Sunday, October 19, 2008

Improvisation





Last weekend my sister asked me to knit her an interesting vest. And so I did.

As we cruised through a LYS in Connecticut where we were sharing a family reunion, she drew close to various turquoises, some Noros with variegated blues: "those would all be fun, turquoise, or something else bold and primary, perhaps variegated."

I had my assignment, as well as some freedom of choice, in patterns and in yarns: dandy.

But some things went awry in the course of that straight-forward project.

Back home at Knitting Etc., I drew close to Schaefer's turquoise "Susan," knitted up in a beaded scarf as well as in a knitty.com sample vest. I liked this Schaefer glistening cotton, even if I wasn't going to go with the pullover vest pattern. I liked the turquoise base of this variegated Schaefer yarn.

On the internet I found a Classic Elite cardigan vest pattern with enough interest to keep me knitting--lots of right twists for faux cables, eyelets composed out of k2togs, slip stitches, yarn overs, and so forth: see above, Wicked Eyelet Rib Vest.

Okay, I've got my pattern, free on ravelry. It calls for or recommends a lot of cashmere: $$$$.

I'll get my yarn in Schaefer mercerized pima cotton, Susan: $$.

Ooops, the shop's out of the turquoise-based colorway. I'll substitute "Althea Gibson," in violets and beiges, not so bold and not so primary, but that's okay. . . . .

Off I went for four hours with right twists to create my faux cable ribs, having a good enough time with this fairly springy cotton. But even after changing from Addi metal needles to bamboo needles, I was unagile with the slipperiness of the cotton, which made me brace it against thigh or chest or grasp backloads of it in my left hand. But that's okay. . . .

The slipperiness, the not turquoise, the not cashmere, the not inexpensive cotton alternative to the expensive cashmere. (But my sister's pretty rough and tumble, go as you go, with her clothing, so I was thinking a machine-washable alternative was going to have a safer future in Wisconsin than something from a special goat.)

Wrestling with this world of ambivalence, after four hours I stretched back and stared at about six inches of the faux cable, watching it flop about.

And then admitted to Suze that I didn't like it. She and I let forth with its old-lady qualities, its tame colors, its overstretchiness: it doesn't shape, it sags; it doesn't drape gracefully, it hangs like donkey ears.

What to do?

Of course, and two hours later:

"The Wicked Eyelet Mesh Bag."


(With thanks to Ashlee's grocery bag pattern for the top, and to untold caps for the circular-with-decreases bottom.)

Or perhaps it's a legless bathing suit.

1 comment:

Hickory said...

much better as a bag :) I guess I need to order more Billie Holiday (turq color), thanks for letting me know!