Thursday, November 12, 2009

Diary of a frustrated knitter

Back on September 17, I started knitting Alpine. I had knitted St. James sweater a couple of times. I posted the first time I knitted it but I have not posted about the second time. It was very successful and I was very pleased because my tension was great and it fit me. That post is coming sometime when I get my head above water at work. I actually have been doing alot of sewing and have several things to show but no time to take pictures and post them. I will eventually.
I actually started knitting back in February of this year. It was something I had always wanted to do ever since I saw Princess Diana in that gorgeous black sheep sweater. I also fell in love with that beautiful Capecho sweater in Vogue Knitting. I am working my way up to that so it will be awhile, but the sweater that pushed me over the edge and made me want to get serious about knitting is this Owl sweater. Actually, it is a couple of projects down the road for me. Mainly, I don't have the money to buy the yarn for it right now, because I have been too busy buying fabric and the occassional on sale top (or two, or three) from JCrew.

------Must stay off the JCrew website-----

I decided to start knitting Alpine because I had bought some beautiful Alpaca/merino yarn from a blogger who was destashing, so I got it for a steal. I got 5.5 skeins for what one would have cost me retail. I was wanting a cropped sweater and Alpine fit the yardage and weight of yarn I had. Also, I just loved the sweater so much. It has a pretty chevron pattern in it and I thought it would be a great learning experience. Well, it has been an experience to say the least. I actually made it to the point of blocking it.

That is when the trouble began. Let me share with you my diary entry on ravelry for this sweater as it went from good to terrible.
Dear Diary,

9-17-09 Cast on and completed back ribbing at bottom. This is my first Intermediate pattern and the first sweater where I will have to do seaming. I am aiming for a chest size of 34 to 35 with my gauge and needle size.

10-13-09 I can’t believe I have been knitting this long on this project. My goal was to get it done within a month, but I don’t think that it is going to happen. I have made it through the sleeves. I am on the FINISHING part of the pattern where I have to do the front bands and neckband. Then I have to block it and seam it up. Hopefully I will have it in a couple of weeks. My excuse is that I work full time and I also sew. I am loving knitting with this yarn.

10-17-09 Alpine is finally blocking and then needs to be seamed and the neckline has to be knitted. I had to go ahead and seam the front band pieces before blocking and I used the mattress stitch. I had never used that before and it was fun!!!

10-24-09 Well, Alpine is a disaster. I am so discouraged, but it is my own fault. I seamed it up in the incorrect order. As I was taking out the stiches, I cut some stitches that were not my seaming thread–yes, I cut knitted stitches. I have tried a couple of ways to salvage it but it is just not happening. It will hiberbate for awhile until I can figure out what to do.

10-27-09 Well I am feeling much better. I decided to unravel the rats nest I had created with what I thought was cut knit stitches at a shoulder seam. But, Praise God, it turned out that all I had cut was a yarn tail. I just frogged the shoulder seam back a little and reknit it. I did cut knit stitches on a sleeve so I am reknitting it, but it won’t take long. I am encouraged and hoping this will turn out well.

11-5-09 This project is a bummer. I reknit the sleeve and now it doesn’t fit the armhole even though I blocked it. I want to cry. I have put this project in a room of my house where I hardly ever go so that I don’t have to look at it.

11-8 09 I have let this project sit in time out in a room where don’t have to see it. I have been sufferering from mild insomnia for about 1.5 years now. Basically, I have trouble going to sleep on M, Tu, W nights, so during one of my fitful nights of trying to go to sleep, I think I have it worked out how I am going to fix this. I am feeling better again. Side note: Why can't I sleep on M, Tu, W nights? It has to do with work and is too long a story to tell right now.

11-12-09 I finally fixed my sleeve and was so excited. Then I seamed the wrong seam together. In the process of taking them out, I cut the wrong thread and my sweater began to unravel. I am not frogging it because I just tossed it into the garbage. I do not want to look at it anymore. I don’t even want to see the yarn anymore. It will be a very long time before I knit anything that requires any major seaming. Top down or bottom up is it for me for awhile.

Yes readers, you read that correctly. I threw it into the garbage can.

For some reason, it is simply not meant to be. You would think that as long as I have been sewing (10 years), I could seam up a sweater correctly. Apparently not. I am literally seething over this and my brain is fried when it comes to fixing this project. At this point, I don't want to even try to fix it. It is 10:40 pm and I am nowhere near sleepy, even though I have to be at work at 7:30 in the morning. Anyway, you live and learn. I have learned that I won't be doing anything that requires alot of seaming. I much prefer knitting in the round.
I do have some Plymouth Encore Colorspun Worsted in a gorgeous colorway that I bought several months ago. It has been hibernating in my closet. I have decided to use it to knit the February Fitted Pullover. I am trying to challenge myself to learn new knitting techniques and I want to learn lace. Also this is something I would wear, and I have enough yarn. It has a little seaming but nothing compared to Alpine. Also, it starts out knitting in the round so I hope it will be less of a hassle.


2BSewing: said...

Rachel...I'm so sorry to hear about Alpine and all the seaming issues you have had with it. From your blocking picture...the sweater is very pretty and you've come so far. Is there any way of taking it out of the trash and saving it for another attempt in a few months? I know you'll gain more knitting experience and insight by then. Too bad we don't live close to each I could help you out. Don't give up.

Ms. B said...

Oh no! I think your post have have literally scared me from knitting anything but a scarf for a while, well actually the truth is that I was already scared but your post confirmed the fear for me haha!

a little sewing on the side said...

Knitting - it's not for wimps!
Well, at least you did not waste a lot of money on it ... and you got a lot of experience ... and, well, gosh, i am so sorry!
I hope your next knitting experience goes better. It seems to me you are doing very advanced stuff for being new to knitting.

Rachel said...

I wish we lived closer together, too. However, you would probably want to move because I would be driving you crazy with questions :)

Mrs. B,
Please don't let me scare you. Even though this happened, I am about to start my first lace project with yo's. I decided to be a fearless knitter when I first started.

My husband tends to think I am trying too difficult knitting projects, too, but I just can't stop myself.

Trudy Callan said...

What a frustrating experience. I wish you luck on your next project. Hope it goes well. I'm sure it will since there is only a little bit of seaming.

lorenabr said...

I wish you good luck with your next project:) I can´t get enough of knitting and crochet fashion.