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The Unraveling of It All

Dear Kay,
While you have been poking around in the Smoky Mountains for cotton by the ton, I’ve been motoring on this Punch pullover, the raglanfest I’m cooking up for a fambly member. Everything is chugging along, though I’m concerned that this Jo Sharp DK, used in place of Rowan Wool Cotton, may be too scratchy unless my fambly member wears something under it. And it may be too close fitting to do that. So the whole thing is up in the air.
But it’s such a fine little pattern that I’m forging ahead. Sadly, and I mean SADLY, I had a creeping miserable realization as I sat with David while he practiced the piano last night. Number one: David didn’t want to practice. Number two: I’d done the stripe pattern on the first sleeve in the wrong order. The top two stripes of the sleeves need to align with the stripes on the front and back, and, halfway up el sleeve, I realized that using three colors for this sweater instead of the five they call for has, um, ramifications. It just didn’t come out right. So, for posterity, here’s the sleeve I frogged last night while bickering with David:
At the end of “Highland Tune” I had a grumpy son, a pile of unraveled yarn, and not much else.
I do wonder: will such wavy yarn re-knit properly? I think I read in the Principles of Knitting that I’m supposed to wash, steam press, and re-roll yarn that has been knitted once. Shyeah. As soon as I finish giving my Blackface sheep their morning comb-out.
PS The dirt shades I see in this sweater make it hard to imagine giving it away. It would so, so fit into my Soils of the Southeast collection of knitwear.
PSS to Ben: I saw your comment at curlsandpurlsNYC that you are contemplating a knitalong of Punch using Jo Sharp DK. I’d have to encourage a knitbehind, because I’m not sure this sweater will be soft and snurgly enough in this yarn. Watch ‘n’ wait?



  1. Most of the time I don’t bother. If the yarn is sturdy I don’t seem to have a problem reusing it without refurbishing it. I have had a couple of fiascos though. Rowan DK MUST be straightened before reusing it. It’s just not dense enough. I’ve never used the Jo Sharp so I can’t say. Umm, do a swatch?

  2. You wind crinkly yarn into hanks,tie with figure of eight ties to prevent disaster,then dip in lukewarm water.Wet through thoroughly,squeeze out excess water,then roll in towel,stand on roll to squeeze out all water,then hang to dry.
    Do not weight it.No need to follow Polly’s,I have to say somewhat loopy, advice & put in steamer.Ignore Dutch forum members who say it’s fine to knit as is,all crinkly.Wool has memory.Knit it crinkly,i.e. stretched,wash & watch garment distort.
    Trust me,I’m a spinner & wool know it all of many years standing,and sitting.
    I think you over estimate the scratchiness of the Jo Sharp dk.It’ll be fine – or fambly person can invest in ultra fine knitted silk under garments to protect their delicate skin.Sweater looks lovely.They’ll love it & realise how lucky they are. ;-]

  3. Emma, putting it in a steamer works a treat – I’ve done it many a time…….I agree you don’t have to weight it, though.

  4. Call me lazy (I won’t mind)but I don’t think you need to do anything besides frogging and re-knitting. I did this once with the same yarn,when the back piece of my Anjuli cardigan was clearly way off gauge and far too wide for my size.The yarn showed no kinks from the many rows of frogging,either in the skeins or on the finished cardigan.
    Love those earthy colors!

  5. Hi Jil !
    I never said bunging it in the steamer didn’t work ! Just why would you risk scalding when a quick dunk in warm water works just as well ?
    You know,surely,that I’m teasing…

  6. Wow, you folks are hard core! If I had to pamper yarn that much after frogging, it would go in the trash. Myself, I just reknit it, sometimes as I unravel. (Which I call sweater morphing.) Washing and wearing the completed sweater solve a multitude of sins (including a refusal to block,, which sometimes comes over me).
    The Jo Sharp is pretty soft, actually. Give ’em a bottle of Eucalan along with the finished sweater!

  7. Evelyn–OK, sister, move along! We will not have any heretics who refuse to block, here in the Land Of a Thousand Blocking Pins. Please look deep into your heart and repent.
    We love the sinner, not the sin.
    P.S. LOL at reknitting as you unravel. Had to think about that one for a minute. Talk about kinky, and in more ways than one! xox Kay

  8. Hold on, y’all–I got all confused and thought you were explaining what to do with my Christmas pudding.
    I think I’ll try to use up all my nice n tidy fresh balls before I pour on the calvados and set my yarn on fire.
    Thank you for your worldly wisdom. Lord knows my crinkly DK can use it.

  9. Ann, I have reknitted as I was unravelling the Jo Sharp DK. It was fine, but am sure it would be even better if you did what Emma suggests.
    As for what I may have said on Liz blog, you caught me confused, as i am jet-lagged, sleep-deprived and struggling to re-adjust to my life of a legal alien after a 2 weeks holiday in Italy. I have no idea of what it was, but I know I do have the Rowan wool cotton for Punch, cardigan version, in the colors shown in the mag. but in my travel induced stupor i am wondering cardi or sweater, sleeves matching or un-matching etc. As you say, I’ll watch ‘n’ wait, you look like you’re nearly done!
    Love and Happy New Year

  10. Ben–If you have Wool Cotton for Punch, I’d say you’re in business. I love the colors in the magazine. Once you get started, I would love to see how Punch knits up in Wool Cotton, so send a photo if you get a chance.


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