I thought that was a wonderful description of our search and I think of it often, when everything seems like a struggle and I'm forever slamming against metaphorical rocks.
I finished the sweater I knit for the Spin to Knit class, just in time for those howling winds and 30C heat. I spent Monday weaving in what seems like a million and four ends (there was a lot of yarn blending going on in this garment, despite what those stripes may say otherwise). I washed the sweater on the Knit cycle in my washing machine, then let the garment dry on my blocking table. I don't usually pin out sweaters, but I did a bit of pinning here and there, just to even things up. Here she is in her present incarnation:
People from the Spin to Knit class may notice a few changes. I reknit the collar and bottom hem in different yarn, with a shallow tubular ribbed edging. I left the stripy sleeve as it, as a reminder of what happens when you freeform things.
I mentioned in class that the sweater would grow a size when I washed it in my machine. This seems a curious thing, especially when the yarn is a softly spun Blue-faced Leicester, but the combination of my spinning techniques and the fact that I'm a loose knitter makes my garments relax when I finish them, so I plan for this in the knitting. Your results may vary, so I don't recommend taking my word for this with your own knitting, but here are the before and after measurements for this sweater:
- Body Circumference Before Washing 32 inches; After Washing 34 inches
- Body Length From Back Neck Before Washing 19.5 inches; After Washing 22 inches
- Sleeve Length From Underarm 16 inches; After Washing 17 inches
The plan,such as it was, was to knit a simple, cozy pullover to ease the summer evening chill. I think this sweater will do that. The yarn was spun with no plan in mind, so it's a bit soft for durability. I expect the sweater to pill. The sleeves are a bit too long, which is better than too short, so I think I'll leave them as is. The body length is good, but the shallow hem may flip up when I wear the sweater. If it does, I'll cut it off and reknit the bottom edge.
So there you have it--my Spin to Knit project, a warm, useful sweater which will win no prizes or draw much attention. It makes me happy. What more can I ask for from a simple project?