Is There A Knitting Superhero(ine)?

Sunday, June 26, 2011 By Rick Levine

Virgo (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You may feel as if you’re under a lot of stress today, but your desire to do the right thing can turn a difficult day into a memorable one. Don’t worry about how to get others to support your agenda. Instead, simply do the very best job you can, even if you must do it alone.

Ultimately, your performance will exceed everyone else’s expectations of what you should do.

Well, all I can say is I hope so.

I’ve been wrestling with a project I’m not in love with.  I really liked my original concept and my sketch, but was asked to work it up in a different yarn and after looking at the colors online, I agreed.

But I was very foolish.  The new yarn is a fingering weight, I’d swatched in a worsted/aran weight, and the difference in knitting up this size 40 (with MUCH ease) man’s sweater works out to be about 3-4 times as much.  This project is a bear.

Because the yarn is so much thinner, I had to reconfigure the design (thinner yarn calls for a more delicate, compact repeat) and I’ve never been entirely happy with my new compromise.

And because I had to design this on the fly (working off of charts and my number grid) I couldn’t really pass this on to a knitter.  I just didn’t know how it was going to turn out because I didn’t know how the yarn was going to look.

Add to that the fact the yarn arrived 3 weeks late and I’m in hot water.  The magazine, which I LOVE, was kind enough to give me an extension.  Unfortunately the extension coincided with my marathon teaching trip so my knitting time each day was so sadly curtailed that I might as well not have had the extra time.

I figured I’d get home, barrel down, and fight through the sweater to the end.  I only had the sleeve tops and yoke to do, that couldn’t take THAT much time, right?

My hubris always surprises me.  It shouldn’t, but then again, isn’t that hubris’ long suit?  To pop up just when a bit of modesty would work better?

The deadline to put this baby in the international mail came and went on Friday, and I was as low as I could get.  Knitting all day yesterday got me halfway through the yoke, I hope to finish today and send it off tomorrow.

The shame of it is that the yarn I’m using is quite nice, rather exciting, (it’s a long-space dyed yarn – beautifully done) but the colors chosen for two of the balls are SO similar that as the changes occur in each ball sometimes I end up with the incredibly similar colors in the colorwork.

THAT just doesn’t look right.  SO I have to pull yards and yards of one of the balls until I come to a contrasting section.  This is the kind of thing designers HATE because writing this up in a pattern (“if you find you’re yarns are too similar in color, pull ____ yds from ball A until a contrasting section arrives”) makes the knitters absolutely CRAZY.

And it should.  It would make ME crazy if I were knitting this from the magazine.

So the knitter may say, with all logic, “Geeze that Annie Modesitt’s an idiot to have me use these two balls of yarn that have colors SO similar in a COLORWORK sweater!  Sheesh!”

Coming at the end of my Month O’ Projects (9, count ’em, NINE finished in May) and my two-plus weeks of driving and teaching, this is especially rough.

I knit through most of the Green Lantern (the family went to a drive-in last night to see GL and Super-8) and made progress, good progress if I were look at this thing with unclouded eyes.

But every stitch feels like failure because I’ve missed the deadline.

Today I will go hide on the porch at St. Kates and knit until I finish this thing.  My fingers are covered in band aids from my size 4 pointy needles, I just want to cry. 

But super hero(ines) don’t cry, because when the fat ones do they just look ridiculous.

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3 thoughts on “Is There A Knitting Superhero(ine)?

  1. Sandi Rosner

    I designed a project using two balls of the same colorway of a long color-change yarn. Here is the note that went at the front of the pattern –

    For best results, take charge of your colors! While the subtle interplay of light and dark is part of the magic of this design, you don’t want your colors to match up for more than about a row. If you find your A and B yarns are too close in color and you are losing contrast between the parts of the pattern, wind off some yarn from one of the balls until you get to the beginning of the next color.

    The project has been ridiculously popular, with no resistance to manipulating the colors.

    Hope your fingers are flying like the wind today, and the sweater will be ready to mail on Monday.

  2. mary~

    Hey Annie:)
    you are in my prayers, extra ones for more energy …
    ( an oldie from Knitting about com’s knit chat) 🙂

  3. Laurie


    Really hope this enormous project is behind you successfully now. It seems very strange to me that They asked you to substitute a fingering weight for a worsted weight. I mean, they were interested in your concept, right? Surely they could grasp what such a change in yarn would mean.

    But I really wrote to say that there really is a knitting super-heroine being published right now. Supergirl, from DC Comics, has been shown to be an avid knitter, and even makes trips to Yarn Barn while out super-ing around. At least until September, at which time DC is revamping most all of their characters–from hints I’ve seen, this crafty element of Supergirl won’t be continued. *sigh*

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