07 October 2011

A green gown on the last

Most knitters, when they talk about stashbusting, mean finding projects for yarn they bought without a project in mind.

I try not to do that. I mean, I will pick up a skein of yarn here or there with no particular project in mind, but I try not to buy large quantities of yarn without having an idea of what I'm going to do with it. It occasionally happens that I change my mind about the project for a particular lot of yarn before I actually knit it, but mostly, I don't buy yarn without at least an idea. I don't have a lot of stash to bust.

However, when my grandmother died a few years ago, I found myself in the peculiar position of inheriting stashed yarn. Whether or not she had a plan when she bought it I don't know, but she never knit it. It became my job to try to find projects for it.

So here's a start on that:

Extreme Stashbusting:  Grandmaternal Edition

Pattern: short DROPS jacket with short sleeves. Two modifications so far -- I cast on 100 stitches so I'd have a longer jacket, and I'm using the wrap-and-turn method for the short rows instead of the method described in the pattern.  When I get to the buttonhole row, I'll try it on and make decisions about where to place the buttons.

Yarn: No idea, really. Grandmaman had wound it into balls but the bands are long lost, so I know only that it's green, worsted weight, and wool.

Size 8 / 5mm needles (I'm using circulars because the length of the jacket, but you could use straights).

The pattern is dead easy -- if you have basic knitting skills but have been intimidated by the idea of knitting a cardigan, this would be a good first pattern. There is no increasing or decreasing, and there are no seams. It's seamless garter stitch with short rows, so really, if you can cast on and cast off, you can knit this. Because it's knit sideways, it's also easy to adjust the sizing, or make it longer. As written, the jacket ends at about the waist, which is not especially flattering on short (and short-waisted) people like me. Actually it may not be very flattering on anyone, but I leave that for other people to decide for themselves.

I'm just slightly less than halfway through the knitting. I haven't had a great deal of time to knit of late but it's going quickly. My hope is that with the long weekend coming up I'll have some good knitting time and get closer to finished if not completely done.

William Morris

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