Saturday, July 28, 2007


Ever started on a three-hour cruise, only to end up stranded on a deserted island?

Yup, I'm stuck on sleeve island and am really struggling with a major case of project ambivalence. I LOVE the fabric that I'm getting from the Berroco Zen Colors yarn. I can't wait to see the completed cardigan with the fabulous buttons custom-designed by Glastonbury Glassworks for it (Thank you, Deb!) in place.

But knitting with ribbon yarn is maddening! Arrrgh!

For those who are as yet uninitiated into the world of ribbon yarn, the twisting of the ribbon is a major problem. If the yarn is knit this yarn with few twists, the width of the ribbon fills the stitch, giving a nice dense fabric with lots of sheen and the cloth has flecks and speckles of color. Let the yarn twist, and the fabric becomes thin and the gloss is lost and the yarn ends up looking like a barber pole.

Now, let's compound the twistiness of the yarn with my penchant for knitting both sleeves at the same time. I'm notorious for thinking I'll remember how I knit an object and refusing to take notes. I've had socks turn out significantly different in size and shape and sleeves refuse to match. This old dog refuses to learn new tricks, no matter how many failures have occurred. After 30+ years of knitting, I know myself well enough to insist on knitting items that should be identical at the same time. It's the only way I can get the symmetry I'm a bit compulsive about.

However, on this project, this technique leaves my yarn tangled, as well as twisted. I've spent more time untangling and untwisting yarn than I have actually knitting it, effectively doubling the projected time needed to reach completion. Needless to say, I have to be in just the perfect state of mind in order to even force myself to pick up the Ribbon Cardigan, much less work on it.

Right now, the early morning hours, before the family is up and at it is the only time I'm giving to the cardigan. I'm making frustratingly slow progress, but progress nonetheless.

In the meantime, I'll try to come up with something interesting to blog about, instead of the redundant progress reports that would make ya'll ambivalent about me.


Sheepish Annie said...

I found a book at the used book store last year on ribbon knitting and thought it quite the find. I quickly figured out, though, that this might be more of a challenge than I'd thought. I didn't get far with it...

Good for you for forging ahead!

trek said...

Sounds like lace knitting - a mostly solitary occupation.