Oy, Marilyn! Fighting the Stripey Stockinette Syndrome

I wanted to finish a sweater fast! I mean two to three days fast, and it just isn’t happening. I thought I could do this with Debbie Bliss’ Simply Marylin, but alas it’s not going to happen… fast, I mean. You may remember that my idea for this sweater began in my quest for an orangy red pullover.

After I cast on and started knitting this sweater on the recommended size 10 needles, I discovered that the fabric was just too dense and tight. So I ripped out about 10 inches of work and started again on size 11’s. The knitted fabric was much nicer, flexible and soft. However, I began to notice the striping in the stockinette. I have this inferiority complex when it comes to my gauge, it it straight enough, is it perfect enough. G-dmit! I just want to finish knitting this boring sweater.

In my quest for perfect stockinette, I searched the internet for tips and tricks. I found a great resource: TECHKnitting on Gauge/Stockinette
The four tips on this page were quite helpful!

Tip 1 – Knit in the round or never purl. I love knitting in the round. But if you are knitting a cardigan, you’ll most likely have to steek. While steeking is on my list of things to learn this year, I’m not ready to waste $40-$80’s worth of yarn on a very big boo boo.

Tip 2 – Adjust the tension in your hands between purl and knit rows. I actually did this, knitting slightly tighter on the purl size, and it helped a great deal.

Tip 3 – Use different sized needles. I tried this on the Marilyn sweater, and discovered that like the detective Monk, I have issues with asymmetry. Using the different needles really bothered me to no end. Maybe because I was using two different kinds of pairs, one plastic and one birch, perhaps if the needles were of the same type, I could have handled this better.

Tip 4 – Use yarns that hide the flaws. I think this has been my standard way of dealing with the stripey stockinette problem

I think I took a lot of comfort in reading Elizabeth Zimmerman’s reassurance in Knitting without Tears. She made the point that every stitch and every row doesn’t have to be perfect, after all you don’t want your knitting to look like it was done by a machine.

On another note, I’ve discovered that I like using the Gianna yarn for knitting project such as these. I wasn’t impressed when I took the yarn out the of the package, and I held it in my hand. It seemed like shabby thick rug or craft yarn to me, but I discovered that with the right gauge/needles this yarn knits up into a nice rustic looking fabric. It’s too bad that it doesn’t come in more muted colors.

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Filed under Knit, Knitting, Pattern Links, Project, Reflection, Stockinette, Sweater, Techniques, Yarn

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