Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Measure of FO's

There are times when I am in love with my Finished Objects and there are times when I wonder why on earth I even bother knitting at times. 'Lacy Waves' has been finished but I'm sorry to say that it has a tale of woe for you.
For once I actually decided to block all the finished pieces out to the stated measurements before I even started sewing 'Lacy Waves' up. I was so pleased with myself for being professional (so I thought) and taking the time and effort to do things properly. I did make a little adjustment to the pattern in that I did a three needle bind off at the shoulders and was pleased with the result. It was when I washed the pieces that I had a bit of a surprise - the wool decided to grow despite all my careful washing. The body length up to the armhole had grown from the 14" I'd knitted to 17.5" and the body width was also larger than intended. The arms were longer but I wasn't bothered by this as in the pattern photos they did look like 3/4 length and I rathered longer sleeves. And at any point in my careful blocking did I realise what lay before me? Not at all.

Lace Insert detail.

Impatient for everything to dry and realising that Emily would soon be back from Nursery to trample over my knitting blocked out on the floor I started sewing the damp mass up. At this stage I was still pleased with how soft the washed wool was and how neatly I was sewing the garment up but as I sewed the last seam it dawned on my that the stupid thing looked massive. I knew the pattern wasn't going to be my usual fitted garment anyway but this was bigger than it should have been.

The fitted sleeves were loose and baggy and the body was overly wide threatening to fall down all the time. Admittedly I had yet to crochet round the neck but at this stage I knew that 2 rows of crochet were not going to save this. 'Lacy Waves' had drowned to become a Bagpuss jumper - saggy and baggy but not loved. Well, I lie - I did/do love the lace insert which was a clever piece of textural knitting combining lace and cables but the rest of the jumper is an utter waste of time. And what cheap and badly behaved yarn was this knitted in? Jaeger Matchmaker DK so I can't even blame that. What happened with the tension square you may very well ask? I hang my head in shame here and know my downfall - no tension square. It was the right sized needles - why bother?

With no smaller size 'Lacy Waves' pattern I'm not sure what I'll do now about reknitting this again. And the yarn itself worries me a little - will it grow again after reknitting? So far the plan is possibly to knit 'Daphne' the lovely little cardi that Mum has just finished and hope that the smaller needle size will keep the yarn in check but for now that yarn is going to sit in a corner out of my way until I'm less disappointed with the whole fiasco.

On a brighter note I do have some photos I promised you last time of some Monkeys I found hanging round in the woods by Mum last week - thank goodness no-one saw me with my feet up a tree taking photos of my socks! I'm still really pleased with these even if they have a tendency to fall down a bit for what ever reason. The Lana Grossa Mellienweit is lovely and woolly and such lovely soft colour blending - will be interesting to see how it wears.

Also as requested here is my bobbin of handspun. Blended on the drumcarder predominantly using shades of purple, blue and pink hand-dyed Texel and Cotswold curls with odd bits of yellow and red thrown in for good measure. The photo doesn't really do the colours justice as there is so much more variety in the colours than can really be seen here. Still need to finish the other bobbin to ply this up with so will report back later with the finished yarn and it's details.

Whilst at Mums I cast on for yet another project - not something I really needed to do as there are so many around the house. Can you tell what it is?

Can you tell where the deliberate knots in yarn end and the unintentional ones start?

Okay - it's a 'Scarf with the Striped Border' (not the most exciting title!) from 'Victorian Lace Today' knitted in some HipKnits lace weight silk which is such a slippery thing it will not stay in a ball and is permanently making it self into knots whether I like it or not!

More pretty things for you all - goodies from our trip to the Colinette Millshop! I did very well and resisted most admirably (could this be due to a certain 2 year old causing major distractions?!) and came home armed with this small offering:

The blue and yellow are both 'Jitterbug' from the sale room in unknown colourways and, as always, another cone of 4ply wool for my collection - such good value I can not resist! And all lovely bright colours for happy socks!

Whilst at Mums we had a lovely walk round a local lake that I've driven past so many times but have never actually walked round. What a pleasant surprise that was. Emily had a whale of a time running round with the dogs and playing 'Pooh Sticks' on the bridges and it was such a lovely day - we even managed a pic-nic!

Emily plays 'Pooh Sticks'

And why the surprise at the lovely location? Can you see the building in the photo below? That is the decommissioned Trawsfynydd Nuclear power station, something I've always grumbled at and never really before seen what really surrounded it. The only drawback to it going is that the funding has gone for the visitor centre for the lake and so there are no more details available on all the lovely walks surrounding it all.

Well, all those photos have put me in a better mood now. I shall ignore that pile of green for a while and forget the excitement of a lovely lacy jumper gone sour. Ah, knitting - why do we inflict ourselves with it?! Sorry about the photo heavy post will try to keep it brief next time!


dreamcatcher said...

I love the neck insert on Lacy Waves, sorry that it decided to grow like topsy though! Hope you can reinstate the yarn in something else.

