Problem solving

If everything went smoothly it wouldn’t be much fun now would it? That’s what I’m trying to tell myself now about my sweater.

As I mentioned on Sunday things were sailing right along and I had made it all the way down to the bottom and cast off the body. On Monday evening I picked up the waiting arm stitches and started on down the left sleeve so that I could work on it over lunch at work the next day.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="299"] The picture didn't capture the difference quite so well. But trust me its there.[/caption]

It was, as such things are want to be, a bit fiddly, but it was still going well. But as I progressed I started to notice that the new knitting seemed different. This really isn’t at all surprising as often my tension will have changed as I progress through the project. And the shoulder/upper body portion has been shoved into bags/toted around and generally experienced some “stress” just by the nature of being the first part knit of a larger project. So I kept going.

And then I figured it out. The coloring was different. Not that it was a different color but the way the dye was on the yarn created a mottled/space dyed look on the body and the sleeve was nearly solid. I kept going for a bit but later verified with a second set of eyes (Bran) that it was indeed different.

The yarn that I am using for the sweater inevitably has a story behind it. When I was still running the Box Office at the symphony I discovered that one of the longtime local violists was also a knitter/spinner/crafter. We struck up a bit of a camaraderie over this shared interest and often at concerts she would stop to chat about what we were up to. One weekend out of the blue she showed up with a bag of yarn for me. I didn’t question too intently but I gathered that she had dyed the lace weight alpaca yarn for someone but the recipient wasn’t happy with either of these two resulting colors. And so the skeins had been languishing in her stash.

The sweater yarn I am using was all one big honking skein (actually I’m almost questioning this now, maybe it was two skeins). To make it easier to work with I wound off multiple smaller cakes of yarn. Apparently I didn’t pay close enough attention to notice that the first three little cakes had a much larger variation in the color than the remaining yarn which I caked later (this variation makes a ton more sense if it was indeed 2 skeins).

If I had caught the difference before starting the sweater it could have been properly handled with planned use of the different cakes. Or the easiest method is to alternate skeins each row. But here I was now with the body haven used virtually all of the first 3 cakes. I had just a tiny bit of the third cake left, now rolled up into a little ball. As I considered my options I also realized that I had knit up three separate swatches all of the mottled yarn.

So I went ahead and unraveled the sleeve to start it over again. My plan is to alternate skeins for a while down the sleeve and eventually transition into the solid yarn. It will still look different but the aim is for the difference to be more subtle.

Fingers crossed.

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