Slow and Steady

As it happens, avoiding knitting the Coraline sweater has been good for my productivity!

This weekend I cast-on and finished one small project, and rescued a long-languishing work in progress from the pile and finished it too.

To be fair, I did take Coraline along to a cookout where she got to be with other knitting.

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Then I ignored her for the rest of the weekend!  As some of you suggested, a time-out for knitting can be a worthwhile exercise.  We both got some time apart to think about what we’d done, and in the end came back together amicably.  I have decided not to rip her out, favoring instead the “slow and steady wins the race” approach.  I will knit steadily on this sweater, when I feel like it, and not worry when my attentions inevitably stray to other projects.

Yesterday I pulled out a project that I started back in May with the intention of making it as a gift for an expectant friend.  The pattern is Tiny Shoes, another pattern from Ysolda Teague.  They are precious, fiddly, and somewhat quick to knit.  Who knows why, after knitting the first bootie successfully, it took me 3 months to knit the second?

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Sadly, one bootie turned out as expected: tiny, perky, and positively perfect.  The other one is more like the ugly step-sister of the first: loose, lopsided, and much larger.  A cute pair of booties this is not.

Sigh.

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On right: offensive bootie

So now I have to ask myself: is this a forlorn finished object, with one bootie destined for the compost pile, the other to dangle from my rear-view mirror as a reminder of what could have been?  Or should I wait another 3 months and knit a third bootie, hoping it will be of the tiny and perfect variety?  Either way, I’m lacking a knit gift for my friend, and if I’m honest I never want to knit this pattern again.

Coraline’s looking pretty appealing right about now.

Hesitation.

I’m feeling a certain amount of hesitation about my Coraline sweater.

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There are plenty of things I like about the sweater, and a few things that are causing me to rethink my commitment.  The pattern starts out with a provisional cast-on and turned hem, which I decided to modify into garter stitch.  My foggy brain can only handle so much right now, and maneuvering a crochet hook around my knitting needles wasn’t something I was up for.  So I knit the garter border and really like how it turned out.  You can never have enough garter stitch in your life, I think!

Then I went up a needle size to 4s and have been working on the stockinette for the body.  The interesting detail here is that it has an i-cord edging which requires that you slip the first 3 stitches of every row.  It looks nice on the front, but it’s not quite coming together on the back like I had imagined.  Can you see the floats?

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Then there’s the issue of this being a DK weight yarn on size 4 needles.  It feels like it will be 2020 before I get this sweater done and it’s only been a week! I’ve already knit an entire ball of yarn (that’s 144 yards) and feel like I don’t have much to show for it.  I only bought 10 balls altogether, and even thought that’s 1,440 yards I’m worried about running out of yarn!

So, I cast on a baby project in kitchen cotton to take my mind off these worries, hoping that things would become clear if I gave Coraline a couple of days off.  Thing is, I’m just not sure yet.  Sigh…

Challenged

I am woefully behind on knitting a sweater for a Knit-Along I joined this month.  In fact, when the month started, I wasn’t even close to choosing what pattern to make, let alone knitting it!  I was vacillating between several patterns, but in the end decided to make Coraline by Ysolada Teague.  The pattern fit all of my requirements: a cardigan that would look good worn open or buttoned; a fit that would flatter both my pregnant and non-pregnant self; simple but not boring in construction.  I did have to buy the pattern, and didn’t have the yarn for it in stash, so….a trip to Webs was in order!

I knew that I wanted a DK weight yarn with an interesting blend of fibers in it.  So I arrived at Webs with a short list of contenders.  Sweetie accompanied me and took up her usual post in an armchair at the front of the store, assuring me I could take as much time as I needed.  Awesome!

A preliminary loop through the store netted some good possibilities for yarn:

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All lovely choices, but I wasn’t crazy about knitting with any of these colors.  As Sweetie was so bold to point out, “I’ve seen this basket of yarn before.”  I was busted for sticking to my comfort palette!

Armed with a challenge to choose colors I haven’t worked with recently, I set out on a second search through the store.  I was also looking for yarn for a couple of other projects, and this new perspective helped me find them too.  This is what I came home with:

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Cherry, bubble gum, and raspberry!  I was definitely more excited about these colors than I was about my first basket, lovely as those colors were.  But Sweetie was right; sometimes we need to shake things up and try something outside the lines we’ve been coloring in.

I ended up choosing Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light for my sweater.  It’s in a vibrant shade of red that I think will punch up my fall/winter wardrobe quite nicely.

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I cast on on Saturday and am already 4 rows into the pattern.  I know, it’s going to be hard to keep up with me at this speedy pace!