Saturday, July 26, 2008

My First...

adult-sized jumper. This is actually the first thing I ever knitted, 13 years ago when I made the transition from sewing and cross-stitching. I bought a Harmony Guide to learn how to knit, played a little bit, started a tunic but realised (4 inches in) that I was about 10 balls short of the required total (my first lesson in reading the pattern notes very carefully and also in the vagaries of dyelots), then bought a pattern and lots of Cleckheaton (I think) 8ply in a dark green from the local Grace Bros (which proves how long ago this was - yarn and haberdashery disappeared from Grace Bros shortly after that).

Features: boxy, drop-shoulder construction (mmm, sexy), plain crew-neck (a little tight), slight batwing effect at the top of the sleeves (not helped by a total lack of understanding of tension issues), and beautifully textured plain sections, achieved by teaching myself to knit, from diagrams in that guide book, through the back loop. I got the purl stitches right though.
Now of course I am glad that I kept it, and that I've slimmed down enough to get back into it, because it is the warmest (and longest) jumper I own, and is getting a lot of use this winter! Style is not a consideration when sitting at my computer waiting for the heater to bring the room temperature up over 10* C.

Next, my first ever child-sized garment, some 6 years later:
Rainbow Child
(I still have the pattern book for this one too, I think)
Cleckheaton Tapestry, 8ply wool, which pooled beautifully across the front. I knitted this for my son when he was about 12mths, and it didn't fit him for long, because the neck is a little tight (oh those picked-up and bound-off stitches!), and the cuffs are much too tight. I'm starting to wonder whether I knitted the sleeves a size too small! Miss 2 is wearing it now, but not for long - when her hands start to turn purple inside the warm house, I will know that the cuffs have no more stretch left to allow for the natural workings of her circulatory system.

Lastly, I must share with you one of the classic errors of the new knitter. A textured pattern and the Wrong Yarn. I bought a pattern (sadly lost in the mists of multiple moves), lots of lovely navy mohair yarn at an LYS in the Blue Mountains (possibly Wentworth Falls, or maybe Katoomba) - which I think maybe the nice elderly lady at the counter tried to dissuade me from doing, but oh the supreme confidence of the craft-loving uni student - and cast on the ribbing on the train back to Sydney.
mohair and cables
This back, or possibly front, is as far as I got. I think perhaps it dawned upon me that not only were the moss diamonds, 4st-cables and double-moss panels incredibly hard to see in brushed mohair, and diabolically difficult to rip out and re-knit upon discovering the not-so-rare mistakes, but that at no point would the ribbing ever stretch to fit around any part of my torso. It has sat in the bottom of various plastic bags in various boxes and garages for maybe ten years now, and I have considered turning it into a hot-water-bottle cozy more than once, but now I think that I should fold it and sew the edges and see if it will felt into a lovely, hairy knitting bag.