Thursday, March 20, 2008

Then one little push, bang goes the door, clang!
Then the wicked witch will be done to a T!

Hi, there. I'm back! Sorry I’ve been out of communication. Whew! Two shows in one day yesterday and insane prep leading up. I’ve got a massive hangover today from the post-show adrenaline crash - and we even didn’t go out and party after the show (the usual opening night m.o.).

Oh, the shows? They went splendidly, thank you! I'm happy to report that both shows were a resounding success and went off with only the usual sort of minor deviations from the plan that are part of every live performance - the ones that only those onstage and backstage know about and adjust accordingly, while the audience is sublimely unaware.

But enough about that. I bring you some knitting news. And some pictures!

Woah... deep breaths. In and out. Nice and slow. Feel better, now? Good. (Sheesh!) I know it's been a while. Give me a break. I had some things going on, you know. Can we proceed, or do you need another minute to collect yourself? Okay.

When I had a spare few minutes off-stage during rehearsals, I was working on a little forensic and reconstructive knitting for a friend. Lynne, aka Dollymop (formerly known as geekzilla) had managed to knit up a gorgeous version of Rogue just past the arms when she decided that she would not be able to live with the little mistake in one of the side cables. Here's how it was supposed to look - the good cable: Unfortunately, the offending curlicue was down in the 12th row of the body, a very long way down the mountain Lynne had just finished climbing up row by row, so when she called out a knitting 911, I offered my services to give this poor little malformed cable a makeover. I am happy to report that sweater surgery is almost done!

The initial deconstruction went smoothly: I put the rest of the body onto some waste yarn, isolated the cable panel and frogged it back down below the glitch. Then I reknit the whole first chart, so it's now about halfway back up to the top. I’m bringing it to SnB tonight. Figure I can keep going up the narrow cable part, or pass it on to her and let her finish it herself to share in the satisfaction of hands-on participation in the recovery.

Often, when performing this delicate cosmetic procedure, the undoing lets slack creep in and the other parts start to sag progressively more and more away from the section being reworked. It's a slippery slope. Each row above the bottom of the frogged part can add a little more slack, so if you've ripped back down a long way and you reknit it, by the time you reach the top there's a lot more yarn there and the result looks much looser than the rest of the garment. You have to give it all a mini-stretch to equalize the yarn distribution into the safe sections after every two or three rows when knitting back up. You can also tweak the stitches around the reworked part with a crochet hook to make it all look smooth and seamless. That’s really the part that can be been the biggest pain in the @$$ when doing this kind of sweater surgery.

And the great news is that there was very little slippage from the unravelling! The yarn she's using is just slightly felty when you knit it up, effectively velcro-ing itself in place, which made the frogging procedure a bit delicate, as I had to gently unpick some of the stitches from the row below, especially at the edges of the cable panel. But it kept the rest of the garment from spreading away from the frogged section. As long as I work the cable panel back up just a little loosely, I'm not introducing much slack into the reworked section, and it's going smoothly and quickly.

BTW - the yarn is Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair and it's fabulous! I have to get me some of this stuff as soon as I’m off my yarn diet. I’ve been reading about it on Knitter’s Review and it’s brilliant! It'll have me drooling over it all summer, waiting to whip some up into some delicious fall/winter woolly goodness!


Carol said...

A talented singer and nimble fingered surgeon. pretty cool!

MezzoDiva said...

Well, my Mother wanted me to become a Doctor...

Toni said...

Yay! Glad the shows and the surgery turned out well!

Lisa L said...

Way to go! Glad to hear the performances went well and you're doing some awesome fixes! I don't think I would be that brave!

Dollymop said...

So slack arsed on commenting.

Thanks for the help babes! I am still not quite ready to get back together with the sweater, but soon.

The yarn does rock my world. :)