Friday, April 20, 2012

Stressing out

Guys and gals, I'm stressed. The PhD (or fud, as we like to call it) defense is coming up early next month, and I seem to be metaphorically crapping my drawers. In my college days I used to get sick every finals week simply from mentally psyching myself out, and now I'm having a month's worth of that awesomeness. It's not even like I'm rushing around at the last minute, I'm on track to get everything done early and excised a section that was looking like it wouldn't come together in time. PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER. And all the while, what do I really want to do? Extrapolate my dog sweater to difference sizes and put that puppy (heh) out there.

I did, however, finish my sweater. It is less bag-like than the first edition, and lighter. Check out the inaugural wearage:

Of course I didn't just roll out of bed and throw this on without showering, why on earth would you think that?

One issue I have that's not really pattern specific, but more a complaint about the stitch pattern in general, is that it's not symmetrical. This always happens to me when I have some holes created going into a knit stitch and others created going into a purl. Is this a common issue? There was a note on the pattern for this hat (which I swear I'm following up on it's janky sagginess and all of your suggestions were invaluable) that said these types of yarn overs "should even out with blocking". I even went though and tried to adjust each of the smaller ones after wetting it but before blocking. I achieved soaking my lap and not much else.

Right side /= left side...oh well.
I really struggled with where to go from here. I don't have a huge stash of yarn right now--not really an intentional thing, but more of a subconscious "You have yarn from several years ago, why don't you use that before buying more?" kind of feeling. I went through my yarn basket and some other yarn spots, and found some undyed alpaca yarn from last year's Alpaca Festival in Madison hiding in the base of a vase that our glass-blowing friend made for our wedding. What the hell? Weighting it down, I guess?

Alpaca goodness.
Apparently the 2012 Alpaca Festival is next weekend; I need to use this yarn, so I have an excuse to buy more, natch. I turned to the dependable Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls book, which is a trove of resources and tools to craft a shawl in just about any style you could want. And I realized that what I really wanted was for someone to explicitly tell me what to knit, line by line, and not have to make any choices. Seriously, the only shawl I've ever knit was in the shape of a rectangle. I'm not exactly an expert. So I'm relying on Martha Waterman to just tell me what to do.

It's a square knitting in the round (phrasing?), increases over every quarter. And it went so fast in the beginning! But then the increases. It's a little depressing that each round takes longer than the last. I keep looking at the pattern and thinking, "Oh, I'm halfway done! Except the last fifth of the rounds have stitch counts in the 600s. So...maybe a quarter of the way done. Oh."

It's hard to get a feel for what it looks like.

Since I'm using circular needles that are way too small and make it look like a ball of fabric.

Time to invest in some big ass needles!


  1. Initially, I love v.2 of the sweater!!!! Is the pattern created with yarnovers and ssks, or just yarnovers? Since my purls are ever-so-slightly tighter than my knits, I might have the same issue as you. However, I haven't found anything that I can't fix with blocking, so I'm a little stumped. :)

    And go alpaca!!!! Looking good on the shawl.

    The defense will go well. Really.

  2. Hang in there. you're not just within sight of the light at the end of the tunnel, you're about to walk out into it!!! The VERY best of luck!

  3. That is such a pretty sweater; and I see what you mean about the asymmetry, but you know ? it looks like a design component. Good luck with the fud :-)

  4. Wow, I love the sweater re-do! I think you call the lopsided holes a design feature. ;-) It looks on purpose when you zoom out.

    Holy Serendipitous Alpaca, Batman! That's quite a find in your stash. I think the shawl is looking very good.

    Begin nearly finished with your PhD is very exciting!

  5. Obviously the sun shines a bit brighter on once side of those plants on your sweater, so the blooms are bigger. It's not asymmetrical at all. I like the look of it.

    Good luck with the Fud!