Monday, February 01, 2010

Hot Mess

There's been lots of knitting happening chez nous since the New Year began...I think my slump is finally over! Though that said, it's been lots of "little" things knit for the most part, and I find myself immediately backlogged when it comes to updatting this 'ol blog about them.

For starters,

The Colonnade shawl from Knitty.

yarn: Manos Del Uruguay Wool Classico (in Emerald, I think?)
needles: 6mm

This shawl technically was finished in 2009, but it took me so long to block it out and take some pictures that I finally just decided to count it as my first knit of 2010.

Now I know I've mentionned this particular yarn before...I've knit THREE other things with it (and subsequently frogged them ALL). You can see those three items here. This shawl marks my FOURTH attempt to use it. If that isn't due dilligence, I don't know what is.

It's even the prescribed yarn for this pattern. And to be blunt: I hate it. Though that's not the pattern's fault---it's just this horrible yarn that has been trying to mess with me and wear me down. It may have finally won, because I'm also counting this shawl as a frog-worthy failure.

Even if I hadn't made a big hideous boo-boo in it (a boo-boo I didn't notice somehow until this beast was essentially done and I refused to then turn back...):

Ugh, what was I thinking?

Even if I hadn't made the mistake, I still wouldn't be happy with it. It is simply too thick/lumpy/bumpy/itching/bulky and oddly-shaped to ever sucessfully be worn. Now that it's done I'm really not even sure what to do with it. I refuse to rip back and fix the mistake, plus I know it's one of those non-noticeble mistakes to anyone but for now, I will put it in the "gift box" until I decide what to do with it. In truth I'm not sure if I could even bring myself to gift it to someone knowing there was such an error in it. Ideally I will just frog it all again, and then gift the four possessed/cursed/mean-spirited skeins to a more accomodating knitter than I. It will seriously be a miracle at this point if I decide to attempt a FIFTH project in it.

I tell ya, the tail-end of 2009 (for more reasons than I will admit to you here) was not looking so hot for me. And it seemed to show in my knitting.

free pattern: Destroyed Cowl
needles: 5mm
yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in "Emerald Blue" (about 1 skein)

Sure it looks purty in the photos, but I was really more "meh" about it in actuality.

Honestly what IS my problem? Two revered yarns...Manos and Malabrigo, and yours truly can't make 'em work??? Gah.

Though in defense of the Malabrigo, the yarn itself is squishy and's just the colour that's not me. I used the same yarn making this hat, and knew then that it didn't really suit me, so I've subsequently found a home for it in this newest incarnation as well. (See, already I'm doing better than last year in the gift-giving department!)

That one was also pretty much a 2009 knit as well. I was starting to feel thoroughly depressed that things for 2010 weren't boding well, but then as my French cousins say "le trois fait le mois..." (though that's more a weather-related expression), and now here it is FEBRUARY already and 2010's gone off with a knitting bang, and I've got lots of new knits to post about.

So, speaking of thick and crazy-ass-warm (and a hot mess, really --though a hot mess that kind of worked out for me...)

pattern: French Press felted slippers
yarn: Hand-me-down-20-year-old Lopi from the stash, in several colours...raspberry, cranberry, coral, black...
mods: Double-stranded knitting for the soles, single-stranded on top
needles: 10mm
size: smallest (I'm a 6.5 shoe size)
buttons: From my stash...likely just from Fabricland.

Quite simply: these rule!

I literally just began by grabbing Lopi from the stash cause I wanted to get rid of it. I really never thought they'd turn out even remotely wearable, so it was kind of an unexpected surprise that they did! And not only that, our house is so freaking cold that I've been wearing them non-stop ever since...and there's not a lot of knits I can say that about.

They knit up VERY fast...probably within a couple of hours. The downside: they took equally as long (nay longer) to seam together. And frig, I hate seaming small things together, which is why I'm not so keen on knitting toys. I really thought at first that these would make excellent gifts and that I'd start cranking out a lot of them, but I think all the seaming has made me change my mind on that score.

Also I would caution you not to use Lopi. I felted them in the washing machine twice to get them down to my size, but really felting with Lopi is another hot mess (literally) is super fuzzy and leaves crap everywhere (but I knew this going in and went for it anyway!). My next pair of these will definitely be made with Patons Wool. And finally: they are wipe-out-central. Definitely put some glue dots on the bottom (I meant to but still haven't gotten around to that). I've wiped out about three times now on our hard wood floors.

But regardless of those issues, they are totally adorable, and those are all pretty easy fixes.

Okay, I need to stop typing now...I've probably lost you at this point anyway.


Melissa said...

You didn't lose me! Sorry these knits didn't work out for you, but here's to a better 2010! By the way, it was you who totally inspired me to knit the eternity scarf which has become my favorite knit, so thanks!

Allyson said...

I think I love that Colonnade shawl! Love the color, love the bulkiness. Maybe sleep on it? I would throw that over all my jackets!

littlebirdbigcity said...

I love the shawl! Maybe it's just me, but I think it's fabulous. And the color is wonderful. Don't frog!

Anonymous said...

I like the color of that yarn but I agree that the shawl doesn't work. Maybe you could look into making a textured pillow or something with an all over texture that makes it okay for the slumpy, bumpyness of the yarn... love the slippers too... I'm having trouble finishing mine from a couple months ago :)

Anonymous said...
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Virtuous said...

Okay it is just bad jojo on that Mano yarn!! 4x!! Leave it alone BUT I still actually like the scarf/shawl despite how big it is/mistake.

I've been wanting to do the destroy cowl too and you are right the color is so not you.

AND the slippers are on the TOP of my to do list now too. I must admit I am not crazy about the seaming either but I am in a slipper KAL and need to crank them out. Going to actually use Malabrigo from the stash for mine. Will have to check out fabricland for right??

Keep on knitting! :)

Julia said...

Manos is totally over-rated - it's scratchy, man! The shawl sure looks nice tho. The destroyed cowl and slippers are SO on my to-do list. I hope I can felt stuff at the laundromat!

the greenhorn knitter said...

I'm loving the shawl. It looks perfect with the stripes! Also, the slippers are lovely. I love the color and button detail! Nice job!

Julie said...

oh no! sorry to hear about the colonnade and the cowl. I'm not a fan of thick/thin yarns, or ones with a lot of colours in the variegations- I just find them looking a bit too 'I knit this myself'. you know what I mean. those French press slippers rock, though! Glad you got an FO that you loved.

Anonymous said...

man, that manos just will not work with you, eh? maybe it's just not meant to be.

my thoughts? skein it back up, give it a soak, and then put it up for trade/sell on ravelry, or offer it up as a prize for some sort of bloggy contest. if it hasn't worked with four different tries, maybe it's time to go about it in a different way?

kgirl said...

thank goodness for the felted slippers saving the day! I was beginning to despair for you!

have to say I think you're spot on with the other two though :( Gift 'em? There's some love for them in the comments, so someone else will love them too and then they're gone AND you have the gift issue sorted for January :)

Rainy Daisy said...

Vouloir, c'est pouvoir!

Do people actually say that? I learned it in French class, so it's probably not something that real people say.

Boo to four-times-frogged yarn. There must be SOME foolproof pattern for it. Maybe another pair of slippers? That could be cute. Minus the seaming of course. Ship 'em to me, and I'll seam them :)