One reason I like knitting is that I have complete control over it. Sure, things don’t always work out, but ripping and redoing will always solve any problem—until last week. My logic completely broke down and chaos has reigned.
My first attempt to get enough Zara to finish Thora failed miserably. WEBS responded to my order saying that they didn’t have 5 skeins of a single dye lot, but could order them. That would mean a 2- or 3-week delay, and I was itching to knit on. So I emailed a few other Zara vendors, and found none with the matching dye lot (no surprise there). Several, however, had the yarn in stock, and I ordered from one. The 5 skeins arrived Monday—and they don’t match at all. They are a beautiful rich charcoal, much nicer in fact than the yarn I had used, but far too dark to match. So I thought, "Hey, I love this sweater. I love the yarn. Let’s just get 17 balls (no chance of running out then!) and knit it over." But that vendor doesn’t have 17 and needs to special order. Vendor #3 is the charm, and so I am waiting for new yarn from Village Yarns, the source of my Zara for the Devonshire Jacket.
I will use the gray Zara I have for another of the Jean Frost jackets that require 2 or 3 colors, after I wash it and store it for a while in my moth proofing stuff. Here are two I have always liked:
After hearing from WEBS, I had a knitless night. I could have ripped back the Jean Frost Devonshire jacket to a point below the moth hole, but I just didn’t have it in me. I wanted to knit Thora. So as I sat mindlessly watching TV, I thought “Socks”. Why not start a pair that I could knit for a few weeks and finish later in August when Ed is having surgery to repair an abdominal aneurysm?
Although the Nancy Bush Conwy socks are beautiful, after completing much of the leg, I realized they would not hug my ankles. A Wall Street Journal article confirmed with numbers what I knew all along. I have skinny ankles. The article talked about people seeking to trim their ankles through exercise (is that even possible?) so they could wear gladiator sandals, a fashion trend I expect to last for about 45 minutes, and it reported that the average ankle size was 11 inches. Mine are 8. And so in the genetic body part roulette, I apparently have won for ankles, but lost for eyeballs, high cheekbones, and a trim waist. I was not very thrilled to learn just how svelte my ankles apparently are. There is no chance I’d wear gladiator sandals unless I had some strapping minions available to carry me around in a sedan chair. And the narrowness of my ankles makes fitting handknit socks a challenge.
I spent a few nights charting a motif that would look good if I could manage 8 stitches per inch with a 60-stitch sock. To test this theory, I tried Wanida, one of the lovely patterns in Cookie A’s Sock Innovation. Because I’m a loose knitter, I dropped down to 1.5 mm (2 mm = U.S. 0) needles. I almost got gauge, but the lacy motif would not hug my ankles. These are designed to be 8 inches at the ankles, and that means no negative ease there for me. Cookie A’s book has a great section on designing socks and adapting her motifs for other sizes. I don’t have time to study it right now, but I think it will help me get a pattern that is tight enough at the ankles to avoid bagging. Until I can figure out exactly what to do, it will be cabled socks for a while, using stash yarn:
The solids are discontinued Cherry Tree Hill Supersock colors, and the pink/mauve is Shibui, originally intended for Conwy.
It looks as if all is lost in my hope for even 8 sweaters in 2009, with this setback, and socks are definitely looking attractive as a way to diffuse some of my frustration. In my original Zara order, I had included two new additions to my sock yarn stash:
I now know what the rest of you do about Malabrigo sock yarn (color cordovan). It feels fabulous. The Madeline Tosh (color ink) is lovely too.
Because of Ed’s surgery, I need to get some assignments done early so I can take any needed time off. This limited my time for moth proofing over the weekend because it is harvest time in the garden. Aside from weeding and planting fall carrots, I have been doing a lot of picking and eating. My beans have started, which means filet beans almost every night until October.
And my chard is ready too.
I think I’ve calmed down a little over the Thora disaster, and regularly scheduled knitting will resume this evening.