Monday, June 8, 2009

Absorba Fail and the Goddamn Sweater

[There is only one day left to enter the Rubbermaid Easy Find Lid sweepstakes. Just comment on the review post found here.]

This week I finished a long term project and a palate-cleansing project, although the palate-cleanser came before the long-term project. The only projects I have on the needles are two travel/line projects which don't count. I need another project. What if I finish my two travel projects and don't have anything to knit? What will happen then? What if my needles go fallow? What if I don't cast on for a new project right away and I forget how to knit? What if I never knit again? What if? What if? What if!

I have two hats I promised to make for others, but those are more travel-type projects. I need something large and substantial, something that isn't work knitting and something that is more than plain stockinette in the round. Ravelry here I come. Surely I cannot be the only one who gets a little antsy when her needles are (mostly) empty.

Presenting Absorba Fail and That Goddamn Sweater:

Absorba FailAbsorba FailAbsorba Fail
I was intending on making Mason Dixon's Absorba bath mat. Instead I made a small heavy floor towel. It's functional but is about as attractive as throwing a wet towel on the floor. It is too thin, too flexible and easily distorted. I almost wrote distortable. I misread the directions and used 3 strands of worsted weight instead of 3 strands of double worsted, which is like 6 strands of worsted. I enjoyed making this rug and it only took a day. I will definitely making another, but next time I'll use the right yarn. Hopefully that, plus Mason Dixon's tips on binding off log cabin will help prevent premautre sagging and unfortunate bulging.

This is THAT sweater, the one I cast on when Jennie was admitted to ICU. It is the same sweater pattern that drove me crazy with the extensive undocumented errors when I first cast on for this. This is the same sweater I knit on in Jennie's hospital, my dad's hospital and my sister's hospital. It is the same one I had to set aside and air out because it smelled too much like hospital to keep working on it.

This sweater is attractive, or perhaps it is just my fond affection for the recipient, but the pattern is frustrating. There are errors in this pattern made even more confusing by incorrect and incomplete errata. None of the errors are big, but they are frequent. The pattern is simple but I would recommend go ahead and buying the pattern directly from the designer instead of using the pattern printed in the magazine.

I had both sleeves and most of the torso finished when Scott tried it on for the first time. I used the shoulder shaping in the pattern, met gauge and the sleeves came out very large and poofy. After much discussion with fellow knitters I decided that at least 2” of fabric needed to come off of the front of the sleeve. I achieved this by ending the short row sooner and picking up fewer stitches on the front of the armhole than in the back. Enormous thanks to Nell who spent hours days helping me work, rework, rip, reknit and curse those shoulder caps and sleeves.

I don’t have the ends woven in yet, but decided to take pictures right away since I will have forgotten all about this sweater by the time Scott returns home. Even though the ends weren’t woven in I decided to wash this sweater anyway, which you should know is usually a recipe for holey jacked-up disaster. Aside from a few tangled ends I lucked out with a gentle wash and tumble dry. I wouldn't normally wash before finishing but I finished it while sitting in the laundry. Seemed convenient.

I machine washed inside out on delicate and tumble dried on high. True to the claims when I first purchased this yarn, the tightly plied merino yarn did not pill like superwash merino yarn normally would nor did the garment grow as much as a sw merino garment normally would, although it did grow a little. Mostly I am just pleased to have this sweater mostly finished and happy that Scott enjoys it so much even though it is June and not even remotely chilly.