Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Cromarty (3 years' worth?!?!)

Once upon a time, in late 2006, I saw an icy blue sweater in Alice Starmore's Celtic collection book, and decided it was time.
"...the icy blue colour and textured surface reflect the stone material. I used a unit of knotwork from the Nigg stone...[and] numerous Pictish stones in Eastern Scotland."
Delicious, yes? Although the yarn was discontinued, I had 4 balls of light blue Rowan of a similar weight.
Commence the search for more balls of yarn: The pattern called for 15. Following online advice and some magic and prayer, I found 16 more in the same dye lot, equaling 20 balls to the required 15.
Commence gauge swatches: Swatches, plural. Apparently I made 4. Got close enough to stitch gauge and nowhere near row gauge. Which leads me to:
What the hell does "Starmore's Bulletproof Gauge" actually mean?!?!? Does it mean that what she says is so perfect that it is un-arguable? OR does it mean her gauge is so tight that it will stop a speeding bullet?
Anyway. 22 rows from the cast on and some quick math led me to the conclusion that I did not have enough yarn. Commence a TWO YEAR time out!

A couple of years and a few sweaters later and a whim to at least finish the front, and re-work the math from there. I also cut out the 4th repeat of the cables, since it's a cropped length sweater anyway. Figuring the sleeves would take less than 1/4 of the yarn, and the math worked out!
The rest of the sweater flew pretty fast after that (with other projects in between, of course). Mirrored the shorter front and back, and made the sleeves shorter as well. Only other altercation was neckline strips in the round: I figured they would be less apt to roll and stretch, as the neckline was pretty stretched to begin with. They still roll, and look pretty thick.
Overall: The sweater is boxy and unflattering. It is also heavy (about 2 lbs) and warm. But: I am really proud of myself for completing this! I am proud that it is a Starmore, proud that it is an all-over cabled Aran, and proud that (after a long time out and dubious yarn supply) I finished it anyway.
So what is next?