March Madness, Indeed
March 31, 2008
I was so crabby after Davidson’s noble effort last night that I ended up in my closet, rooting around in what is the inevitable crapheap of my life. A bad mood always sends me toward cleaning up, so at least something came of that so-close-yet-so-far ending to the Kansas-Davidson game.
The whole issue of my closet is really irritating to me. It’s one of those closets that has all these cubbies and shelves and clothes rods–too much room, really. It means that you can continue to buy T shirts at the Banana Republic outlet pretty much forever, because there’s always room for another one. It means that inventory control is impossible: once I collated my black pants, I discovered I had four pairs of black pants, each with a fatal flaw that meant I never wear any of them. After deciding that one pair can in fact be rehabilitated and swearing never to buy black pants again, I moved to the back half of the closet, which is the highly upholstered zone known as my stash.
It is also the land of limbo for unfinished objects, of course. Imagine my surprise when I unearthed the item featured above, the Fair Isle sweater that has been a part of my life since the early part of the millennium. Anybody who recognizes this project is a true blue reader of this blog. Anyway, Keava, an Alice Starmore pattern, is only one sleeve shy of being finished. I was so stunned to discover this, because I would have bet you a hundred bucks that back when I put this project into turnaround, I hadn’t started the sleeves. Hunh. A sleeve left to go.
At this point I don’t really even care whether this sweater will be worn, by anybody. It just seems unfair somehow to leave this project dangling in unbeloved limbo.
As I hunkered down with this unwieldy, scratchy little pile of Shetland wool, I remembered what it was that had made me abandon it.
1. The needles at the sleeve had just picked up 135 stitches, ready to start sleeving. When I checked the pattern, there is no size that calls for 135 stitches to be picked up around the sleeve hole. Yet the first, completed sleeve has 135 stitches around the sleeve hole. Maybe I freaked out and worried about a sausage arms issue? I can’t believe I can’t remember how I ended up with 14 stitches fewer than the smallest size calls for. I tried it on, and sure enough, the sleeves fit great–if you like a drop-shoulder sleeve. Did I custom-size this? Randomly screw up? Absolutely no recall.
2. Old Gold. There’s no more Old Gold in my basket of Keava yarn. I’m guessing that I put the brakes on Keava so that I could track down more Alice Starmore Campion in Old Gold. These days, anybody working an Alice Starmore pattern has to use Jamieson & Smith Shetland Wool because Starmore’s is no longer made. So I fished out my Jamieson & Smith shade card to see what the Old Gold situation is, and I discovered that Jamieson & Smith doesn’t make anything resembling Old Gold anymore. They suggest that you substitute Chartreuse, which is the yellowy green most prominent in the pattern.
Well, that is a sort of bummer, because Old Gold adds a certain whatever to the insane mix of colors here. (I do not claim that this is a beautiful colorway, mind you. It’s crazy, thassall.) So I fished out a skein of Alice Starmore Campion I have in the shade known as Ginger, and I’m trying it out to see if it will add a certain whatever to the mix:
If it’s dire, and it’s too early to tell, I’ll just use Chartreuse in place of Old Gold, and the sleeve will be slightly less whatever.
I did crank a couple of inches on this last night, in my crabitude, and by the end, I was much mollified and soothed about wee Davidson’s brush with greatness. And I discovered that Fair Isle really does have mysterious, hypnotic powers.
PS In the interest of proving that I can in fact finish something, here’s the Tailgate Rug, 2008 Edition, all bordered up and ready to cover a floor:
I think I’m catching a case of Finishitis.