Throwing in the Towel (aka Glove)

Yesterday I quit. I gave up. I frogged this glove in process.

It wasn’t just that my needles fell apart. They fell apart because they are old and well used, but also because this stitch pattern was just too much for them, and too much for my hands. It was not fun. I was not enjoying it. (Here’s the pattern.)

I had persevered and finished the first one….

The fit wasn’t great, but I thought the second one would be better. I’d make it better. And then I got to the hand section and remembered that I could only knit a few rows every few hours because it caused my hands to cramp up. Ugh. The final straw was when DB, who was the recipient of the gloves, said, ”STOP and knit something else.” You don’t have to tell me twice.

I frogged (unraveled) the one in process but I haven’t yet unraveled the completed one. I might not bother. I think there’s still enough yarn to make gloves using a different pattern. However, I’m not going to start again until the time changes and there is more daylight and actual sunshine in the day. I need more light, and I need a break.

I’ve returned to my cabled sweater and am SO HAPPY to be knitting with US5 / 4.75mm needles and worsted weight yarn again. I’m working on Experimental Spinning 2a. Plenty of fun things to work on! Be the boss of your knitting!

Frog Like a Boss

Foldlines sweater, first try

In April last year I finished knitting this sweater. In 2020 I was knitting like a fiend (nothing else to do in lockdown, right?) so I finished SIX sweaters, a lap blanket, a baby blanket, six hats, a shawl and a cowl. AND I spun and plied at least 200g of lace weight yarn and knit most of a giant lace christening blanket. No wonder I wrecked my shoulder!

Anyway, the above sweater didn’t get much wear over the past year. As you can see, it has 3/4 sleeves. This was not the plan! This sweater should have had long sleeves but I ran out of yarn. And the sweater is really big on me. It measures 45″ around. It’s supposed to be boxy shaped with drop shoulders, but this was really too much. In last week’s post I talked about the decision to frog it and knit the sweater again. This week I took those balls of yarn and re-skeined them

washed them

let them dry and twisted them up, ready to go for the next sweater.

I have a total of 718 grams, counting those little ends that I’ll use if I have to. I’m going to knit Foldlines again, but in the smaller size and with long sleeves. Luckily, I didn’t wear the sweater much, and the yarn is the type of yarn anyway that doesn’t pill very much. I really don’t have to worry about reusing this yarn at all – it’s in perfect shape as if it’s never been used or worn.

I can’t say the same for another sweater that I frogged earlier this year. This sweater was knit with Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Worsted MCN, which is 80% Merino wool, 10% cashmere 10% nylon. It’s the softest stuff you’ll ever wear next to your skin, but also because of the content it pills like crazy.

I made this sweater in 2015 and did wear it now and then. I didn’t wear it as much as I thought I would because I didn’t like how it fit. It’s a raglan shoulder sweater but the shape of the shoulders wasn’t good on me and I was constantly pulling it up on my shoulders. It was annoying. It probably didn’t help that this yarn, along with being super soft, is super HEAVY. It’s superwash and worsted spun, so there isn’t much air between the fibers which makes it heavier than other yarns of similar diameter. I really hadn’t worn this sweater very much at all in the past couple of years. The color of the yarn is so lovely that I decided to frog it and reuse the yarn. Easier said than done!

This sweater was knit in pieces and sewn together. There were LOTS of ends to pick out and seams to rip back. It took patience and a lot of swearing to get it done. But I managed it.

In this case I caked the yarn after washing. This is hand dyed yarn so each skein is a little different from the rest and I will alternate skeins to keep the colors even throughout the next sweater. But not only do I have to consider the color of the skeins, but also for this one I have to consider the amount of pilling and wear. I matched up skeins, 2 by 2, according to color and also pilling. One “good” skein paired with one “worn/pilled” skein. The one on the bottom is the worst for pilling and I’m hoping I don’t have to use it at all. Luckily I still have 2 skeins extra from when I knit this sweater in 2015 so I’ll use those also in the new sweater and avoid the worn out skeins if possible.

For my next sweater for this yarn I think I will knit something with a lace pattern to try to lighten up the weight of it. Or maybe just plain stockinette and certainly no cables (like the first sweater) to weigh it down.

So, the moral of this story is – if you have sweaters you aren’t wearing but you love the yarn, don’t be afraid to rrrrrrripppppp (frog) them out and start again. Or give the sweater away to someone else who will love it. But don’t let it just sit in your closet gathering dust! And besides, unraveling knitting is fun and satisfying! Or maybe I’m just strange…..