Friday, March 3, 2017

Gray Matter

I am really trying to knit and make more mindfully these days.  Along with the rest of the known world, I've been dutifully examining all my stuff for sparks of joy and making what seem like hard decisions but that which later turn out to be great decisions to get rid of things I don't really need.  As soon as this kind of thinking started extending to our 1200 square foot outbuilding, which is fine but which we don't really need and I began to entertain notions of getting rid of that too, I put down the "New Tiny Garages of Your Dreams" book I was browsing through, and turned instead to my wardrobe, which, despite multiple attempts at destashing, was still bursting.  So, joy-wise, I'm trying to spend a little more energy on choosing carefully what I spend time making.  Thus, this next finished sweater.  
It is done.  It is gray.  It fits.  I wore it yesterday and it kept me really warm.  The little pockets are pockety.  I had the buttons already.   It's not true love, though.  I'm not going to say I'll never ever knit a sweater in pieces and then sew it together ever again in my little life, but I will very likely never ever again knit a sweater in pieces and then sew it together.  I am so sick of doing that.  GAH!  I know there are knitters out there who love this kind of thing, and who love the debate about seams and "structure", but I ain't one of those knitters, ya'll.  I hate knitting in pieces and then sewing it together later, and it isn't about any lack of skill, because my skillz in the sewing up are solid.  It is about how there is a simpler, more efficient, more enjoyable way to do this.  We've solved this having to sew it together later thing.  If a seam is needed for "structure", it is utterly painless to go back in later and add one, although in my forty years of knitting experience, I have never yet knit anything that suffered somehow from a lack of structure.  A lot of it has suffered plenty, for a lot of other reasons, but when my project pieces, ugh, look like this...
..which Doc told me looked like tubeworms, and there are three more just like that, I have a hard time being happy.  (Also, the pattern I used was riddled with problems, and it is not customary nor very nice to bust somebody's work in public, so I will decline to name it here.  It was free, but written by a famous and well-published designer, who should have spent a few minutes tech editing.  Doc said watching me re-engineer this entire thing myself, out loud and in four-letter words was the best episode of The Yarn Show ever.  End of rant.)
If you're thinking I am getting a little predictable, color-wise, you'd be right.  It blends right into the blanket underneath it!  Camouflage!  I love this color.  Grayish-brown.  Taupe.  Oatmeal with black pepper in it.  This is a densely spun single, Lanaloft by Brown Sheep, in the colorway "Sandstone Cove".  It came out of the skein with a lot of energy in the twist, and was sproinging all over the place as I worked with it, which isn't my favorite thing, either, and it had a lot of thick-and-thin spots, which I can mostly live with, although that big piece of blurf right on the front, next to the fourth button annoys me.  I stashed this yarn last fall, and waited for just the right pattern to come along.  Let's hope some joy comes sparking.  
I confess, I made this in a week.  I cast it on while the needles were still warm from the last one, and knit it monogamously.  I seem to be knitting monogamously lately, which hasn't always been my way, but whoo, is that ever the way to get stuff done!  The label on the Lanaloft says worsted, but I think it is more an aran weight yarn, and at that gauge, you can really make some headway.  This sweater is done.  And warm.  And gray.  Which is the best thing about it.