I started this sweater back in February. We were heading to Florida and it was to be my vacation knitting. As I worked on it, I began to worry about having enough yarn. The original pattern called for about 900 yards I had 1200 yards – as I knew my gauge was off. I was also using Rowan denim, which shrinks like a pair of jeans, so I also needed to allow extra for that. By the last few days of the trip, I knew I wasn’t going to have enough yarn, but that was what I had with to work on, so I kept knitting. By this time I almost had the yoke finished.
When I got home, I called around (and e-mailed) looking for the dye-lot that I needed. By this time, the yarn had been sitting in my stash a couple of years. I had no luck finding the exact dye-lot. I decided to order the numbers that were the closest, in hopes that they would be close enough. Three different times I did this. None of them were the same color – they were all too dark.
Don’t call me crazy yet – you haven’t heard the rest of the story.
Next, I contacted my friend Maria to see if she had any in her stash. Of course she did, but the ends of the skeins had all faded.
Hmmm . . . faded? Now that’s an idea!
All of my skeins were too dark and I wasn’t ready to give up on my sweater yet. I unwound the skeins and set them in the window sill. Every few days I turned them over to keep the fading as even as possible. After a week or so, I rewound the skein and knit a little to test the color. It was still too dark, but getting closer. I let it go another couple of weeks. I did this with all four extra skeins. I got questions and teasing from visitors who noticed our window decorations. But it was all worth it – I had the yarn to finish my sweater.
Or so I thought.
Did I mention that this was long post?
Did I mention that I usually knit in the car?
I was working on the ribbing (in the car) when Joel dropped me off at the grocery store. He then proceeded to drive through the parking lot to fill up the car with gas.
As I came out of Cub, I noticed a long blue thread running by the door. I did a double take, and then with horror, followed the long blue thread through the parking lot towards our car. At this point, I started to run, gathering up the yarn as I went - Ready to tackle any person or car that threatened to come between me and my precious yarn. When I got to the car, I opened the door to find my sweater safe and sound, but the ball that I had been knitting with was completely unwound. It all seemed to be in one piece, but it was no longer blue. It was a greasy brown color. I knew I didn’t even have a yard to spare, so I brought it home and soaked it.
That night I dreamt of our car careening through the parking lot with a wildly unrolling giant ball of yarn flying behind it, tangling around people’s legs and carts as it went. (This would actually be kind of funny, if I wasn’t crying and chasing it through the parking lot!)
I soaked the yarn over and over and again, and by some miracle it came clean. I was able to finish my sweater. After all that, it is kind of a miracle that it’s finished. A smarter person would have given up long ago.
Call me crazy, extremely determined, crazy, obsessed, crazy, dedicated to my craft – whatever – I have a new sweater and I am going to wear it!
Are there any other knitters or quilters out there that can identify with the measures I was willing to take to finish this project? I hope there are – as I hope I’m not the only crazy one!
I’d love to hear about it, if you would like to comment on it or link to a blog post with your story! I’m sure we could all use a little encouragement ;-)
You can find my Ravelry link here.