Monday, January 14, 2008

Lopi Purgatory

This sweater is driving me crazy. I am so over this yarn, this pattern, and everything about this sweater. Did you all know that Lopi yarn has no elasticity to it at all? That its single ply will, at times, just shred or rip apart while you are knitting it? For no apparent reason? No? YES? Why didn't someone tell ME? I have decided that doing colorwork, back and forth (knitting and purling), with this particular yarn, on circular needles, could be a very effective form of torture. Does the C.I.A. know about this?

This is the only project I have been working on for the past week. I finished the second sleeve last weekend, which meant that I could start the yoke. Silly me--I thought that meant I was nearly done, so I decided to concentrate on this sweater until I finished. After all there were just two charts, totalling 32 rows, plus a couple transition rows with decreases so the number of stitches would go down. It should be done in a week, right? Wrong.


I forgot how much I dislike colorwork. I hate stranding. I am not very good at it. I am veeeery slooooow at it. I'm also not too fond of circulars, but when you're working 295 bulky weight stitches, you need circulars. I am veeeeery sloooow on circulars. Combine colorwork and circulars, and now you've got me down to knitting at a snail's pace. Even worse: because this is a cardi, I had to work the chart back and forth on the circs. Does anyone like purling while stranding? And, although it may be hard to tell from these pictures because my color choices were not the greatest, there are 3 colors to keep track of here, not just 2.

This pattern also became really, really irritating. First, there were the ever unhelpful vague directions like "decrease 58 stitches evenly throughout the row, resulting in 237 stitches." What? Couldn't they even try to come up with an amount that would divide evenly into the total you are starting with? Would it have killed them to give you some idea of how to do this evenly over the row, like k2tog k2, k2tog, k3, repeat, or something like that? Apparently this is knitting torture--we're supposed to figure it out for ourselves.

Then I took a good look at chart 2 and noticed 2 things. Not only were the contrast stitches put in the wrong row in the chart (they had everything shifted down one row), but, I mean, come on. You want me to carry a strand of yarn for this? There has to be a better way.


I decided it was a good time to learn the duplicate stitch. See the difference between my versionb above and the picture? I just knitted the white block and embrodered the brown on top after I finished the body. Much better than knitting it into the body and holding that brown yarn behind the whole time. I really think if I had tried to do that I might have thrown this damn thing in the fire. So here's my duplicate stitching. Looks good, doesn't it?


Then, just when I thought this pattern could not annoy me more, I realized that it had me starting with the same color yarn on different ends of the chart. What's that all about? Talk about adding insult to injury--why did they have to do that? They know we have to work this thing back and forth. They couldn't pick up the brown on the same side of the sweater they last used it? No. Once again, this is knitting torture. Cut the ball and reattach it on the other side. What's another 2 ends to weave in, right? There already are so many.


After all the cursing and complaining, I finally finished the body late last night. But am I done? No. I still have the 2 button bands and the collar. In seed stitch. My favorite.



I think I need my next project to be a dishcloth. Unless... is there anything smaller than a dishcloth? A webkinz hat? No, that requires shaping. A webkinz scarf?

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