Tuesday, January 12, 2010

frozen needles

on this rainy winter morning, i am finding my mind ever drifting to thoughts of knitting. there is laundry and cleaning to be done -- when is there not? -- but all i can think about is cozying up with some yarn and coffee, the preschooler nestled up against my side.

it's a romanticized view of what will, in all honesty, be a source of stress to me, because once again, i want to knit a sweater, but also want to modify the pattern significantly.

the yarn is here. the pattern booklet is finally here. now i just need to find my courage.


annikki is a long sweater coat. the design of the top half is what i adore: the ribbed polo collar; the modern, snug fit. but i simply cannot fathom wearing a handknit sweater coat. firstly, this skirt feature would only accentuate areas i try to mask on a day to day basis. secondly, i live in a temperate climate, where even wearing a waist-length sweater all day long is not always a possibility. thirdly (and lastly, though i could probably drone on and on), i can just imagine snagging the skirt part of the coat each and every time i sit. i'm not especially clumsy, but i would figure that the wear and tear on this knit would be evident first in its bum region. (see point one.)

so what to do? how to begin planning the adjustments needed? i think that this blog post has been a good start. airing out my grievances makes it feel as though it's a necessity to modify the pattern. other people have successfully altered the design. surely, i can, too.

are you one of those daring knitters, jumping right in and figuring the modificatons as you go? are you able to pick up a pattern, then pick up a yarn in a gauge other than listed and just go to it? or do you refuse to deviate from the pattern -- yarn, stitch count and all?

or are you like me, and take weeks to research possible substitute yarns in the same weight, and in what color, and carefully knit a gauge swatch, only to see -- again, in plain sight -- that your gauge is too tight [obviously! c'mon, you've been visiting here a while. you must know by now that i'm tightly wound, ergo my gauge would be tight!] and you've got to go up not one, but two needle sizes? and once you've got the gauge right, do you then wait another week before you can cast on, just to be sure that you really can and want to commit to this garment? no? then come over. i have coffee. i need to borrow your fearless knitter's confidence.

12 comments:

rosemary said...

hmmmmm....i don't have that "fearless knitter's confidence", but i'ld love to join you for coffee and some knitting...we could support each other :)

did you feel that earthquake a few days ago?

Lady B said...

Mine is not so much "fearless knitter's confidence" but "brazen cowgirl goes off on her own" - often with terrible results. I see a pattern I like and *need* to start immediately, regardless of wool and needles on hand. The results are often disasterous - too big, too small, wierdly shaped. I need more of your methodical pondering keeping me on the path to a beautifully shaped knit.

Peggy said...

I'm far from fearless either. I fret and fret before, during, and after a big project. I think the pattern is beautiful, though. Good luck!

Rachel said...

I think I'm somewhere in between fearless and fretter. I often use yarn substitutions without knitting swatches (although I feel like if I write that down, the knitting goddess will smite me)...but don't have the confidence to make major modifications to patterns yet.

I'm excited though to watch you work through this process...I'm sure that in the end, it's going to be an amazing piece of knitwear!

knittergal said...

I tend to start projects with confidence, then as I near the end of it, I'm filled with such doubt that it will fit or that I'll have enough yarn, that many things get set aside unfinished. The older I get, the worse I get!!

I think your sweater will be terrific!

Linda said...

I used to be a strictly to the pattern knitter but now I can't seem to knit anything without changing it!
That has to be shorter doesn't it. Just go for it, the worst that happens is lots of frogging and re knitting. (It may make you scream with frustration!) But it will be worth it. :)

kim said...

I am definitely no help. I do not do well with modifications. I try to stick to the pattern because any time I have ever gone off on my own, distaster has ensued. Godspeed!

t does wool said...

proceed with confidence...it will be perfect...and you know you...as you go along you may add a few rows to lengthen/shorten...add increases or decreases...I have faith in you Melana;)

Renee said...

I normally plot and plan a project to death first. Right now I need some comfort knitting so I grabbed the first yarn that hit my hands in my stash and cast on a simple knit so I didn't have to think about it too much. But, I'll be back to researching and figuring again soon. lol

Hilary said...

I am like you. I research projects FOREVER before casting on. Though sometimes I can improvise a bit with a top-down design, if I'm going to make major mods, I usually spend quite a long time thinking about them, doing the math, writing them all out, etc. etc. As for your Anniki coat, it looks like you could just start in the middle of the "skirt" portion. And if your gauge is too tight, go up a size -- if it ends up a little big, I think it will still look fab.

Kristyn Knits said...

I'm not the one to look to for "fearless knitter's confidence," but I can sure offer some king encouragement! Believe in yourself and jump in!

Imene said...

I decided that I need to always have two or three projects cast on...I freeze when I finish a project and I have to decide on the next one. I dwell on the color, the yarn..forever.
I hope someday to get the "fearless knitter confidence"