Monday, August 03, 2009

starting over

When I worked at the yarn store, I used to hear people say--they were "afraid" to make different projects. Sometimes I see that on ravelry or Knitting Daily. I never really understood it--after all knitting is just string and some sticks making knots-- what's to be afraid of? Then I started swatching for the dollar and a half cardigan.

I should probably back up and say that usually when I start a project I thoroughly investigate it on ravelry. I look to see what other people have used to make a project, I search to see who else has used the yarn I'm considering. I look carefully at the finished projects, check the needles sizes etc, so I can get a good idea for what I think works. This also helps me to see if there are any problems with the pattern or tips that other have for working the pattern.
In doing this investigation on the dollar and half cardigan, I discovered that there are a few "things" going on. First, it appears that even though the pattern doesn't say it, you really need to use two sizes of needles--one for the lacework and one for the plain sections. If you do not, your piece will pucker. This was borne out by my swatch (which I washed and accidently dried and ugh ugh ugh it puckered). The second is that there is a trick to decreasing (for the armholes) in the lace that there is an entire tutorial about.
Because of how my first swatch worked out--and it wasn't even not really on guage--I really need to swatch again, using two different needles. But I don't want to.

Oh I still want the sweater. I still want to knit this even though it will probably be a pain, but yet I feel this tiny bit of... I don't even know. I'd call it fear but that's not quite right. Perhaps this is really what people mean when they say they are afraid of a project. It isn't so much a fear as much as a bit of something that says I don't want to put in a ton of work on something that won't turn out the way I want it too. And I do think that if I start this project now it has the potential to end up badly.
It has taken me several tiny little knitting projects--smaller even than socks (and they may end up being gifted so I'm not showing them off) to come to the conclusion that I need to set the dollar and a half cardigan aside and start on the next big project.

So I'm back to swatch land, this time I'll be swatching for the Central park hoodie


Trisha said...

I love that about Ravelry. It helps me go into a knitting project more prepared. I'm definitely not afraid to try anything, but I am apprehensive because I don't want to spend so long on a sweater and have it not turn out. Maybe I just need to realize that sometimes that is part of knitting. But I have only knit two sweaters and they both turned out great. I want to keep that up!

Jenn said...

It isn't so much a fear as much as a bit of something that says I don't want to put in a ton of work on something that won't turn out the way I want it to.

I feel this way about writing projects all the time and have to talk myself into going ahead anyway. The stakes aren't really as high as they feel sometimes.