Monday, October 27, 2008

The Autumn Haze

"Did you take the Flu Prevention Awareness course? Everyone has to have completed the module and passed the test by the end of the month."

"Yep. But you know I don't believe in half of that stuff, so I was forced to lie to pass the test. That's what I'm paid to do now. Sit here and lie."


"Yes, lie because I don't believe that the single best way to prevent influenza is for me to get a flu shot, but I had to say so in order to pass the test. In fact, I believe that we're making ourselves less able to fight off ailments through the antibacterial crusade and the peer pressure to receive annual flu vaccines that may or may not work in any given year, and all of this incessant hand rubbing and opening doors with paper towels is making us a society of dry-skinned mamby-pamby weaklings. You know who never seems to get the flu? Marta, the woman who cleans the bathrooms in our building and picks up all of those paper towels that people throw on the floor in the general direction of the wastebasket as they sidestep through the doorway as though they were leaving a stall in a porn arcade. Why are we so afraid of each other?"

"Uh, Suzanne..."

"I mean, why are we so afraid that we're going to get some wretched necrotic disease by touching a door handle? And have you seen that commercial where the woman flushes the toilet IN HER OWN HOME with her foot?! Check out the look of abject terror on her face as she kneels next to her little girl and holds her on the toilet as she pees. You know, that whole commercial is perverse. The little girl is old enough to sit on the toilet without her mother holding her there. I believe that if I were that little girl, I might be so scared by my mother's barely contained fear that I might never urinate again. She's f$%king creepy. Where was I? Oh, yeah. What the Hell is wrong with our society that we feel as though we have to sterilize everything? If I don't bleach the bejesus out of my kitchen, I might as well wipe it down with a raw chicken leg?!? My GOD! It's a wonder we don't all live in BUBBLES!"

"Suzanne, did you pass the test? I need to check you off the list."

"Yes, I passed, but at what cost to my integrity? At WHAT COST?"

And then I spent the next four days at home with a cold. I want it noted that it was a cold, not the flu. Bastards.

So I've been done with this sweater for a week and a half, but just came out of my diphenhydramine haze far enough to blog about it today. This drug-induced fog also explains the modeled picture.


It's Fairly Easy Fair Isle from Stitch 'N Bitch Nation (Ravelry link to my project).

I'm always drawn to it when I see it in the book, and then I think, "No, that's nothing I'd ever want," and then I think, "But it's really cute," and then I think "But it's Fair Isle and I don't want to learn to do Fair Isle", and then I think "But it says fairly EASY right in the title, so maybe..." and then I go and do something else. I don't know why I finally decided to give it a try, with a yarn that isn't quite right for it, but what the Hell. It didn't seem like the worst idea I'd ever had.

I knit the small size which, as I'm 38" through the bust, gave me zero ease. With the inevitable stretching that happens when a garment is worn, it ended up very slightly wider, which made it perfect.

Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran - seven skeins of the main color, half a skein each of the red and white, about a third of a skein of orange. I love this stuff, although I love it more when it's knit to the right gauge, as in the version of Starsky that I did. It's not bad at a looser gauge, just less smooth.

As I mentioned in a previous post, all of these colors are being discontinued. When I told Accountant Boy how sad this made me, as my yarn budget and stash-busting asprirations do not allow for further stockpiling, he said, "But that orange is really nice..." Dammit, Accountant Boy! You're supposed to STOP ME.

Brittany Birch 11 US (14" length). Crazy? Crazy to knit the entire yoke on straight needles instead of putting all of those stitches on a circular needle? Yeah, maybe. It worked, so maybe it wasn't such a crazy idea. I didn't have an 11 circular in wood, and I was afraid that knitting on a 10.5 or knitting on metal would make my gauge too tight. I dropped down to an Addi 10.5 for the top of the collar and the button bands and the resulting garter stitch looked great, so maybe redoing a big portion of the yoke would have been smart, but I just wanted to be done.

One month. I had it done in two weeks for the most part, but then I thought that the collar was too high and too loose, and then I had to knit the button bands, and then I had to reknit the button bands because I'd put the holes on the wrong edge.

I worried that it might have been too sack-like at the waist as designed, so I put in some shaping. With my gauge issues on the yoke, I ended up with a lot of material at the neck. It was a turtleneck with buttons. I ripped back to the section above the solid stripes and redid everything, then started the garter collar immediately above the last section of red crosses. I liked the look of it with more rows above them, but it just didn't look right. Finally, I knit the body in one piece up to the armholes. I think the original pattern had it in three pieces.

I picked up more stitches along the button bands than the pattern said I'd need, because I think my row gauge was way different from the book.

It's a cuddly, warm sweater. The yoke's a little too loose and the sleeves are just slightly too short, but it doesn't bother me enough that I won't wear this sweater around on the weekends.

Overall, I'd give this one good marks. I learned how to work Fair Isle, and I made my first yoke-necked sweater. Good stuff to know. And it is a cute sweater, even though it's too rustic for pairing with business clothes so it's not fulfilling my "knit wardrobe instead of spending scads of money at Ann Taylor" needs.

Would I knit it again? Maybe, with a bulkier yarn, but that's a long way off. I've got enough stash to work through without buying a big bunch of Lamb's Pride Bulky, which brings back all kinds of bad memories for me.

On deck: another stash buster. It's the second pattern I ever bought and I used it for the first knitting project I ever completed. In Lamb's Pride Bulky. Let's just say that it's a wonder I picked the hobby up again. Second time's a charm.


knottygnome said...

i really like it! i love the colors you chose.

Corrina said...

It turned out beautiful!

dileri said...

Love your new sweater - it's really cute!
I love your post, too, regarding the germ thing. I totally agree. Around here we jump for the remote when any of those commercials come on - can't have our son seeing them and growing all paranoid!