Wednesday, February 27, 2008

let's not lie about resolutions

Erm. Cough cough cough. A whole six-month hiatus? That would be the hiatus that coincided with me taking up a new job, then. I have been around on Ravelry, and I have been knitting, but blogging? well... not so much. And I'm not going to promise great things in future.

My new year's resolution, then, after an unseemly yarn binge at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate (twice the size of the Irish one! awesome!) is to knit from stash. Thing is, right, I do have an enormous stash, but most of it is my beloved old eyarn from the broke days: nameless pastel cotton, scratchy worsted-weight wools, cheap rough and ready vintage yarns. And now that life is looking slightly less impoverished, I do have a faible for the luxe yarns.

Moreover, knitting from stash is a questionable endeavour. You start, for instance, with the remnants of your Cashsoft and a stash of Jaeger Matchmaker Merino aran, both of which you bought cheap in Knitting and Stitching shows of yore. You have fallen in love with the Neiman pattern from Knitty, and even though it's a pattern that calls for a DK yarn, you decide to repurpose the aran anyway, in the interest of frugality. So you knit and knit at an impenetrably tight gauge, adding in short rows, when, of course, the ten balls of aran you own run out, because there is less yardage in aran than in DK:

drunken circles

So, all in the interests of frugality, you order some more to finish the jumper. Except that Jaeger have now discontinued Matchmaker Aran, so you buy Matchmaker DK instead, and hope it works.

Neiman closeup

And you know, it works pretty well. The jumper's a bit heavy, and a bit off-the-shoulder, but in general, it's a good heavy-duty winter jumper.

FO: Neiman

Pattern: Neiman, by Weaverknits from Knitty.

Yarns: Jaeger Matchmaker Merino Aran, black, ten balls; Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK, black, 1.5 balls; RYC Cashsoft DK, fuschia, 1 ball.

Needles: 3.5mm circs. I told you it was solid.

Time sucked:A month, I guess?

Pattern modifications
Short rows short rows short ROWS.

Except. Except now, you have two and a half balls of Matchmaker DK left. What on earth can you make with them? And then you think of the almost-whole ball of Tapestry you have left over from your Seaside Handwarmers, and you think, Aha! I will do a scoop-necked tank top loosely based on Fad Classic, but to use up the Tapestry I will add in the fair-isle pattern from Interweave Knits's Sweetheart Vest! How frugal!

So you knit and knit away. And soon enough, you discover that two and a half balls of DK is nowhere near enough to make a tank top. Except that by this time, Jaeger have also discontinued Matchmaker DK. So you order Merino Extra Fine instead, in the hope that it will match. It doesn't. It's much shinier and nicer, even though it's black too.

But it all comes out in the fair-isle wash, and between the three yarns, you have more or less the foxiest tank top in town.

FO: Sweetheart Fad

sweetheart fad

Pattern: Fad Classic, with extra bonus Sweetheart fair-isle pattern.

Yarns: Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK, black, 2.5 balls; Jaeger Merino Extra Fine DK, 2 balls, Rowan Tapestry, (Potpourri 172), 1 ball.

Needles: 4 mm and 3.5mm circs.

Time sucked: Two weeks

Pattern modifications
Short rows short rows short ROWS. As ever. And I didn't do the fancy Fad Classic waffle stitch, just stocking stitch.

Foxy, yes. But was it really frugal? I leave you, oh friends, if I have any left, to decide...


Anonymous said...

You're back! Hurrah! Love the Neiman. Really nice colours and it really suits you.

Jenn said...

Frugal or not you still have two nice new pretty tops isnt that REALLY what matters? And glad to see you back after 6 months! :)

Tina said...

what a great idea! I once mad a nordic sweetheart hat for my darling, now I know what to knit for me next...