Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The next sweater

I learned some very valuable lessons from the brown sweater escapade. I am eternally in search of the "perfect" finished project. It was much easier with cross stitch. As long as you follow charts explicitly without deviation and use the readily available DMC floss which is happily marked with numbers, it's really difficult to mess up a cross stitch project. Thus, the attraction. And even when you do mess up, it's difficult to see unless it's a big one. We adjust, we move on, and we are happy.

Quilting...to me, is on the other end of the spectrum. Finding the exact fabrics the designer used...impossible, so right off the start, you are creating something new. You really can't copy with quilting. You have to think. And if you have a love/hate relationship with the sewing machine like I do, you have to think too much. I more love than hate my new machine, but I have a long, dark history of sewing machine struggles which began in 8th grade Home Ec with my mom's harvest gold Singer-in-a-cabinet (this picture isn't the machine, it's just one like it, if I can ever get to my sewing machines again after I repair my closets, I'll take a picture sure to thrill antique machine enthusiasts everywhere because I have 2 of these. I believe one is gold and the other is turquoise...the machines, not the cabinets). I still live in fear of losing the bobbin tension. In that cabinet, finding and pulling out the bobbin was the first adventure and then "adjusting" the tension...I had then and still do have a very low frustration capability. This is why I should not assemble things. I will be in tears, holding a large hank of hair, even before the thing is out of the box.

Anyway, I think knitting might be the perfect mix for me. It is possible to exactly match the yarn and to execute the pattern as written. The difficulty then becomes my knitting skills. This is still a large hurdle but someday I'll be able to finish well in addition to knitting well. I just know it. From the brown sweater, I learned:
1. Think twice before using the exact yarn. it could turn out to be a woolly wool that you will not like to work with or wear. And yes, I am aware of the added odds of screw-up with the yarn substitution above but it had to be done.
2. Reading the pattern instructions is farily important. Even if you think you know what they say maybe you should just read them one more time. To be sure.
3. That much ribbing is not much more fun to work than loads of stockinette. Until you can attempt something more challenging (I believe I hear cables calling my name), better have 2 projects going.

I think this one is my next sweater project. I changed the yarn to something that I had already (yay stash!) so it will be out of Lion Brand Cotton-Ease. Someday, when it's finished. So far I have about 4 rows of the ribbing on the back. It's going to be a long process. And when I'm done, I'm going to look exactly like she does wearing it right? Holding my head like that is going to be tough, but I'm going to start working on it now.

No comments: