Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Black yarn tests my patience

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Because there is a terrific divide between the things I want to make (floor-length granny square skirts, multi-color fair isle dresses in fingering weight, ruffle-edged fuchsia alpaca coats) and the things I want to wear (plain, neutral cardigans) I am knitting a plain cardigan with black yarn in spite of its dullness, and because I am forty-six years old and my eyes don’t telescope anymore, I can only work on this in broad daylight, and with all my efforts concentrated, and even then, I still have to squint to see what I’m doing. 

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It doesn’t help at all that this pattern is one of those “just make the right front the same as the left front, but reverse the shaping” designs, which I know they [Vogue Knitting] are doing to save space and the kindly designer never, ever wrote something that lame as an instruction, but which I can’t help finding supremely annoying.  What’s worse, this pattern also has the dreaded triple AT THE SAME TIME, where you have to decrease occasionally at the waist, and occasionally at the neckline, and occasionally at the armhole, all at different intervals, and you just have to keep all that in your head, while figuring simultaneously that knit means purl and WS is RS and left is right, or at least you have to draw out a bunch of diagrams that look like Bugs Bunny’s plans for building a time machine.  This black cardigan is somehow both deadly boring and also crazy-making, which is my least favorite kind of project.  But it’ll look great when I wear it, so I persevere.  I am no good at following a pattern, because really, I just think it’s so much easier to make up something as I go, and it’s a lot more fun, too.  Memo for next time.

24 comments:

  1. I commend you for doing this! I don't think I am skilled enough to attempt reversing the pattern in this way in a bright colored yarn, much less black yarn! (I'm still quaking at the idea of putting in my first afterthought heels in some socks that are otherwise finished!) Good luck! I am sure it will look great when it's done!

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  2. Hats off to you!!! When I turned 45 I decided NEVER to work in black ever again and so far I've managed (I've just turned 50)! Dark charcoal grey has been known however .... xxx

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  3. Ugh... I have the same vision issues at times and it makes me crazy! Some darker projects I can't do without a really good light on at night because I can't see the stitches as they blend together in their darkness... My husband then complains the light is too bright! :)

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  4. I just had that same experience! I ended up writing it out so I could tick off the dec/inc and rows and and and...

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  5. And this is exactly why I hide over in the corner with my crochet hook. I just know you will make this work, you're good like that.

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  6. Hang on in there, Kristen - you'll get there before you know it, and it will be lovely x

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  7. The best thing is, when NASA need somebody who can knock up something on the back of an old envelope, you'll be well within the skill set!
    Black is a pain. I haven't worked with it for AGES but.... good luck!

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  8. I can sympathize with you. I have 54 year old eyes and my son loves me to knit him black and dark brown socks. Tiny stitches, tiny needles and dark yarn. Oh my! They are also daylight only patterns like your cardigan. I'm sure it will be beautiful when you're finished.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  9. My Gram's revenge on my (she's been gone a while) is that I now cannot see to "sew (crochet) black". As a kid, I teased her when she would say this, not even remotely comprehending what it meant.

    I find navy and chocolate brown also present challenges and must be worked on is bright, broad daylight. Thus, I am sewing Fall/Winter clothing now, in the heart of our summer weather.

    Your cardi will be worth the squinting!

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  10. I didn't realize we were the same age! Right there with you. Try doing KP's Junonia skirt in black linen, where the lace ruffle around the bottom is actually ten stitches knitted sideways "until long enough". Oy. "At the same time" gets on my nerves. And I laughed out loud at the Bugs' time machine diagram reference. For real. Two things that have helped me... daylight bulbs in my knitting area, and reading glasses. Even just the cheap 2x kind you see at the drugstore checkout would help. Good luck on the cardi!

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  11. Have you thought of investing in a Mighty Bright magnifying/ light contraption you wear around your neck? It has helped me immensely! Warning: others will laugh when they see you use it!

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  12. I knit with a headlamp when camping. My last sock with black yarn I used my headlamp in the living room. You should try it.

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  13. Well as you said my dear friend it will look great wh you wear it ... So keeping that in mid will help you keep going. I invested in a light that brighten my knitting as if. It was day light... I can say that it helps and I'm glad I did bcz it's frustrating to not be able to see ... I know it I'm 52 (psssst ... Nobody heard that, did they?) :)

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  14. AT THE SAME TIME!!!! that sucks, I hate it when I see that, my heart just sinks. I end up having to write out the pattern and even tutored my neighbour into how to write one out last week because I could hear her swearing at her own knitting through the wall!!! Jo xx

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  15. Oh my, it's designed to drive your nuts I think. But as you say, it will be beautiful and look effortlessly gorgeous when it's done, so hold that thought! CJ xx

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  16. I'm the same - can barely see black when I'm knitting or crocheting so can only do it in daylight. I'm sure the finished article will be worth the trouble!

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  17. Hats off to you for sticking with it and I look forward to seeing the end result :) Good luck with the rest of it.

    Birgitta xx

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  18. I hate the dreaded triple and wish I had a dollar for every single time I have messed that up, I am horrible at reading directions for anything and that includes knitting patterns.
    Good luck,
    Meredith

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  19. Knitting with black is deadly. My sympathies. But, you don't have to keep all of that pattern stuff in your head. Go get the KnitCompanion app is you have an apple iPad, iPhone, or Mac. You can set up your project to keep track of all of those things including the exact stitch you were on when you stopped for weeks. It's not cheap but simply Amazing.

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  20. Hilarious reference to bugs bunny! I could totally see it from your diagrams.

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  21. I feel your pain. I'm still trying to finish a cardigan for my long torso-ed husband. I finally got the fronts and backs done this winter and started the sleeves. (I'm working both on the needles to prevent me from totally giving up.) I really can't remember when I started this sweater for him (he wanted it) but I know it is more than 6 years ago. Goal this fall...finish sleeves and assemble. Sigh. Good luck.
    Helen

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  22. I knit in white and dye it black when done.

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  23. Very beautiful blog Kristen!!!Nice to meet you!!!Kisses from Greece!I hope to see you on my blog too!!!

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