Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sleeveless near Seattle

Meet Tweedy Pine. It's a man-sized sweater.

I started this for M back last spring with yarn I'd bought at Apple Yarns at their New Year's Day sale.

If you've knitted a man-size sweater, even for such a non-burly man as lives at my house, you know that it can seem like a forever-long slog. Especially if you decide to modify the pattern to knit it in the round--there's something about knitting around and around and around a body that, even though it's probably less TOTAL time, is still deceptively time-consuming.

I knit up to the armholes, and then finished the back by the end of the summer. Then, I accidentally pulled out one of the shoulders, and got irritated, and left it in time out under the stairs.

Guess what? when I returned to it, the shoulder thing was an easy fix, and I decided to start on the sleeves--easy in reverse stockinette--finish them, and then go back to the fronts.
Sleeves ahoy!

Whilst knitting away on the sleeves--so easy! so fast! no cables!--I started to get that nagging know the one. Like you've been standing in line at Costco for ten minutes and you realize you might. not. have. your. debit. card. You check your pockets and your wallet and all the nooks and crannies of your purse and suddenly it's just you stuck in a long line with a tub of red vines, seventeen chicken breasts, twelve million baby carrots, and one large lump of lead in your gut.

Sure enough, there was only one ball (of the original seven) left in the project bag, and it almost certainly wouldn't be enough to finish the sleeves, let alone the fronts, too. But I know I had enough, I checked the yardage! I thought. I checked my various yarn bins, but I had just cleaned them out the weekend before, and I certainly would have found it and put it with the project. I can only conclude that either I converted the yardage incorrectly when I subbed the yarn, or just plain bought the wrong amount. Yeesh!

I called Apple Yarns, but they no longer carry this yarn (Naturally Tussock Aran 10 ply, from New Zealand). Andrea, the wonderful proprietor of Apple Yarns, suggested I check Ravelry, but the only person with this for sale or trade in their stash had only .75 balls left of a different dye lot. I performed the ancient art of google-fu and saw this brand is sold at Paradise Fibers in Spokane, so I called them up.

Me: Ineedsomemoreofthisgreenyarndoyouhavedyelot6761?
Laid-back Paradise Yarn guy: We have that yarn but not in that dye lot. You'd probably be OK but you might want to add a contrast stripe or something to split up the dye lots visually.
Me: becauseI'mrunningoutofyarnandyou'remyonlyhope
PY: I hear you. [Makes general noises of commiseration.]
Me: Canyoutellmewhichothercolorwaywouldcontrastbutnottoomuch?
PY: [patiently goes through each colorway over the phone, and recommends Navy.]
Me: [lights credit card on fire and orders two balls of the green plus one of Navy.]

And that's that! Magical yarn is winging its way to me from Eastern Washington. Man sweater will be finished, by hook or by crook. My working plan is this:
  1. stop working on the sleeves to conserve original dye lot
  2. finish fronts using original yarn, unraveling sleeves (sniff....sniff) as necessary
  3. add a navy stripe to sleeves in consultation with recipient of sweater (want something that says "sporty sweater!" not "dorky kindergartner!")
  4. finish sleeves and neckband with new dye lot
I hope this will work. Apparently this yarn is "going away," (that sounds ominous) according to the Paradise Yarns guy so it will only be more difficult to replace as time goes on.

Luckily, M. is worth it.

(And, now, if I could only find my debit card.)

1 comment:

Laurie said...

You really can write, Wordpurla. You've turned this process into a full-fledged narrative, complete with snappy title (a la Ms. Silly McPunster), kaplow! interjectiony-thingamabobbies, irksome conflicts, and snappy dialogue. Who'da thunk a sweater could say so much?