Monday, June 23, 2008

Adventures in Knitting

So first off, let me say that I posted from my phone last week, and although said my post was published, in actuality it never appeared. So now I have two posts to make. Ah, the wonders of working with advanced equipment. So I am working on the Camisole Frock tank top from Spring '08 Interweave Knitting. You can see it on Ravelry here, if you are so inclined.

As usual, I couldn't leave well enough and have made a few changes. It occured to me the other day that in my last few years of crochet and knitting, I have only once ever made a pattern in the yarn it called for. And that time, I did it on accident. I had bought the yarn and the pattern and when I got home realized that they were one and the same. Anyways, back to the Frock Camisole. I am making it in one of the new Caron yarns that just came out. It's called Spa, and its a combination of Acrylic and Bamboo. Best of all its really inexpensive. I'm using a butter yellow color, and rather than making it in one color as the pattern calls for I am making the part above the bust seam in a sage green. I have also removed the two purl row that goes down the front and back center and replaced it with a 6 stitch cable. I've been wanting to cable ever since I learned, and now I've finally found a project to work it into. You might notice that the gauge is tiny; it's taking forever to knit up! I'm okay with that though. I've decided that I love working in small stitches because of the definition. I love the feel of the fabric it makes, too. The original pattern called for size 7 needles, and I'm working with a size 4. Which brings me to my adventures in knitting story.

My Denise Interchangeables only go down to a size 5, so I went looking for a size 4 circular. The only ones I could find in the right length were a Boye Interchangeable. These needles had me in tears, literally. The spot where the needle screws onto the cable frequently comes loose, and then your stitches snag. Then if you aren't very careful when you screw it back together, the yarn gets pinched in the screw threads, and you have to pick it out and start over. So a row that should have taken you 5 minutes takes twice as long. Annoying as hell! So, I decided that I would take the plunge and buy a set of Addi Turbos, which most knitters know is the Cadillac of knitting needles. I had never bought them because they are so expensive, but I figured at this point it would be worth it. I could only find a listing for one store nearby work that carried them, so even though it was a little far I figured that if I was quick I could make it. Silly me!

I drove up and down the street looking for this store, European Knitting, and it seems to be a residential neighborhood. I finally find the address, and its for a condo complex. Assuming that I must have something wrong, I call the store, and the lady assures me that I am in the right place, and to park and she will come get me. It turns out that this woman has rented out a condo and filled it with yarn and merchandise - oh, and a ginormous talkative cat named Moses. The place smelled like my grandma's shed, which isn't surprising considering she was an aging woman with a thick accent, a brightly colored muumuu and orthopedic sandals. :) She was very nice and quite helpful, but I soon discovered that this is not the place to go when you are in a hurry. She talked as she slowly searched through stock, which was stacked on every available surface. She often forgot where things were, or set something down and then couldn't find it among the stacks. Multiple folding chairs and vintage occasional chairs were scattered through, along with a few tables, lots of paper, knitted items, and general ephemera. Wait, maybe I was in my grandma's shed. Then she messed up the receipt on the credit card machine and couldn't figure out how to get it to print, and insisted I needed one when I really didn't. When I finally convinced her I would be ok without it, she still had to figure out how to print out a daily batch report for me to sign, which she also had to look up to do. I really wouldn't have minded this all, except by this time I was late back to work.

I'm sure I'll go back to her for something, but never on lunch hour again. :) Oh, and by the way, those Addi's are as good as everyone says they are. My knitting glides in easy circles and my work has sped up so much!

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