This is an abject study in gauge and reading directions correctly.

Once upon a time, I was but a wee knittering, skilled in the ways of mittens, hats and scarves, but yearning for something big and amazing.

Enter the Heathery Duo skirt from the Fall 2004 Interweave Knits. It was true love at first sight. I live in Wisconsin; it gets cold. Skirts aren't for winter, but this skirt? This skirt was wintery, cold-proof. This skirt would allow me to buy knee-high suede boots and not look like an Eskimo.

But the yarn! Seven skeins of Cascade 220 at $8/skein? No way, man! How was I going to get those boots? So I found Cottage Craft, which was much cheaper and Canadian, so I'd be stimulating the international economy. Plus the Canadian dollar hadn't reached parity with the American dollar way back in 2004, so the conversion rate was in my favor.

Of course, since I was substituting yarn, I'd have to swatch very carefully for this. So I whipped out the size 9 needles, and . . . got gauge. I neglected, however, to wash or block the swatch or to do any of the things I'd do today to torment a swatch into behaving. Or to make a swatch larger than 3"x3". Or to read the pattern carefully, really.

I cast on and knit on the skirt sporadically for two years. I made mistakes; I ripped them out. This was a milestone project for me -- I was reading from charts, I was knitting lace, I was knitting something with more square area than my bed, possibly my bedroom. Even though I knit at the speed of snail, I was psyched. This was going to be the most beautiful skirt in the history of man. Queen Elizabeth? Psst. Queen Fug.

A year ago, I finished the first panel of the skirt and I was triumphant. One down, one to go. At this rate, I'd be done in 2010, but I didn't care. I figured I'd better measure it, just in case. So I did. And it was terible.

Read more... )
Current Music: Games You Play -- Splashdown