To Err Is Human…

… on the other hand, when you follow a seemingly straightforward pattern that appears to make perfect sense, and seems as if it will result in a good fit, only to have the finished garment appear better suited to a linebacker or other broad-shouldered wearer (not you), much gnashing of the teeth is sure to result.

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After the gnashing has been completed to one’s satisfaction (right up there with whining and a high volume selection of colorful curses), the only viable option is to deconstruct the entire garment and then rip-it, rip-it, rip-it. Which I have done. CD cases make excellent yarn holders, I discovered, especially since you can mist the yarn to relax it as you go, and no harm is done to the plastic case.

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But because I am constitutionally unable to follow a pattern as written, I worked this Noro pattern in the round to the armholes, and it is to this point that I frogged back in search of Better Fit. With armholes too deep and shoulders too wide, my path seemed clear and I am reworking both with the elimination of these problems in mind. I also knit the sleeves in the round from cuff to armhole, and may have just a bit of tinking to do at the shoulder to achieve the perfect ease.

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With my hands in less than optimal condition (PT was most unpleasant today… Ouch!) it has been slow going. Still, even if I re-knit only a couple of inches each day I should have plenty of opportunity to wear the sweater this winter. In fact, starting tonight we have severe storms in the forecast for the next couple of days. Nothing like grim, gray days to inspire me to keep chugging along on rows of vividly-colored yarn. Makes me happy just to look at it.

BNK

BNK? Bink? Is that some new acronym for ripping out one’s knitting? Yes, it does sound a lot like “tink,” but you’re not even close. BNK is Brave New Knits, the title of my knitting book due out next year from inestimable publisher Rodale, Inc. The last few posts, I’ve mentioned my recent trip to New York, during which I had the unparalleled experience of trying to keep out from underfoot  making myself useful during the photo shoot of the knitted projects.

Although I am actually frogging part of a sweater that I knit up in the early days of my optimistic ambitions for the National Knit a Sweater a Month Dodecahedron, there’s nothing very photogenic about the way that sweater (a boyfriend-ish V-neck in Noro Silk Garden and Cash Iroha, two rows of each to create narrow stripes – I posted photos of it several months ago) looks right now.

Although I’ve been able to salvage the sleeves, I’m having to frog and reknit the sweater’s back and front from the shoulder bind-off down to the beginning of the armhole shaping. And with my hand still recuperating from surgery, frogging has proven much easier than the reknitting is likely to be. In fact, frogging – in a perverse way – has turned out to be a reasonably pleasurable fix as long as knitting remains verboten. I still get to fondle the yarn, even though it is for the express purpose of ripping back something I’d already labored over for many hours. But never mind. At the moment, frogging is the closest I can get to knitting. How ironic.

Instead of sharing images of that pile of crinkled Noro yarn, allow me to offer up a couple of teeny-tiny details from BNK projects, details that merely hint at the knitterly loveliness within the pages of this book (not that I’m biased or anything)  just to whet your appetite. 

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WIP Purgatory

With hand surgery mere hours away, it appears unlikely that I will complete either of the two projects currently on my needles before I go under the knife. The Badcaul sock below is intended to be one of a pair, as socks usually are. The second sock, however, has yet to be cast on since my fingers cramp within about five minutes of picking up the needles – especially tiny little sock-knitting needles. Love this Fearless Fibers 100% merino sock yarn in the colorway “Vivacious.” Can’t wait to make sock #2. Someday. I figure I’ll have to take off at least a month of prime pre-autumn knitting time. Sigh. But better to restore my hands to good working order.

Single Badcaul Sock

Just look at that delicious color…

Badcaul Sock detail

And then of course there’s Mr. Greenjeans. With every good intention of sending my daughter off to college with one more hand-knit sweater (made with love by Mom) for those cold Pennsylvania fall days, I started this at the beginning of August. The hands proceeded to act up most painfully, limiting my knitting to short bursts of enthusiasm that were rapidly quelled when the cramping started up. With only one cuff and one sleeve left to go, imagine my frustration. So close, yet so far from completion. It’s not as if she has any shortage of things to wear in cold weather, but still.

Mr. Greenjeans in progress

Chardelicious

Chard. Rainbow chard. Crunchy red and yellow stems, brilliant green corrugated leaves that glow with the sun behind them. Beautiful AND delectable. Oh, yeah.

Braised with a drizzle of olive oil, a clove or two of smashed garlic, a quick grind of fresh black pepper, and a tidge of chicken stock or water to keep it moist. That tangy, peppery flavor is the essence of fall to me. Love it, love it, love it.

Am also loving the progress on my Drops Jacket, which I couldn’t resist after seeing others’ efforts on Ravelry. It’s a quick knit on size 8’s in Beaverslide Dry Goods traditional 2-ply fisherman’s weight yarn from Montana (210 yards per skein, and in my size it’s going to take 5 skeins), at 4 sts. to the inch. Stash-busting never felt so good.

The yarn has a substantial heft and voluptuous springiness. It’s not next-to-your-skin soft, but with another long-sleeved layer underneath, it will definitely be my go-to favorite when the house gets cold this winter. I found great vintage glass buttons at Britex in San Francisco. They are faceted, irridescent dome-shaped buttons that pick up all the colors in the yarn – small and elegant without being over the top. Just perfect.

The color is Prairie Aster, a rich rosy violet with flecks of tonal magenta and heathery bits of blue clinging to the main color.

Mods: I’m making it long-sleeved rather than three-quarter length, and I’ve added a fourth buttonhole so it buttons a bit further down below my bustline to keep out the drafts. I’m working the collar right now, and will block and seam it over the weekend. Modeled photos to follow next week!