A few posts back, I mentioned that I seem to have developed not so much a New Year's Resolution, as an End-Of-Year Resolution: to finish up the last few remaining UFO's in my knitting pile. And so, I've been battling with this one.
This is a tee in 2 x 2 ribbing, worked top-down in one piece, using the good old Barbara Walker method for set-in sleeves (which can be found in the classic Knitting From the Top). I started this a few weeks before my most recent birthday, as a sort of rebellion against the large round number I was rapidly approaching.
The yarn is an oldie from Blue Moon, called "Luna", which they don't make any more. And of course, therein lies the Problem…
…as I was once told that a single skein (430 yards) could make a smallish tank top kind of thing, because it knits up at a fairly biggish gauge.
Well, it probably can be made to go that far, if one is not so stupid as to decide to use ribbing instead of stockinette.
The single most efficient way to cover an area with yarn is stockinette st. Garter takes more yarn because it is a bulkier fabric. Crochet takes even more yarn because it is even more bulky. If in doubt, stockinette is always the way to go.
So what did I do? Oh yes, I selected 2 x 2 ribbing.
And what do you think happened?
Of course I found that when I knit to the very very end of the skein, the tee was maybe just about down to my waist. Not good.
I pulled it back a bit from there, and finished off the rather scoop-y neckline with three rounds of single crochet and a round of reverse single crochet, as I had planned — and tried it on again, just to verify that with the neckline pulled in to its final position, it was — well, even shorter.
I just like to make sure about these things, you know.
I briefly considered turning it into a TOAD, but decided to persevere because I really do like the way the thing fits so far, and the neckline and sleeves came out pretty close to what I was envisioning.
So — the Problem now becomes to find another yarn to incorporate into the bottom half of the tee.
I did a little shopping.
The yarn that Blue Moon called "Luna" is the same stuff that Crystal Palace calls "Party". Unfortunately, none of the colors I found in "Party" looked very good with this. (You'd have thought plain white would do the trick, but no. The "white" in the Luna is not really white. Either that, or Crystal Palace has found a way to make neon white.)
I found a bamboo yarn that looked very promising: all the same colors, and it even had a slight sheen to it. I brought it home, and started knitting. And I found out that all on its own, it looked downright dingy next to the extremely shiny Luna. Ick.
Here again I considered giving up, but here again I persevered. (After all, now I had another $20 into it, didn't I?)
So I gathered many balls of yarn from hither and yon, and started swatching. I was not thrilled with the idea of a complete change of scenery — what I was aiming for was something that blended with the original fabric as much as possible. Here's what I tried:
1. The new bamboo yarn.
2. A lightweight MOHAIR that I think I bought at Flock & Fiber once upon a time. (No label, sorry.)
3. Very ancient leftover Patons "Au Naturel" — looks kind of blue here but isn't really. In reality it's cement colored.
4. A ball of nameless wool-MOHAIR blend that my pal Deb gave me for swatching.
5. The first two yarns (bamboo + lightweight MOHAIR) held together.
6. The bamboo + a bubblegum pink bulky MOHAIR.
7. The "Au Naturel" + lightweight MOHAIR, first single, then doubled.
8. "Au Naturel" + lightweight MOHAIR + bubblegum MOHAIR.
(What can I say? by this time I was getting desperate. MORE MOHAIR WILL FIX IT! I'M CERTAIN OF IT!)
OK, OK, things are getting a little out of hand here — not to mention very very bulky. Let's try another approach…
9. One row of Luna, one row of the lightweight mohair. Not bad… but still a bit on the dark side.
10. One row of Luna, one row of lightweight mohair, one row of bamboo.
By George, I think I've got it! You can hardly see the last two combos when the swatch is placed on the tee.
Some of the others aren't so bad either — although the wrong-ness of the bubblegum pink MOHAIR is pretty darned apparent.
Now, I am not so foolish as to think the switch will be completely unnoticeable — but I am hopeful that it will not look quite as unplanned as it really is. That will be our little secret, right?
I expect to rip back the bodice to just under the bustline (where the green marker is clipped), and then start in with the three-yarn combination fabric for the rest of the body.
I've got a couple-three hours of car knitting time coming up on Turkey Day, so I'm hopeful this is where I can knock another one off the UFO list — wish me luck! And a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend to all!