Thursday, July 24, 2008

Reflections on Alki

I mentioned in my last post that a few of my recent knitting efforts looked somewhat less than lovely.  So that others will not repeat my mistakes, I feel it is my knitterly duty to share some of them.

I started with an absolutely marvelous yarn:

Hazel Knits Artisan Sock Yarn in the Alki Reflections colorway.  Now let me explain, I take full blame for the events that followed.  None of this is the yarn's fault.  It certainly cannot be held responsible for my inability to cope with its stunning array of colors.

I'd heard that slipped stitch patterns were good for breaking up the potential "stripeyness" of variegated yarns and thought that Crusoe would do the job nicely.  I was wrong.

What you can see in the two side by side pics above is how great the colors look in the  2x2 ribbing of the cuff.  You can also see that once the stitch pattern starts, the colors begin to stack up into definite pools.  Now, I'm not one of those knitters who abhors pooling, I think that can be quite interesting and fun.  But this just made all those wonderful pretty colors look, well...not so pretty.  I showed it to Wendee during the Hazel Knits Trunk Show at Strands & Stitches in Laguna and we discussed the possibility that maybe this was just one of those colorways that showed best in a simple rib or stockinette sock.  But when I got home I looked at it again and realized that I just didn't have it in me to knit not just one, but two whole socks in plain 2x2 ribbing, or god forbid - stockinette. Zzzzzzzzz.....

So I sat down with my sock guru and our trusty copies of Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks and More Sensational Knitted Socks and selected another pattern, Waving Ribbing:

It never got much further than this because as you are currently saying to yourself, "Pattern? What pattern? There's a pattern there?"  Yeah, that'd sum up the problem nicely.  FYI - I am also not one of those people who is willing to go to the effort of knitting a whole sock, not to mention a pair of socks, in a stitch pattern that no one can even see. 'Cause yeah, I'm just that into pointless endeavors - not. So, back to the books.  Literally.

And the third time's the charm:

Taaa-dahh!  This one is a keeper.  It's Vertical Waffle, from More Sensational Knitted Socks. All I can say is thank god and little fishies, because I wasn't sure I could continue torturing this yarn any longer.  If my third try hadn't panned out, I think I would have tucked the yarn back into the stash for a well-deserved rest and gone off to knit a few miles of worsted in garter stitch. Kind of like a knitter's penance.  Or maybe just a Doctor Who scarf!


Mia said...

Yup, the waffle looks like a good choice. Knit on!

pocketsize said...

That colourway is absolutely beautiful! I'm glad you found a way to make it show properly, it looks amazing on that rib pattern.
Hazel Knits seems to do stunning colours. I will have to check whether they have anything sheepless for me.

Lisa said...

Good job analyzing the yarn so patiently. The waffle looks great! I do love the colors in Alki R. I am thinking of striping it with Pacific in plain old stockinette (makes for good bus knitting).

Jess said...

Great choice! :)

Sheepish Annie said...

Oh nailed it! Of course anything that comes from a waffle-based theory is going to be good. I like waffles. Waffles will never let you down!

Logan said...

I just went through almost exactly the same thing with a pair of socks. (When I eventually update my blog, you can read about that adventure...yeah don't get your hopes up.)

While variegated yarns can be absolutely GORGEOUS, I think I'm just more a solid color type of girl. I'd rather do the work myself, it's not as much fun when the yarn is doing it for me.


Sonia said...

You are so funny! Thanks for sharing your process/struggle to match yarn and stitch pattern. I think as knitters we all struggle with these things from time to time, and it's nice to hear someone else's perspective!