loosening up

As a bit of a slowcoach knitter (i.e. not one who knits slowly, but one who has a tendency to put projects down and leave them for years at a time), I keep finding myself confronted with the fact of how much my tension has loosened up over the past years. This is what happened with the four-year-long Lascala scarf (as I explained here), and I am currently facing the same issue with my pink tweed shawl-collared sweater [edited in 2015 to remove link as jumper now defunct]. I’ve been going through a few months of trying to finish up old projects (with varying degrees of success, and several new projects started in between), and this delightful pink garment is one of those on the finishing list. Last week I seamed the shoulders, and I’ve been attempting to prepare myself mentally for the new challenge of top-down, seamless sleeves, but rather than rush into things (haha) I decided to take it easy and knit the collar first of all. So last night I picked up the jumper and my big box of needles, only to find that I couldn’t work out what size needles I had used to knit the rest of the jumper with. The pattern says 4.5 and 5mm needles; my project page on Ravelry says 4.5mm needles; and my pencil notes on the pattern say 3.5 and 4mm needles. So… it’s anybody’s guess. Challenged with this kind of problem on a Friday night, whilst trying to multi-task and re-watch Twin Peaks, I can tell you  Twin Peaks won.

Once I had recovered from the shock (again) of seeing Dale Cooper get shot in the stomach at close range by an unknown assailant (eek!), I was able to concentrate on knitting again. Phew. So I ended up knitting this swatch as a means of becoming reacquainted with my jumper. The three sections are knitted on 4.5, 4 and 3.75mm needles. Even on 4mm needles, although the resting knitting swatch looks very similar to the existing jumper, it’s massively more stretchy. The jumper is quite snugly done, not in an inflexible way, but just quite differently to how I knit now. The 3.75mm needles probably produced the closest match, but I am nervous about knitting thickish wool on smallish needles. But then I don’t want this jumper’s collar to end up being of elephantine proportions in relation to the rest of it, with little old me poking my head out of the top… Ohh the trials and tribulations of being such an unreliable slowcoach! This must be a lesson not to take such long breaks between knits.