love my bamboos in the bigger sizes, but these smaller ones for socks, with such tight turning radius...Addi all the way!

10:18 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Jean, my only Addi complaint is the bluntness of the tips in the larger sizes. But it's a minor quibble really.

Dallas, my problem with Rogue is the neckline and hood. Love the way they both look but I know I'd end up taking a scissor to the neckline five minutes after I donned the sweater. I feel like I'm choking just looking at it. The neckline hits kind of high and with the weight of the hood tugging from behind -- ack.

My lusted-after sweater pattern is the Celtic Sweater from Oat Couture. I literally drool over the pattern but can't muster up the guts to cast on for it. You can see it at:

http://www.oatcouture.com/patternpages/403Celtic.html

11:15 PM  
Blogger Dallas Schulze said...

Thank you for the kind comments on the sweater. It seems kind of silly to knit a new 'old' sweater but that's what appeals to me at the moment.

Jean - I love the Addis more than any other needle I've tried so far. I agree with Barbara that the bluntness of the tips can be a problem but the slickness of the surface and the smoothness of the join more than makes up for that, at least for me.

Barbara - I love the Celtic Sweater though it hasn't yet made it onto my ridiculously crowded project list. You're probably right about Rogue. I hadn't considered the choking factor. Of course, there's the cardigan version but I don't like the look as much. It's possible that I'll one day make Rogue and just frame it so I can admire the exquisite lines of the design.

2:04 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I totally understand knitting a new old sweater. That's what I'm working on right now!

6:54 PM  
Anonymous theresa s. said...

I'm also knitting a new old sweater. Mine's black with a seed stitch border. Another 9" on the sleeves, plus some banding, and it's done. There's something very comforting about a sweater that feels like an old favorite no matter its true age.

Plus, how could you resist that purple? It's very appealing and the lace is showing up nicely.

11:53 AM  

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