Question of the day: what will compel you to rip back a sweater? What do you do when your momentum on a project comes to a screeching halt?
My most recent knitting project has been the Lena Tee, by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I started knitting it because I am a sheep: Karen Templar of Fringe Association linked to this Instagram of a finished Lena, by danabarath. There is something indefinably inspiring about that garment in that shot, and I thought, self, you NEED to make that sweater.
The pattern calls for fingering weight in something drapey, and I decided to use some stashed Malabrigo Silkpaca, which is laceweight, held double. Silkpaca is (shockingly) silk and alpaca, so drapes beautifully, and I thought it would be soft and light for a summer tee. (Of course, alpaca is really warm, but eh.)
So I cast on.
The color is Zarzamora, which is this wonderful kind of mottled steel-gray/purple/greenish stormcloud color.
Except that it is also handdyed, with all the beautiful variation that accompanies hand-dying.
See, I had originally bought 2 skeins (back in 2013), intending to make some kind of infinity scarf. I then decided that knitting an infinity scarf in stockinette on small needles was tedious even for me, so bought two more skeins to make a lace cardigan. I bought the second pair at a totally different time and totally different place from the first, and yet they ended up pretty much an exact match.
Then when I decided to make this sweater holding the lace double, I realized I needed a couple more skeins. They arrived. They are beautiful. But they are way more PURPLE.
It may look like the top is just in shadow, but I promise that it’s not – there’s a really distinct line where the new skeins started and the sweater turns decidedly more purple.
Hence the post title.
So I find myself at a crossroads. I’m really – well – cross, because I only have a few more inches of knitting to go, and might have been able to finish the sweater this weekend (you knit from the bottom up in the round, then divide front and back; I finished the front and have been plowing away on the back). I was really looking forward to a finished object, I really really don’t want to start over. Also, this is laceweight held double on size three needles, and even for a basically sleeveless tee, that’s a lot of knitting. Further, frogging (mostly) alpaca is not my idea of a great time.
BUT. Will I really wear this sweater if most of the body is lavender-gray and then the top third-ish is purple?
Frankly, I don’t think I will. It will bug the heck out of me.
It’s not a hard fix, at all, in theory – frog and start over. Especially since I’m holding the laceweight double, I can then mix and match holding skeins together and end up with a much more uniform fabric.
I just have to frog and start over.
Or, if I can’t face that, I can just finish it, and wear it with the big purple stripe effect.
So. What have I done? Shoved it in its project bag and cast on something new (which is itself an example of halted momentum: I knit the entire yoke and an inch or two below the armholes of a swing cardigarn, then figured out it was too big). Someday I will come back to this one and decide what to do.
Till then, I have lots of other yarn.