Those 4ply cones are a great bargain aren't they! DH spent half the time at the mill shop picking up the cones and showing me the colours :-)

The lake is indeed beautiful, it must be lovely to walk around there. The first time I saw the 2 huge square power station buildings they actually gave me the creeps. Too much "Edge of darkness" in the 1980s! I knew they were there but still, eek.

Caroline M said...

Sorry about the sweater disaster.I had one grow once and after that I became a confirmed swatcher and washer. I can never wait for it to dry but I force myself to wait. It is a lovely colour and I hope you find another use for the yarn.

Helen said...

What a shame about Lucy Waves. And after all your hard work and time :(

The socks are beautiful, love the colours.

Kendra said...

It's such a shame about Lacy Waves. The colour and the lace insert look so lovely. How annoying that it isn't quite the right size.

The length would be fairly easy to fix by undoing from the bottom but I guess there isn't much you can do if it is too big all over.

By the way, thanks again for sending me the bag pattern.

Queen of the froggers said...

What a shame with the growth on lacy waves. I wouldn't have thought about washing a swatch either. The lace bit was great, maybe someone you know would like it if it was their size? Monkeys are fab though, socks can always be relied on!

Mrs J said...

What a pain after all the care you took with the sweater! Maybe the yarn wanted to be a shawl instead? I hope you find a use for it! The socks are fab though & the scarf with a stripped edge is a nice knit -I have done two in the last month or so! Not sure what else you would call it!

Frankie said...

Shame about the jumper, especially as the lace looks so good.
I'll try to learn from your disappointing experience, and wash my swatches when I'm knitting jumpers.
The socks are lovely though. I've often passed Trawsfynedd lake but never stopped for a look - somehow the power station put me off. But it looks beautiful.

Artis-Anne said...

I would never have beleived that yarn dropped so much after seeing you knit it but as I said I think its because the yarn in the pattern has a high amount of rayon in it so it would not drop ; well it's a thought any way. Also the FO's on Rav all look as they have dropped too apart from those that used the named yarn !!
Ah well frog and forget it for a while; the joys of knitting !!
Those Monkeys do look good, I must get back to sock knitting

artyfartykat said...

Oh what a shame! Hope the air wasn't too blue! It looked so gorgeous too.
The Monkeys are great, and I love the colours.
The handspun looks fab, even better 'in the flesh' I bet! Would you recommend getting a drumcarder? I'm struggling with carding so much.
My kids used to love Pooh sticks too! In fact I still have problems walking over bridges without dropping a stick in and racing to see it pop out!! Sad!
And don't you dare make your posts briefer, I love reading them!!

Christina said...

oh no, shame about the sweater. I love the socks. And you certainly were very restrained at colinette!!

Sarah said...

Your poor jumper - it looks like it would be lovely on a larger lady though - maybe a gift?

Great monkeys you managed to snap up a tree :)

Piglottie said...

I'm sorry to hear about your jumper problems. I cant suggest anything but am sending virtual chocolate.

Riggwelter said...

My dad used to work at Trawsfynydd Powerstation, so the lake I know well. It's a shame in all that beautifulness, you come to a concrete square (or two)!

The lacy waves sweater looks great, what a shame it grew in the wash.

clarabelle said...

What rotten luck with the beautiful-looking, but badly-behaving, teal yarn. Kick it into a dark corner for a bit...

I really love your Monkeys! The yarn shades are beautiful - might just have to track some of that down!

Dipsy said...

Oh, poor you!!! I so feel with you about the sweater disaster! You know, this is my big nightmare indeed - after the many hours spent on a sweater or a cardi or such, that something goes wrong with the blocking or the washing - and I'm so, so sorry that you had to experience this. But, I for one still love the sweater - probably due to the fact that I don't like my sweaters to be overly shaped, I like them a bit more on the loose side. But perhaps you can find another use for the yarn? Fingers crossed!

How very beautiful that lake is - my gosh, I'd so love to be there now and have a walk around it! Here it's all grey and dreary outside, real fall weather, so I love to have a look at such beautiful pics like yours and dream of travelling - that's probably what keeps me going during winter ;)

gilraen said...

I love that top on you, but I also appreciate that it's not quite what you wanted or expected. Your Monkeys' are georgeous :)

Chris said...

I'm afraid to say (at this late stage!) that I've had the "growing problem with Jaeger Matchmaker too!
Not sure if it's because it's superwash and therefore slippier than untreated yarn but both hubbies rib sweaters gained length- I was just blaming my stitchwork!

RoxyKnits said...

I'm so jealous of your trip to Colinette - my you were very restrained!

What a shame about Lacy Waves.....BUT as its a superwash wool would you able to tumble dry it? Some superwash wools seems to be fine with drying and shrink back to size. Or you could wet block and pin it to the shape it should be......worth a try after all that work. I would definitely never move or sew up damp knitting though - that is guaranteed to stretch so maybe it will be ok with another blocking and left to dry completely.

Sunflower Farm said...

We play Pooh sticks too