Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mattress Stitch - The Cornstarch of Knitting

I'm easily amused/amazed by the simplest things.

Back at Thanksgiving, we had lots of bags of fresh cranberries, so I decided to make some fresh cranberry sauce for dinner. This was the first time I had ever tried this, and was disproportionately amazed to see how quickly things thickened up once the cornstarch had been added. I'm a dork, and i freely admit it.

So, right before Christmas, I was finally able to get Fitted Knits from the library. And I fell in love with the Alexandra Ballerina Sweater. My goal became to knit that sweater before my time with the book was up. So, armed with a handful of 50% off coupons for Michael's, I bought up their entire stock of Patons Rumors in Dewberry Heather ball-by-ball and got to work on December 26th (the book needed to be returned on January 4th, and since two other people had holds on it, there would be no renewals).

The evening of January 3rd, I had one sleeve to go and was up seaming the final sleeve and weaving in ends until 10.30. Admittedly, 10.30 isn't that late, but I'm usually doing my pre-bedtime ritual by then.

Now, normally, I hate, loathe, despise, abhor, abominate seaming. I don't like it at all. That was one of the reasons I was attracted to this sweater, because it was knit in the round. Except for the sleeves. And I couldn't really see why the sleeves were knit flat, but hey, I was willing to do that little bit. As I was oh-so-carefully working my mattress stitch, I was amazed at how neat it was, and at the little neat ridge it formed inside the sleeve. And it was very similar to my awe of how cornstarch nicely thickened my cranberry sauce.

Like I said, I'm a dork.

This, however, has not convinced me that I like seaming lots of little parts. In fact, if anything, it reinforced the fact that I really don't want to have to do a lot of it. So, in an effort to start the new year off with a somewhat clean slate, I went back and looked at the progress I had made on my Tilted Duster cardigan.

I love the look of this sweater. I did from the moment I saw the fall issue of Interweave Knits. But the thought of seaming all the parts and then picking up all those stitches for the skirt...ugh! (Picking up stitches is my second least favorite knitting task...I even modify most of my socks to have short row heels for just this reason.) So, I frogged. And tonight I may cast on instead for the Cobblestone Pullover. I've seen this with a modified yoke (ravelry link) to have a button band, so I may try that in order to use my very cool devil buttons which go perfectly with the orange Cascade.

In further dorknitude, today is the deadline for the No-More-Humdrum-Mittens Swap. I am so excited for this. Can't wait to see who I will be knitting for here. I've been scouring mitten patterns, as well as spending time looking at colorwork patterns from the Stitchionary. I've even found a sock pattern that could be fun to convert. Plus there's the challenge of finding other little "stuff" to include in the package.

I'm just a dork, what can I say?


Ina said...

Dork confession: I love how cranberries for sauce bob in water in the pan, then suddenly pop. I'm easily amused.

Tina said...

Dorkitude! It makes the world go round, I say. So valiant of you to frog your sweater bits! I too hate seaming, which is probably why I don't make many sweaters...