In our last exciting episode of Brooklyn, we had #1 son objecting to the washing of the completed pieces.
I traveled around the blogs looking at other people’s experiences with washing denim knitting, and found lots of things saying “You have to wash it before sewing it up. Don’t believe people who say it doesn’t matter.” I found things like this unbelievable swatch-off. I am always enormously impressed by this kind of behavior. Natalie also does things like this — swatching and washing the swatches. I do little swatches and immediately frog them so I can use the yarn.
But even leaving aside #1 son’s concerns about the color getting wimpy, I was concerned about the white stripes. The beauty of those white cables flashing up the sleeves is the main thing I like about this sweater.
Accordingly, I took bits of unused yarn and held them in water in the kitchen sink to see whether they bled. Having been somewhat reassured by this completely thorough and scientific check for colorfastness, but not without a little trepidation, I flung the pieces into the washer before I could talk myself out of it.
Now, I finished the knitting on this thing during a pleasant family Sunday afternoon, with accompaniments of homework, my husband’s work news (boys and girls, do we believe in the existence of something called a “mendrew”?), the Spiderman Ultimate video game, and some fancy cooking.
You see, I am supposed to be strict about saturated fats and simple carbohydrates, and lavish with the vegetables, but things have fallen down a bit chez fibermom. It started with the chaos of Back to School, and then it just sort of became habitual. We haven’t gotten down to cheeseburgers and doughnuts or anything, but there has been a shortage of hot vegetables. There have been some homemade snickerdoodles. A pizza was delivered one day.
(My husband ate a bag of pork cracklings for his afternoon snack on Sunday. He has perfect cholesterol numbers. He also smokes, drinks beer, and never exercises. Feel free to spend a moment hating him.)
So I am returning to strictness. And Sunday night I made a farewell to luxurious foods. Lasagne, with both spinach cheese sauce and roasted pepper meat sauce. Hot bread with butter. Caesar salad. Crisp chocolate wafer cookies (homemade, of course, with 70% cocoa dark chocolate produced without the use of child labor). It was very good.
On Monday morning, after a breakfast involving spinach and yogurt, I went ahead and did the washing. The cables emerged unsullied.
Last night, following a dinner composed largely of vegetables, I started sewing it all together. And thinking about picking up the stitches for the collar — which had not been washed. Of course. Since it doesn’t exist yet.
Lulled into a lack of watchfulness by butter and sugar, and then distracted by the return to fibrous plant foods, I failed to consider the collar.
I checked the pattern and found that I was supposed to sew the raglan sleeves and do the collar, and then wash it.
I got three of the raglan seams sewn up and draped it around #1 son. He and my husband began critiquing it. “There are spaces between the stitches.” “It’s too short.” Things like that. And, yeah, if you stretch the ribbing out, you can see light between the stitches. I would not have considered that a flaw. If it’s too short, though, that’s how it’s designed. It is true that the sleeves are longer than the body, but I have noticed that modern sweaters are like that. That’s how the picture is. And #2 daughter has already said that she wants the jacket if #1 son won’t wear it after it’s finished. So — since the criticisms were not things I could fix — I was just sort of rising above them.
When I went to sew the last seam, though, I discovered an actual error. It appears that I bound off two stitches on the wrong side of the right front. So I will now have to frog a couple of inches of this already-washed bit and knit it back up — hoping that I will not have to use any new, unwashed yarn.
Then, assuming that I can correct this error and get it sewn up, I will do the collar with unwashed yarn. And then what? Wash it again and see what happens? Never wash it again? Wash the yarn before making the collar (perhaps by knitting it all up into a rectangle, washing it, and then raveling it all and rewinding it?)?
Oh, yes. After all that — and I had given up and put Brooklyn away in order to regain pespective before frogging — the boys put a Schwan’s pizza in the oven and I joined them in eating it, while talking to #1 daughter on the phone. My lipids will not thank me, but I enjoyed it. She has an Italian cyber-friend who has joined the great Richard Dawkins read-in, and I will have to tell you about his contributions to the discussion sometime.