Thursday, 14 June 2012

Bad Bolero

When I started this blog, I mentioned the Bad Bolero from hell.  I am relieved to say that it is no more.  It was quite difficult having to pull it all out - after all, I put a great deal of work into it.  The back knitted easily, as did the sleeves. But the front curve boggled me completely.  I was so puzzled by the pattern that I had to write to Rowan (twice)(the first address must have been wrong or old) and got a very nice reply with VERY precise instructions.  So I was able to finish it off.  I then had to knit the front rib on circular needles.  Having not ventured into the world of circular needles, I decided to knit a Very Very Long rib and then sew it on afterwards.  Except it was too wide.  So I pulled it out and knitted it again.  It rather resembled a narrow scarf.  Bizarre!  I then battled to sew it on, despite my new-found knowledge of mattress stitch.  Well, frankly, it just looked bad!  And when I tried it on, I wanted to cry.  Horrible!  It got stuffed at the back of the Disaster Drawer and stayed there for the next two years....

Since then, I've realised WHY it went wrong:  it was the wrong yarn, for a start - FAR too floppy for the pattern.  Secondly, I'm not a bolero person.  I've always thought they were utterly daft but some people look fab in them.  Not me!  I wouldn't call myself Amazonian, but somehow I look like a bodybuilder in such a teeny weeny cardi!  

It's taken me a while to decide what to knit with the wool:  Debbie Bliss Prima Viscose/Merino in a pale coral no longer available (yes, I bought it on a sale....obviously!)  I rather fancied a lacy top I discovered on the Vogue website.  If you register, you get access to their free patterns, which are rather fantastic, though not necessarily easy knits (aside from the fact that it's all in US knitting language).  But I couldn't manage the lace pattern, so thought I'd use the lace rib I'd successfully knitted before.  I have a scarf in the same Debbie Bliss yarn in a pretty lace rib - brilliant, I thought.  I never wear the scarf.  It's far too scratchy (you'd think bamboo/wool would be soft...) so I'll rip it all out and knit this fab lacy top.

Hah.  Because the Prima was a much finer wool, I had to cast on about a million stitches to get the width and was lost in the rib barely five rows in.  So I studied all the lace stitch patterns I had and found another one.  Needless to say, those ten rows or so I've managed have been utterly abandoned, the needles rattling with bobble stitch markers.  It was going to take me nine hundred years to knit this lace top and frankly, the wool just isn't good enough for lace.  It wasn't going to work, no matter how good a knitter I was.  It was time for simplicity.

And simple it is:  I found a free Debbie Bliss pattern for a very easy vest top.  The tension and needles are identical for the wool required (I can't actually remember what you're supposed to use....will check it out and blog it next time) so I haven't had to do any mad knitting maths.  I'm really bad at working out tension stuff, anyway!  I'm knitting it in k2,p2 rib, which is about as simple as it can get.  I love this rib.  It's so relaxing!  So I am now very happy knitting away on this while watching thousands and thousands of episodes of Springwatch.  My daughter loves it, though after a while, one dead baby bird begins to look rather like another.  All too tragic for me.

Photos of my current knitting plus the pattern I attempted plus the pattern I'm using will come up in the next blog.  In the meantime, here are some pictures of my bolero.  Belly laughs guaranteed.  

Nice colour...shame about the crumples and fold lines....

In fact, shame about the whole thing.  What a disaster!



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