Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How do you spell REST?


Armagh Take II

Ahem. OK, so, maybe I have not exactly been resting my stupid elbow the way a doctor would recommend, but my lame excuse well thought out reasoning is that doctors are notorious for being overly fussy about fiddly little details. I mean, seriously, mine expects me to take the medications he prescribes as he prescribes, EACH and EVERY day!

Pfffft. Silly doctors. Always with the precision thing.

Followed by the “I told you so” thing. Irritating people, doctors.

Anywho, so, yeah. Instead of finishing the Sipulu bag or the Lillihammer sweater (which has been waiting for steeks to be sewn and then cut for over a year now) (I’ll get around to it…eventually…), I went ahead and cast on Armagh, from Alice Starmore’s Celtic Collection Again.

Because, see, the first time I did it? Well, it was my first steeks attempt, and it was also very early in my stranded knitting career.

Do I really have to add the obvious, which is that I was what might be called bad at both those things?


Yeah, I was less than thrilled with the final result last time.

First problem, I carried the floats too tightly, which resulted in a sweater that was lumpier-bumpier than a rural highway built on a levy made of sand. They flattened out when pressured by a steam iron, but would then roll back into lumpy-bumpy in the drawer. Argh. This time, it’s much better. Much better. I’ve improved, which makes me all glad and happy inside.

Second problem, when I stitched the steeks, well, I kind of…ahem. Yes. Well, apparently I combined not knowing what the heck I was doing with catching the wrong stitch when I picked up for the sleeves because hey, guess what?!

My knitting unraveled. Just sort of frizzed up, pulled out and otherwise became downright unattractive around the steek edges.

Which, you know…well. Oh, poopies.

I’ve gotten better at that, too, or at least I think I have. The ones I did for the Denizens last year haven’t unraveled, anyway, which I take as a positive sign.

And it was a little too snug (gauge problems) and the sleeves were too short (being in a hurry problems) and upon close inspection (pronounced, ‘wearing it’) I discovered that I’d made the ribbing on the cuffs different lengths. I could have simply picked out the yarn and added some length to the short side if I hadn’t used up the small amount of ‘extra’ yarn for a scarf that I promptly gave away. Argh.

So the other day (by which I mean ‘almost a year ago’) I went stash diving and found I had some black and white Telemark.

I have no idea what I bought it for originally, which means it is fair game for a second try at Armagh.

And I also have a cunning plan on the UFOs lying around, and it is this: Once I finish this one to the point of needing to sew and cut the steeks, I’ll do Lillihammer at the same time (since I’ll be in that mode anyway), and the Halloween vest (also just waiting for steek-n-cut) and also finish the bag because at that point I will be The Finisher. Brilliant!

I’m up to the armpits on this so far; another sixteen centimeters and then I’ll be at the neck steeks, and a few rounds after that it’ll be time to suck it up, stitch it down, and cut it.

Followed by the endless hours of finishing work, which always feels vaguely unfair to me because you just feel so done after you cut steeks, but nooooooooo, there’s still a collar to be finished and ends to be run in and blocking and on Armagh, you do the sleeves after the steeks so there’s, like, half the bloody sweater yet to go BUT I really like this one and hopefully this time it will be wearable.

So naturally, I’m doing this now, when temperatures are about to soar up into the 70s and stay there for a few months before edging into the 90s and 100s.

Timing! I HAZ IT!!!


Anonymous said...

I don't know about your timing, but that sweater is killer. I wants me one! Someday I'll have to get brave and try something like that. Yeah. Someday.

Anonymous said...

It's beautiful and your plan is wonderful. That dang finishing... I wish I knew ANYBODY who would rather finish than knit.

Lurker Ginnie

Firegarnet said...

I nearly always have something inappropriate for the season on the needles. Sigh.

Here I thought your first knit of this sweater was stunning and I was very impressed. It spurred me to try steeks and more colorwork - I unfortunately choose some stash yarn I was given and it is tearing up my hands so I quit, but still . . . your first version inspired me to give it a shot in the first place.