As most of our faithful readers know, The Crafty Lady rarely (if ever) writes a blog post. But recently she posted these notes about one of her newest patterns, and it was too good not to share. 😊 Here she is, in her own words...
I might be giving away a trade secret here but -
Did you know that the reason patterns for self striping yarns rarely photograph a ‘perfect’ sample is so that the customer doesn’t have unrealistic expectations that the suggested amount of yarn is going to help them perfectly replicate what they see.
I tried. I really tried. The back worked out almost perfectly symmetrical. Out by one garter ridge. So I was going to just start from the other end of the ball to ensure that it wasn’t perfect. Because I like to work from the inside of the ball, I decided to rewind the ball. I counted the pattern repeats in the ball. I had more than enough to make a perfect sample. NO. START FROM THE CENTER LIKE YOU PLANNED!
I started from the center. I got the second front halfway completed. Left it at work so that I wouldn’t rip it out at home. Got to work the next day and worked a couple more rows … placed a lifeline at the joining row and, you knew it was going to happen, I frogged the front, joined the yarn in the appropriate place in the striping queue and proceeded to make my perfect vest. I mean, look at the second picture. Even the shoulder striped lined up!
When I cast off the front, I eyeballed what was left of the yarn. I may not be able to make matching cap sleeves. Perfect. Wait. I don’t need as much yarn for the size 2 as for the size 4. Can I? I’ve succumbed so far. Why not? I weighed the remnant and marked the second starting point so that both would match if the weight was right. I barrelled forward and wouldn’t you know, after the second cap sleeve, I had 13 meters left. But more about that in a bit.
I was sitting knitting at Music in the Park, wondering how I would verify my calculations on a dimensional body since I didn’t have an appropriately sized mannequin at the store, and no sooner had I cast off the last stitch, a small boy came running straight for me, his mother in hot pursuit! My mom stopped him, and as his mom caught up, I asked how old he was. 2 yrs old. Cool. I just finished this. Do you think he would let me put it on him so that I can be sure it fits? Sure. He did. It did. My 90 yr old aunt has a saying. God has a plan.
Did you check the yarn amount used above? Have you done the math? God also has a sense of mischievous humour, don’t you know.
I decided to grab my scissors after tucking in all my ends. Never do this after playing yarn chicken. I ‘knew’ all my ends were tucked in, ran to the other room for the scissors - snip, snip, snip - oh S#!T. I knew as soon as I snipped the top of the cap sleeve I had missed tucking in that end. It’s a store sample. A little bit of glue when I get back to the store and no one will be the wiser. Except the first stitch had unravelled by the time I got to work. Out came the tiny circs I keep as a lifeline. Picked up the stitches on either side of the first row of the cap sleeve. Threaded a needle with a length of yarn same colour as the body’s last shoulder row and proceeded to do surgery with a garter Kitchener Stitch.
It was a harrowing experience but it was worth it to get this visually perfect sweater. I’ll get smart next time though and knit the entire ball the width of the back and rip back to the appropriate rows in order to achieve absolute perfection because that’s who I am ;) Will it happen before I’m 103? Depends on God’s plan.
NOTE: Lori (The Crafty Lady Herself) will have the yarn and pattern for this cute garment at the CreativFestival this weekend -- September 20 and 21 -- at Spruce Meadows Equiplex, south of Calgary.
If you can't be at the show -- or live too far away -- you can purchase the pattern online from The Crafty Lady's Ravelry Store.