You – Out of the Pool!

Wow, I'm having a hard time getting this blog post off the ground.

A few minutes ago, I had a couple of sad little paragraphs here, crabbing about life's circumstances, which have conspired the past couple of weeks to make things run less smoothly than usual in my little corner of the world.  Nothing really horrible or earth-shattering has happened (so far) — just a lot of "stuff" all at the same time.

You know what I mean.  I'm sure you've seen that clever saying on T-shirts and bumper stickers — "I try to take one day at a time, but lately several days have attacked me at once."

I'm also pretty sure no one wants to read my tale of oh-woe-is-me.  So let's forget I mentioned it, shall we?

Fortunately, I have something to write about that is easy.  It's time for an FO!

Manos ribwarmer in seed st - front

Above you see another souped-up version of the Elizabeth Zimmerman "Ribwarmer".  I did one in a Noro-and-Rowan MOHAIR blend a couple of months ago, and it came out so nicely, I guess I decided to do another one.  I think it was mainly to test the material I had written for the class, because once I got past the tricky parts (the four mitered corners), I apparently left it for dead.  On a recent car trip, I resurrected it and made serious progress on the fronts, and finally it's done.

The yarn is some Manos del Uruguay in "Juniper" that I had sitting around.  (I suppose nowadays one has to be a little more specific, and say "Wool Clasica".  Back in the day, though, that was the only yarn Manos made, so I still call it just plain "Manos".  Old school.)

In fact, I believe the majority of it was recycled from a scarf that I found at a Goodwill store downtown several years ago.  Whoever knit it had done a nice job — it was in stockinette IIRC, in a generously sized tube, with the ends gathered shut and adorned with gold pom-poms.  While I was a trifle dismayed that a hand-knit scarf made of such excellent wool ended up unloved at the Goodwill, I had to believe it was a perfect project from which to reclaim the yarn — instead of the scarf going to someone less appreciative of fiber identification, who would throw it in a washer and end up with a short felted stick.

The pom-poms became cat toys at my house, and I discovered that it must have been a pretty expensive scarf to make, because to my amazement it comprised something like 3 skeins of Manos!  I know I had at least one skein of this colorway already, but I also think I let Rock Star use some of it once upon a time, when she had run out of it on something she was doing.  Anyway, all this just goes to explain that if you ask me how many skeins or yards of Manos it took to make the vest, I can't answer that.  I suppose I could weigh it, though, if I wasn't too lazy to get off this chair…

…OK, OK.  313 grams = about 432 yards = just over 3 skeins, give or take.

The vest is knit in seed stitch, which makes it a little nicer-looking IMHO than the original garter.

Of course, the most interesting thing about it is what happened on the upper back.  Once I'd got past the short rows that make up the very very top part, way up across the shoulders — as you can see, the yarn pooled with a determination and a vengeance — not to mention symmetry — that I don't think I could have hoped to defeat.  (And probably, I couldn't have accomplished anything near like this if I had tried.)

Manos ribwarmer in seed st - back

Oh, sure, there are techniques for getting around this kind of thing.  I could have worked two rows from one ball, two rows from another, etc etc.  But remember, this is seed stitch.  This was some yarn that was simply determined to pool, no matter what.

I really don't think I'd have had the energy — nor perhaps the wit — to successfully overcome that much pooling.  You must admit, it's one of the finest examples you'll find anywhere.

I now think maybe my vest contains the trapped spirit of Cookie Monster, complete with horns and a steaming cookie — presumably fresh from the oven, or possibly from the pits of Hell.

What, you've got a better interpretation?  Bring it on!

Look how easy it is now!  CLICK RIGHT THERE!

  2 comments for “You – Out of the Pool!

  1. The Pats
    10/30/2009 at 11:43 AM

    Hey, nice vest!  I think the pooling is way cool.  Sort of a symmetrical tie dye effect!

  2. 11/05/2009 at 5:43 PM

    I agree, nice vest.  I think the pooling on the upper back looks like a butterfly.  You couldn't have planned it out better if you had tried.

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