27 August 2008

Measures of Progress

The problem with Rebecca Doll #12 is: sea of stockinette.

Something I have learned about myself in my thirtysome years of knitting is that stockinette bores me. Since Doll # 12 is nothing but stockinette in the round, it's pretty damned dull.

This is especially the case with the arms (which I am just now finally finishing) because they are unshaped tubes of stockinette. 7 farking inches of unshaped knit-knit-knitting.

I have always said I'm a process knitter but even I have my limits.

Well, the second arm is finally done. Then I get to knit the legs. Which are, for the most part, tubes of stockinette. There is some calf shaping and then there are the feet which are not flippers like the hands, so I am hoping that will keep me entertained.

When I get to the clothes I am probably going to adapt the patterns to use moss stitch or mistake rib or something -- anything -- other than stockinette.

Here is Doll #12, as she was right before I Kitchenered off that last hand. Yarn is Caron Simply Soft in 'pink' which is (1) the closest match to the correct colour of my character's skin I could find and (2) cheap and abundant, because, people, I am knitting a doll based on my World of Warcraft character. This is not a project for rare and expensive yarns.

Doll in Progress

Now, the pure boring of unshaped stockinette should have made it a good choice for sitting for hours in the waiting room of a Mr Tire, but the 'done but for Kitchener part" throws that off. Mostly because Kitchener is not something I want to do in public, with people watching and possibly with small children within earshot, even when using the very helpful Kitchener technique variation from TECHknitting. Have I mentioned I love TECHknitting? No? Then let me mention it. Love that site. Love it much.

Instead of risking looking foolish or blistering the ears of the other inmates of the waiting room, instead I took to Mr Tire my supersized version of Bliss, which is mistake-rib entrelac and therefore not boring.

The thing about entrelac is that it forces you to revise your definitions of progress. 'I knit so many rows' or 'so many inches' becomes sort of meaningless when it's tiers of triangles and rectangles you're knitting. Lots of turning. Lots of picking up stitches.

It's very cool to do, to see these apparently woven strips appear with only your fingers and needles (and the occasional use of the crochet hook for picking up stitches along the side of a triangle or rectangle). But it's slow, and traditional measures of progress do not necessarily apply. This is 4 hours of waiting room work, here. Does it look like a lot? I can't decide.

What I did last Saturday morning

Bliss the Large is being done in Bernat Softee Chunky Twists, which is, yes, cheapo acrylic, just like the Caron I'm using for the doll. Bliss the Large is going to be for my computer chair. Cats will sit on it. The dog will pull it off onto the floor and sleep (and drool) on it. It will need to be washed often. Again, not a project for rare and delicate yarns.

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