Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Head Case

Fragments from the worst detective novel ever written --

...working a case, like any other day. Sun shining, birds singing, happy world. That's how it's supposed to be, every day a garden party.

Keeping it that way, that's our job. Every day, we go out into it. We turn over the rocks and see the grubs. We look under the bushes and into the dark corners at the back of the old shed. We're...


...wasn't expecting to find this. Poor stiff was buried up to his neck and spray painted with bright green Krylon...


..."into the trees", she'd said. "Into the trees." I didn't know what she'd meant, until I saw it hanging up in the high branches, like some beautiful, horrible treasure sack...


"...oxblood flowers. Funny, that term. They don't look the color of oxblood at all."

"I wouldn't know, ma'am. My bloody ox experience doesn't go beyond watching 'Apocalypse Now'.

Then she said something interesting, something that flicked a switch in my mind. Suddenly, it was all...


...partner was unconsolable. I guess in this job you see some things that are too much to get past...


...and like I said, that's our job. Turning over stones, poking sticks in the snake hole. Whatever it takes to keep the flowers in bloom and the bees buzzing. Some garden party...

************
The Details:

Pattern: Starsky, knit in the small size.

Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran in Venetian. 14.5 balls, including the swatch, which comes out to 1350 yards. That puts it to the medium in yardage, but that's probably about right when you consider that I knit a little looser than gauge as I went along, and I made it longer. We'll get to that in a minute.

Needles: I used Brittany #10(US) for the body, and an Addi Turbo 12" circular #9(US) for the arms. The belt was done on a #9 bamboo double-point.

Time: Whooo...boy. Let's see. I started it right after the pattern came out, put it down after two repeats on the back, and didn't pick it back up again until right after Frog-Fest 2007. So, technically, more than a year to knit. More accurately, it took about two months.

I only deviated from the pattern once. I decided it would be easier to tell where to stop for the armhole shaping if it ended at the beginning of the chart. That worked great because it meant that the shaping ended up at the same point on all three pieces. It also meant that each of the body pieces ended up about an inch too long. Other than that, I stuck to the pattern as written.

One thing that really helped me, not being much of a chart reader, was rewriting the written instructions in a way that I'd understand. I renamed some of the cable labels. For example, '2-st LPC' became 'FPP', short for front-purl-purl. All of the cable cross abbreviations got that treatment. It really helped me to write it out in my own words. I had that piece of steno paper with me for every row of the body.

I love this sweater. I've worn it several times since finishing it a couple of weeks ago. It came out a little large after washing and blocking, large enough that I wasn't quite comfortable in it. I saw its future ahead of it, a future of being tried on, and then folded and placed back in the closet. No way was I taking it apart and reknitting it, so when it was about due for another wash n' block, I did the scariest thing one can do to woolen knitwear. I threw it in the dryer and walked away. But look what happened! It's perfect now.

I couldn't be happier with it. As much as I bellyached about the cabling and the fact that I had to concentrate through the whole thing, I really did have a fun time with it. If I were to knit another one, and I probably will, although maybe with a simpler cable pattern instead of the banana leaf, I'd add a little waist shaping. I think it'd be cute with a slightly sleeker, more feminine shape. I've even got what I think will be the perfect stash yarn for it.

So, all in all, great experience knitting Starsky. It boosted my confidence in my knitting again, and I got a comfortable, attractive sweater out of the deal. I'm glad I didn't look at the six inches of the back and decide to frog it with the rest of my WIPs back in February.

9 comments:

zuma said...

LOL! That's awesome. I love the sweater, and the story. You're too creative. =)

Laura said...

YAY! Awesome sweater. Couldn't you just live in it? Don't you want to turn up the air conditioner so that you can wear it all year long?

congratulations on finishing.

jess said...

it really looks great! I love the color and the fit and everything -- I already loved the pattern. I may have to do some stash diving... :)

congrats on a great new sweater!

Jo said...

The sweater is beautiful - I especially like the one of you leaning over the flowers and the contrast in colours.

otismurph said...

Wow, it's absolutely gorgeous! I love the plum color, that's one of my favorites. Great job!

bradyphrenia said...

it looks sooo comfy and i love the color!

Bobbi said...

you are a brave, brave knitter throwing that into the dryer! :) It looks great on you and that color is fabulous! Congrats!

pixieriot said...

Crazyawesome, and it really suits you. Plus, you write great posts. Whee!

turtlegirl76 said...

Absolutely gorgeous. What a beautiful color on you too.