Thursday, 17 March 2011

I, the Yarn Exorcist

A while ago, I had the misfortune to buy some yarn with a hex on it.
It looks so innocent and yet it is BAD. Spun from wool and EVIL
They didn’t tell me it was hexed when I bought it. I mean, to be fair, I don’t think they knew. I don’t think that was the reason it was reduced. I didn’t realise myself, at first. Not until I tried knitting with it.

First I started a Cheadle. I knitted half of it then I accepted emotionally that I wasn’t going to get gauge. What was a little bit strange, though was that however far down I went in needle size, the gauge didn’t actually change. The fabric got thicker, but the gauge was the same. In the end I was producing something so disturbingly thick and hairy it was like the underparts of a Yak who has been doing whatever it is Yaks do through the rough undergrowth non-stop for a month, but it was still 12 stitches to 10cm and not 14 and at that point I gave up and frogged.

Then I made almost all of an Asymmetrical Corrugated Sweater and despite getting gauge perfectly it turned out with a 28” chest measurement. Now, clearly there was something wrong there with either the pattern or my interpretation of it (says she charitably), but, let me do my rant about sizing anyway. The medium size would have produced a 37” chest measurement, on a design which needs about 4” negative ease. In what world is a 33” chest measurement for an adult woman a medium? Well, I will tell you: in the same world as American Apparel sizing. If you look down a few posts you will see a picture of me wearing a black tshirt. Does it look big on me? No it doesn’t. That tshirt is a large. There is one size bigger than that, and then presumably anyone who has a bust measurement greater than about 38-39” can just go whistle because probably they aren’t supposed to exist in the first place. I got that tshirt from Print Liberation who I don’t have any beef with – I love the design, their customer service was great, their postage was reasonable and cheap – but, for God’s sake everybody, please stop printing on American Apparel tshirts and make it easier for me to boycott them, because they may not use sweat shops but their attitude to women is, shall we say, not one I share. That is the end of my rant. It began with knitwear sizing and it turned into I Hate Dov Charney. I bet that happens loads.

Anyway after that, I put the pieces of the Tiny Ludicrous Sweater into a cupboard and I gnawed on my knuckles for a bit, irritably. But, I cannot stay away. I have taken up my hexed yarn once more, I have girded my loins (not with anything from American Apparel, like lurex-loin-girders or something), and I have begun a Shalom Cardigan.
It is always best to begin a new knitting project while reading something challenging and intellectual
I am tempted to say, what can go wrong? Seriously, what can go wrong? It isn’t even meant to meet across the bust, look! It only has to close with one button! Surely even the hexed yarn can produce something with armholes that is at least good enough to keep me warm while I am digging over my borders?
We are one pattern repeat in and as yet it has not spontaneously combusted and/ or magically become half the size it should be
Well, we will wait and see. But if I am back doing a post in a couple of weeks that says ‘a random and naughty dog came in off the street and ate my Shalom cardigan, how could this happen’, or, ‘I have somehow made three armholes in my Shalom cardigan and I do not understand why’ then I hope someone will stage an intervention and just make me put that @£$%^$% yarn up for sale on ebay. Because this is the third strike, and after this, that yarn is out. It is so out. It could not be more out. It is on its final warning. I think I am justified.


Maria S said...

You're very determined, and very brave! Go for it. And if you do decide to get shut of it, ship it over to me as it looks just my colour...

(Not that I need to add to my stash, you understand. No need for more wool here at all. Ahem.)

Marushka C. said...

You can do it! You can do it!

(I, on the other hand, could not do it. My Shalom, in which I attempted conversion from bulky to worsted yarn, failed miserably. Turns out that converting patterns requires ... math. Sigh.)

martine said...

Let me know how you get on, I'm about to tackle that pattern for my mum, though I have some Noro silk garden chunky to do it.
best of luck

Anonymous said...

I would love to make myself one of those shalom cardigans. if only I could knit!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but then perhaps I am lucky I can't with hexed yarns and all that!!

Susie Jefferson said...

I don't knit. I refuse to knit - my last attempt at a scarf (massive needles, 20 stitches, 4 balls of wool) took 4 months, a re-start ... and although I was careful as anything, still had a massive hole from a dropped stitch. So I am definitely not volunteering for your hexed yarn - who knows what untold damage, etc etc...

Glad you've take up the intellectual literature: I'm sure that's done the trick! Awaiting a post on the conclusion of the Shalom cardi in due course.