a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity

Ah, baloney!


Abalone: (/ˈæbəln/) — I ate it when I was in China. It’s a delicacy. It… tasted like rubber, quite frankly. But I congratulated myself on being an adventurous eater and kept its beautiful shell as a keepsake. That’s my first story about abalone.

Here’s the second:

I know what you’re saying to yourself: “This doesn’t look like a marine gastropod mollusc!” And you’d be a very astute observer to say so. It’s a sweater.

The pattern for this sweater is called Abalone (by Beata Jezek). I love the idea of this pattern. I love the pictures from the pattern designer. I love the shape of it.

Except it kind of didn’t turn out quite right. I know, I know. It’s the worst when you knit an entire sweater and it isn’t what you hoped it would be. (Especially one that required, at one point, that I pick up over 300 stitches…)

Here’s my list of gripes:
– The math confused my poor (then-pregnant) brain. The designer offers stitch counts for a size small and then requires that you figure out your size based on your measurements combined with percentages of those stitch counts. It’s a free pattern, so I don’t feel like us pattern-readers are owed anything in terms of being spoon-fed the math, but still. This tripped me up more than I think was necessary. Or maybe pregnancy hormones + simple math = epic failure.

– It ended up a fair bit wider (across the back) than I was shooting for.

– Picking up stitches along the diagonal bottom ‘corners’ (where the increases were done) worked fine on one side, but had these strange sort of pock-marked holes every other stitch on the other side. I assume this is due to subtleties with how the increases were done (both were just M1 as opposed to mirrored decreases such as k2tog/ssk), meaning that the ‘holes’ through which the stitches were picked up were a bit different on one side.

– The i-cord bind-off looks great but is really time consuming, and mine ended up too tight, resulting in my curved bottom ‘corners’ rolling in or out instead of laying flat. Extreme blocking helped, but only so much. This kind of ruined the drape, and it was hard to tell that it was too tight while it was on the needles since the work was all bunched up on the circular needle.

– And one that’s entirely my fault: I knit it with undyed 100purewool, which, as lovely and soft as it is for 100% wool, ended up pilling like crazy almost instantly. I don’t think it was quite the right choice for this project. I’m still learning about how to match yarns to projects. And so we’ll call this a “learning experience,” I guess. (And a good impetus to buy a nice wool shaver. I got one for my birthday and I’m like a woman possessed, removing lint. I think I enjoy it a bit too much.)

But forget all those gripes. It wasn’t all that bad! It’s still definitely wearable, and is oh-so warm. Here are some more photos!

Behold curly corners! Ah, baloney.

A wise supervisor/mentor of mine used to say “today was a day for learning” when the day was a bust in all other respects. So this sweater is maybe the same. A project for learning!

5 thoughts on “Ah, baloney!

  1. A project for learning AND looking good in 🙂 Great job Jana.

  2. that is ridiculously impressive and you look more stunning than ever. ❤

  3. I know the feeling of being dissatisfied with a few parts of a project, but from the outside, that sweater looks fantastic! It is a really cool shape, I can see why you would be willing to soldier through the math.

  4. I think it looks lovely! All of the little things that bug you aren’t even noticeable to others. Really. I mean look at these pictures again. That’s a really nice sweater. 🙂

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