Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Sad Knitter's Tale

Every fall my sister Claudia and I visit Rhinebeck for the New York Sheep and Wool festival. This will be our third year and I can't wait.
I fly up to New York for several days of rest and relaxation. The highlight (besides my sister, brother-in-law, and their two furry babies) is of course the Festival.
Claudia and I walk around the festival in complete awe. The colors of fall in the background of this lovely old state fair grounds sets the stage for a beautiful trip.
Claudia , although not as obsessed about yarn and knitting as I am is the perfect companion for the trip. We "ohh", and "ahh", about each booth we see. We love to visit the alpacas, sheep and llama's. We marvel at how cool everyone looks in their knitting finery.
This sets the stage for the next part of the story. I wanted to look like a "cool", knitter also. I am always knitting but not always wearing what I knit.

I decided to make this amazing car coat with beautiful Noro yarn that cost me an arm and a leg. Buying really expensive yarn is not something I normally do for myself. I do it for others but not for me. I decided to make this coat and bring it with me to Rhinebeck.

I purchased all the yarn I needed based on what my LYS owner told me to get. I went home and actually made a gauge swatch just to make sure I was getting gauge. That is something I admit I am not always careful about. I began knitting and I knit with a frenzy. I knit every second I had. I knit at swim practice and late into the evening. I knit at traffic lights and in the school pick up line. I was obsessed to get this sweater completed.
This is a fairly fast knit until you get to the seed stitch, which always takes a bit more time. I completed the back, two fronts and almost both sleeves before I realized I was running out of yarn. I made a quick trip to the LYS and miracle of all miracles she had one skein left! It was even in my dye lot!!! I went home and picked up stitches for the hood.
I knit the hood while in Orlando for my son's high school state swim meet. He was a freshman swimming at the state meet, I was a wreck. Thank goodness for my car coat to keep me calm. That is until I realized I was running out of yarn again before the hood was complete. Okay, Meredith don't panic. What can I do? I decided to rip out the hood and go back and knit it with stockinette stitch, not seed stitch to conserve yarn. I did a seed stitch border and it turned out great. I sewed it all together. Amazing, I was on time. It was a bit big, but it is supposed to be a car coat. So it was perfect.
I went home and well, this is the part that is so crazy I still can't believe I did this. I put the sweater in a wool rinse. Now, I did not come up with this idea on my own. My LYS owner told me to do it. (Actually she told me to do this twice and I have a witness.) She told me the rinse to buy and that it would make the coat wonderfully soft and amazing. She was making the same coat and several other people from the shop had completed theirs already.
So I did.
And guess what happened? My lovely, beautiful car coat the was slightly big grew so that it would not have fit me even if I was 6'5" and weighed 350 lbs. I am a tall girl, just under 5"10" and the coat was down to my knees when it was dry. I was beside myself upset about my coat but knew I had no one to blame but myself.
After swearing and slamming a few things I took the coat apart immediately. I knew if I didn't do it right away that coat would still be in a heap in the bottom of my closet. I ended up having to mist all the yarn and hope that it would regain some of the wonderfulness it had when I started.
My LYS owner heard about my problem from my, "witness" friend. She told my friend she couldn't believe I would ever think about putting this yarn in a wool wash. Actually she said to me when saw her, "Meredith, what would ever posses you to put that car coat in a wool wash?" I kid you not!
So here I go again. I have made plans for my third Rhinebeck visit and I am once again trying to get this coat done for my visit. I hadn't even been able to look at this yarn until the plans had been made for my trip. Keep your fingers crossed that it works out this time.


Claudia said...

It will and you will look fabulous! I, of course, have nothing to wear that I have knitted. I will just bask in your glory.

Beth said...

When you said 'took the coat apart' I didn't think you meant completely unraveled!! Holy cow. At least now you know you have plenty of yarn ;-) The color is beautiful. It should knit up faster the second time around, right?! Good luck. I'm sure it will be terrific when you are done. As painful as it may seem, you are smart to start over.

Lena said...

Oh my Meridith, I can't believe your patience. I would have been so discouraged that I wouldn't touch that yarn again for a very long time. It sure is pretty though, and I love the pattern for the coat. You will be stylin' indeed!

Take care,


Anonymous said...

Are you trying to tell me that you can't wash this yarn????? What is it made of?