Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Knitting frustrations

I managed to do the weaving-in of ends on my ladder yarn shawl, and it's neat. So that's one finished object and two that are in knitting time out. (I'll try to get pics of the shawl soon.)

One of my time-out projects is Gillian's cardigan, which is my World Cup knitting project. It's a darn good thing I still have a few days because the button bands are giving me FITS. The back band is finished and I sewed a grossgrain ribbon on the back to support the buttons. That's fine--it looks good, it's got body (which this yarn doesn't have a lot of), and I'm happy with it.

The other band, the one with the holes, I'm NOT happy with. I ripped it out twice, and I'm finally happy with the picked-up stitches, but the buttons keep popping out of the holes. Part of the problem is that I didn't put enough "shank" on the buttons when I was sewing them on, so they'll have to come off and get sewn on again. No big, I can do that. The holes are a touch big, which I figure won't be such a big deal once the shanks on the buttons are bigger. But what I'm going to have to do in order to give the band enough stability is to sew another grossgrain ribbon on that side, too. Not a big deal except for those holes...I'm going to have to cut out the holes and sew the edges back. Actually, I might just put buttonholes (with the sewing machine) in there and hand-sew the ribbon on.... I'll have to get the spacing just right, but that would solve both problems. My original idea was to put snaps on and then have the buttons on the top band for decoration, and I may end up going back to that if this doesn't work, but we'll see.

Up to this point the whole project has been a real piece of cake. I was kind of feeling guilty since it's been going so easily, and I was supposed to pick a challenging project. Little did I know how much trouble this button band was going to be!!

My other time-out project is the Pinwheel Sweater recently posted on the Elann website. I decided to use a bouclé yarn and wing it as far as the sleeve placement, but while I cast on and knitted a few rounds, it quickly became really obvious that there's NO stitch definition and therefore no way to do the sleeves the way I was planning. I was going to make a big circle, then figure out where the sleeves need to be, duplicate-stitch using waste yarn, cut out the original yarn under the duplicate stitching, and pick up those stitches for the sleeves. I still think it's a great idea, but not in this yarn. Without being able to see the stitches, duplicate stitching becomes impossible.

So now I'm thinking I'll figure out where my sleeves need to be, knit to that point, then use the waste yarn for the opening, and continue. That will essentially make a big circular afghan. Then I'll take out the waste yarn and pick up those stitches for the sleeves, just as I was planning originally. The only real differencee is that I'll actually have to PLAN where the sleeves will go instead of winging it. But I'm going to have to find some different needles--I'm using some Susan Bates circular needles I have in my collection and the cable is waaay too stiff for the magic loop method. I can see some Addi Turbos for this project in my future....

Today the kids and I watched an episode of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood that I'd recorded with my DVR (I LOVE that thing) and they had a segment on making sweaters in a sweater factory. Fascinating!!!! My kids were entranced.


EvaLux said...

Sorry that you're having so much trouble with the button bands... how about you make 2 plain bands, backed with grosgrain ribbon and you add a zipper? Wouldn't it be easier for Gillian to use a zipper too?

Cheers Eva

Mel said...

I hate when the knitting won't cooperate. A couple of days in time out will do it good. Give it time to think about what it's done and decide to change its behavior.


Off to go start the sleeves on my KWC project.

Opal said...

My knitting hasn't been cooperating either. I think it has more to do with my wrist not cooperating, but either way I understand.

I know you can work it all out though! You can do it!

Kat said...

Thanks for all the support, ladies!!