Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Not Exactly Quitting

When thinking about writing this post, all these old saying kept coming to my mind, such as “if at first you don’t succeed....” and the one about the “best laid plans”. So, yeah, basically, sometimes no matter how hard you try to make something work or attempt to fix what is wrong, you get to the point where your skill level is maxed out…especially under time constraints. Basically, B’s sweater just doesn’t work. I tried so many things between the week of my first sweater design class and the second but just couldn't get the cable re-gauging to work. The cables in cotton-ease looked gross. And even after returning to the original TLC yarn and adding several increases to compensate for the pull of the cables, I couldn’t get rid of the stupid pleat that it was making at the edge. It was ugly.

However, it was also 10:30 pm the night before my second class…for which I was supposed to have all of my revised swatches completed and ready to go. I talked to B and basically came to the decision that if I was going to make the yarn work, I needed more time to settle on a different pattern or be able to try and work out the cable 'physics'. And if I was going to make the pattern work, I needed more time to settle on a different yarn, one more appropriately gauged. I was very disappointed. But I’ve also knit long enough to know when the towel needed to be thrown in…even if just temporarily.

This also meant I had that night to come up with a new concept for my design class the next morning...and for the remaining 3 months. It also had to be something that I already had the yarn for, since I had to swatch and block that night. Fortunately, I had already had a glass of wine by that time, which served to keep me from completely freaking out. I looked through my stitch dictionaries and my Knitting on the Edge and came up with a couple options. I had a couple particular stash yarns in mind when I happened to look across my living room and see the Rowan Wool Cotton in Still (964 - aka "baby poop") that I happen to pick up at a 50% off sale. Perfect!

I picked out the Gazebo lace panel from Knitting on the Edge, knit it up, blocked it that night and then roughly sketched out my idea. Basically, I am making a fancy t-shirt. I’ve come to dub it my “Ann Taylor” top because I am thinking it will end up looking like one of those knit tops that tend to be so popular at Ann Taylor during the spring. The Gazebo lace will edge the bottom and the columns will continue up to below my bust line. The rest of the top will be in solid stockinette stitch so that I can properly camouflage a bra. The sleeves will most likely be entirely in the lace pattern, but may also feature a stockinette sleeve cap depending on how things look when I get to that point.

Close up of the lace panel

Current status
The next day in class, I was able to run the calculations for my waist decreases and increases as well as the arm shaping. My teacher then helped me walk through calculating the neck to achieve the look I was going for. Since then, I’ve been working on my back (which is due in two weeks) in between bouts of hoodie knitting (which has now progressed to the hood!). I am really excited about seeing my top transform and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn out as planned! Wish me luck!!

12 comments:

Jennifer said...

Good luck! I like the look of that lace, and your idea sounds like a beautiful one. It's too bad about B's sweater, but with the skills you are picking up in the class, you'll be more prepared to tackle it.

mle said...

I love it! looks like you've found a winning combination of yarn and pattern idea!

Theresa said...

That sounds beautiful - very inspired!

Nonnahs said...

Oh, it's going to be great, I know it. And, it's not quitting, it's a detour. ;)

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Not at all quitting - we all rip and revise. You have a great plan. I cannot wait to see it executed. xox, J

Ruinwen said...

We all spend time at the frog pond...your lace is really lovely and I think you have some wonderful ideas. I look forward to seeing your glorified tee evolve.

:)

Nasus said...

Go, Dis, go! Looking great!

Miriam said...

It's going to be gorgeous! The upright lines thing was actually what I had originally planned for Demeter, but the yarn was too textured and was competing with the lace.

EDNA HART said...

never ever give up--I love the color you are working with and the lace look FAB. Welcome to the world of the Designer.

Kim said...

I love tops like that. Someday I'll get it together to design a top like you are. Sounds like your LYS has really useful classes.

The Stitchin' Sheep said...

That's looking lovely, and surely, with all that calculating and picture-drawing and the teachers help, you'll have what you wanted in the end.

Hilari said...

Wow! That's purty! I like reading about your design class - I'm thinking of taking one, but am afraid it might be over my head.