Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cue the second-guessing

So, I got my Deco cardigan cast on (in green, did I say this?) for the knitalong at Knitting and Tea and Cookies. Yay!  Then I promptly misread the instructions and thought I had to cut the yarn so I could start over on the other side of all those unworked stitches, which seemed odd until I realized my mistake later. Meh, what's another end to run in?

You work the body of this cardi in one piece - front, back, front - which makes for a very long needle.  For the first five or six rows I kept being surprised how much longer it takes to knit the pattern in the actual sweater compared to the pattern in the gauge swatch.  Because apparently I am not logical.

Over at Ravelry other people knitting the cardi have noted just how cropped it is.  The general consensus is to add some length at the beginning of the cardi because as you get further along there are interesting things happening that you don't want to mess around with.  So I compared the set measurements for Deco with the still-wet Carrot Cardi, blocking after its spring bath, and decided to add 3".  Then as I went along I did some weighing and realized I don't have anything like the yarn for all that, so I cut back and decided on this:

It's taken me a while to figure out why this looks strange, but I see now it's because I should have switched over to stocking stitch when instructed, and then added length.  Gah.  This way, it's going to be a lot out of balance with the button band, while drawing undue attention to my hips.

And there's another thing - size. 

Fun fact:  have you noticed that when buying ready-made clothes there is no price distinction between an extra-small and an extra-large?  yet when you are nobly making a garment yourself you are going to pay for every additional inch to be covered?  Not to mention how much sooner you're done when you're making the smaller size.

And I am like the mother of eight who still cooks for ten long after the sixth kid has moved out when it comes to size estimation and yardage choice.  See, I was essentially one size ('skinny') for about 15 years and then crept up to a healthy 'slim' for another five or so before my metabolism slowed down, my work life became totally sedentary, and all my poor eating habits (ice cream for breakfast, pizza at bedtime) finally caught up with me.  It's taken me a long time to forget the skinny me and shop for the more average-sized me.  Then the bad two years happened with all the stress and eating out in less than ideal restaurants and general calorie overload, and now I'm really thrown. I look at stuff and think it'll work, then put it on and can't breathe, or I overcompensate and think it'll work and put it on and I am swimming in a tent.

Thankfully the really bad two years appear to have ended, leaving me free to Take Measures to get myself back to where I was when they started, which I don't anticipate being a problem except for taking till the fall to achieve.

Gosh though - the fall is also when the cardi should be wearable! and I panicked at the last minute and cast on a size that is 2" up from where I am right now.  This is a mistake, right?  I keep asking myself whether this is a mistake and wrapping the needle around me and thinking No, it's okay, it doesn't quite meet in the middle (it does), and then I remember there is also a button band to add on later.


I am so ripping this out and starting it over again, aren't I.  But on the bright side, I can fix that cuff error, and I'll save on time and yardage.  Hey, maybe I can make a matching hat!


Brendaknits said...

I am so like the adage of the elderly looking in the mirror and seeing an 18 year old. I still think my figure looks like that and I can wear the same styles, lengths etc as I did when 18. Only after buying/knitting them and looking in the mirror do I realize I look foolish.

Sel and Poivre said...

I fully appreciated the issues with self-image that both you and commenting Brenda cite. Having my "two bad years" back a ways and being now finally back into a proper and healthy size (I never enjoyed anything approaching a "skinny" phase!)I am now stumped by just what is age appropriate - its not just a question of what fits, as I imagined it would be - as it once was - but what doesn't look foolish.

As for yardage, no joke, one of my main motivations for losing weight and getting into shape was being able to make smaller and so cheaper and faster knits!

Mary Keenan said...

Age appropriatness: another angst! I still put my hair in ponytails because they are just so darned practical, but as the proportion of grey to brownish goes up I am beginning to wonder whether I should ;^)