Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rogue pantaloons

Knit baby pants |  Rogue Pantaloons on afeathery*nest  |
These knit baby pants weren't exactly a labor of love.

And since hate is a strong word to use, I'll say this: I intensely despised every stitch I knit of them and I came very, very close multiple times to ripping it all apart (and I had ample chance to, since I made so many mistakes I had to keep undoing large sections).

After I had finished everything but one leg from the inseam down, I was completely prepared to pull each stitch out and save my yarn for something else, but for some reason I kept at it and forced myself to finish, despite everything I'd learned from Economics 101 and sunk costs.

Why was this such a disaster from beginning to end? The problems were three-fold:

(1) I couldn't find a single pattern that incorporated all three design aspects I wanted, namely: something knit top-down, in the round (so I wouldn't have to seam up the sides at the end), and that incorporated short rows (a technique that allows you to selectively knit certain portions of a garment to create a 3-D "pocket", like one you'd need for a women's top to accommodate her bust, or socks to fit around the heel of a foot, or, in my case, a little extra room in the tush to allow for cloth diapers).

(2) Since I couldn't find a pattern that encompassed all three, I decided to combine parts of multiple patterns to craft my own, which wasn't too bright since I have only ever knit pants once before (see further down).

And (3), the final "pattern" ended up violating some of my own self-set rules, like not knitting straight stockinette (Rule #2), as well as violating what are now two new ones:

I shall not knit larger projects on small needles. Baby pants are considered large in this case, especially when knit on size US 3 (3.25 mm circumference) needles.

RULE #5:
I shall not do Magic Loop projects on small needles, especially if using low-ply yarn (in this case, 4-ply fingering weight yarn, which translates into one of the finest categories of yarn and is characterized by only having 4 strands of fiber).

Magic Loop is a technique that means you don't necessarily need to have multiple sets of the same size of double-pointed needles, but in varying lengths, or, multiple versions of circular needles in the same size circumference, but with different lengths of connecting cables. You can just have the one set of circular needles with the longest cable and then manipulate the cable to be shorter should you be working on a smaller project.

It's an extremely efficient and effective technique—it's also highly annoying when working with finicky thread and smaller pieces, as it seems that every other stitch you have to re-adjust the cable.

Knit baby pants |  Rogue Pantaloons on afeathery*nest  |
If it hadn't been for these charcoal pants—my first attempt knit a few days earlier (which came out well, were finished in a day, and knit from one of the four skeins R picked out at Wincent)—that I'd completed between the sweater that annoyed me and these cream and heather gray pants that really annoyed me, I might have been forced to take a break from knitting for a good long while.

But now that these are done I'm ready for something completely different. Something not baby-related, not knit in-the-round, and NOT knit with super fine yarn.

P.S. Projects notes are on Ravelry—Rogue Pantaloons + Baby Bumpers

One year ago: 
Across an ocean (Happy 1st birthday!)

Two years ago: 
It all melts away (Happy birth day!)

Three years ago: 
Wistfulness & Latte pappas (just a few weeks until we have one in the family!)

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