WIP: The Urban Decay Cowl.
(Thanks to Craftastrophies for sharing the photo, even though she knows that you can get hepatitis doing that.)
Meet the Urban Decay Cowl.
Just to bring you up to speed, the pattern is EZ’s Moebius cowl from Knitting Around, and the yarn is 100g of chain plied Fibreworks merino in Heatherlie Sandstone.
As I may or may not have discussed previously (and frankly, can’t be bothered to look back and see) I love this yarn for its colours. This shot nicely captures the rust and the concrete, with just a smidge of grease.
I love the colours. And I love the stitch. Special love for garter stitch. However, I’m starting to hate everything else.
Thing to hate #1: the unnevenness. One of the quirks of garter stitch is that it highlights flaws – any flaws, whether they be the fault of the knitter or the yarn. I often look at garter stitch in magazines and think “That looks a bit sloppy, couldn’t they have been more careful?” But while I’m pretty confident that I can knit garter neatly and evenly, my spinning is a different matter.
Every little (or not so little) variation in the yarn is *magnified* by the garter stitch. That’s okay. It’s handspun. It looks like handspun. I’m trying not to get hung up on it.
Thing to hate #2: the yardage (or lack thereof). While I would very much like to say metreage, it just doesn’t sound right. The pattern calls for x inches in width, and y inches in length before grafting. Given that my two skeins are fairly equal, it seems pretty easy to make sure that by the time I have knit to the end of the first ball, the length should be y/2. Easy, right? Yes, very easy to check. But once I have checked and found that the length is not y/2 but (y/2)-6, no amount of checking will return a different answer. At least, not a different *correct* answer.
But you know, I was prepared. I had two skeins that were brown at one end and black at the other. I figured that if I started at the brown end and knit through to the black end, I could start at the black end of the next ball, knit through and graft the brown ends together. It would give me seamless ball changes, colour symmetry along the vertical axis, and as an added bonus it meant that if I did turn out to be a little short of yarn, I could easily substitute some black in the middle without ruining the colour changes or symmetry.
Thing to hate #3: that I can never spin what I’m trying to spin. In accordance with my cunningly devised plan above, I spun up some black. Easy! Except…it was too thick. I tried anyway. I gave it a few rows, but it wasn’t working. It changed the drape and even changed the width. It is possible that I swore. But hope was not lost, because I knew I had some black sock yarn that was closer to the wpi of my original handspun. I would reattempt the black bridge.
Thing to hate #4: life sucks. Which is just a shorthand way of saying that wool/nylon blend sock yarn, which is what you might think of as a worsted-style yarn (ie: dense, compact, heavy) is completely freaking different to my handspun which is techinically a woollen-style yarn (ie: light, fluffy, springy.) Even though their wraps per inch is very similar, they’re as different as a rag rug and a coir mat.
I have ripped back (again) and will try for the third time, but before I do I will have to spin more black. I know that it sounds like a chore when really it isn’t (I mean, both spinning + black = win, surely), but it is. It is a chore because really, I’d just like to finish my bloody cowl. My head is cold.