In the interest of not thinking about anybody’s derriere today, we’re going to move along to some wholesome, family-oriented knitting.
(I have to say that having one’s traffic quintuple due to a well-placed lopi sweater is something we are going to have to think about, going forward. We are obviously doing the blog all wrong.)
I’m not going to lie. The eight-yarned Spinnaker sweater is at the point, psychically, similar to the moment when you’ve decided to clean out the attic, and you’ve stirred it into the most godawful mess imaginable, and you can’t remember which pile is the Goodwill pile and what’s garbage and why you ever thought the cleanup was a good idea in the first place.
I should point out that I don’t actually know how much yarn there is here. Six of the skeins have no yardage on them, but I know there’s enough for a sweater just by eyeballing how big a pile this is. The thing I don’t know is how far any one skein will go. That’s the rub. It’s sort of a mess.
Goblin Number 1: Yarn Dread
I cranked out the back bottom piece really fast, using the hyperauthentic Martha’s Vineyard SuperSheepy2000TM Yarn Now With Extra Lanolin. When I ran out, it was an oh-crap moment: that didn’t go very far. Now what?
I realized that my main concern should be the front of the sweater, not the back. I needed to make sure that the front of the sweater was as tidy and unweird as possible. After all, it was the part that I would see the most. (The assumption here is that I am going to wear this sweater eight times a week, never mind the fact that I have 23 other handknit sweaters in my closet.) (You have to have assumptions when you’re making a sweater.) (Such as: I need another sweater.)
I threw the back section onto waste yarn and moved on to the front piece. The yarn? Colonial Williamsburg Longfaced Lumploin or whatever the hell it is. Leicester Longwool. It’s gorgeous stuff, a slight sheen to it, what you’d love to make a whole sweater out of. Which brings me to
Goblin Number 2: Regret About the Whole Project
Why didn’t I just make a sweater like a normal person, using one kind of yarn? Not clear that this will result in a sweater that will be wearable by a human. It’s just too weird. Ma Ingalls would have made hats out of all this stuff. She would have waited until next spring and sheared up a full fleece for her Spinnaker sweater. My self-loathing billowed.
Goblin Number 3: Pride Overtaketh Despair
After wishing I’d never blogged this thing, I kept knitting. Not going to let this thing get the best of me! Running out of Lankfaced Longloin brought me once again to the crossroads. The top of the front needed to be as un-itchy as possible, seeing as how an unscratchy neckline is an important feature of any sweater. I went with Lot 4 of Clara Parkes’s Great White Bale merino, the most tightly spun version. Buttery! Like a soft cotton, almost. I hate to write about it because it was such a rare ball of yarn. But it would make such a great sweater. (Goblin Number 2 returns for brief visit.)
It did, however, look pretty different from the Leanfaced Lankloin.
I decided (for lack of interest in undoing this knitting) that it was OK. But this soft, tender yarn made me realize that the cuffs of the sleeves needed to be as unscratchy as possible as well. So I divided up Lot 2 of the tender Clara Parkes yarn in hopes of making the two sleeve cuffs out of the same yarn. Symmetry? I didn’t measure the yarn as I wound it into two balls, but I eyeballed it as I wound, and it looked close enough.
Goblin Number 4: The Elf of Mediocrity
I detected some irregularities in my cable manufacturing. Some are taller than others. I decided pretty fast that imperfection was better than no sweater at all.
Handcrafted splendor or mediocrity? Yes!