My blog turns 4 years old today! In honor of the occasion, I've decided to show you this:
This is the second garment I ever completed. It's from a 2001 Knitter's magazine pattern, done in yarn that is part wool and part cotton. The yarn was discontinued a few years, and came from the 1/2 off bin at my then LYS, The Knitter's Underground (what a great name for a shop, right?).
I loved the feel and color. There were, luckily, exactly enough balls of this color to make this shell. Unluckily, there were two different dye lots. Fearlessly, I decided to do the two-row jog, and barged on.
Even at this beginning stage of my knitting career, I just couldn't leave a good enough pattern alone. I wasn't good at finishing, so I changed this to be knit in the round to the armholes. I also made the body shorter than called for, since I was into the "belly peeking out" look at the time. The knitting was boring and painful, just k1, p2 the whole way, but I slogged through it. I had to do the armhole ribbing twice before it layed flat. I had to pick up stitches at the neck 3 times before there were only small holes in the pickup row.
When I finally finished it and tried it on, the damn thing was too short. As in, my belly button was completely exposed all the time. So what did I do? I ripped out the neck and made it a shorter funnel, and ripped out my cast on edge and knit down one pattern repeat from the bottom. If you look really closely at the picture, you can see that the bottom repeat is a half-stitch off. When I bound off the redone bottom, I did it too tightly and had to rip it out and do it again.
This shell, like so many of my early garments, became something I had to finish because I just wouldn't let it win. It was like a badge of honor, to slog through all of it and come out on top, wearing the defeated opponent.
Well, I have to admit that I won the battle, but the shell won the war. Why? Well, for one thing the armholes are too big and are forever showing my bra. This has only gotten worse with washing and wearing. But that would be ok if it weren't for this:
There are little ends like this sticking out all over. I didn't know you had to weave in more than half an inch's worth of ends, especially on such smooth yarn. And I knew I was running short of yarn and couldn't get anymore, so I cut the ends REALLY close.
Yep, the shell wins. But I'll never throw it out, it's a testament to where I've been and how far I've come. (these days, when the sweater wins, it's a much bigger disaster!)
(I'm spending today at Stitches East, full report when I come back!)
When I perused your blog, I thought I was seeing things. “The Knitters (formerly Weavers about an age ago) Underground”? Couldn’t be the same one…could it? I was floored to find out that it indeed was the Centre Hall store.
Too bad you graduated—well not too bad, but you know what I mean—now that we have another yarn store in Pine Grove Mills.
Your wrap is wonderful, by the way.
September 28, 2005
It’s a pretty shell.
If you re-spin the little ends, you might then
delicately sew them in place with fine thread.
Or you might un-spin them, split them, run the halves around a stitch and tie them together in a hard knot, but that takes extra finger dexterity.
Or you might say the heck with it, wear it braless, and if anybody (else) frets about the ends, they need a life. :-)