What Would You Do For Love?
I will knit two of Annie Modesitt’s Fiesta Tea Sets out of really crappy cotton yarn. Only because I love my cute little nieces! Trust me. Nothing less powerful than the allure of knitting for adorable little girls could tempt me to even contemplate such a task.
Let me explain. When I decided to make my first tea set for my niece Anna (6 years old) I did not know that I hate knitting with cotton. Specifically, Katia’s Mississippi Three cotton yarn (it’s actually like 50% acrylic and 50% cotton.) At that point I was blissfully ignorant of the pain in my wrists, the screaming wail in my head, and the generally scritchiness of said yarn. I just wanted to make that tea set because, dude, it’s a tea set (I love tea and tea sets) and, she was a having a tea party for her sixth birthday, and finally, DUDE IT’S A KNITTED TEA SET. I mean, seriously, can you get any cooler than that?
So I knit the motherfucking tea set. And it nearly killed me. The cotton yarn. Oh the cotton yarn on my bamboo needles. When on the needles, the yarn makes a sound like nails on a chalk board except it’s cheap cotton/acrylic yarn on bamboo needles. I cringe when I hear it. And then there’s the pattern itself. Don’t get me wrong here. I like the pattern. I think it’s pretty clever, in fact. But it has two things which I now hate with every fiber of my knitting being: I-cord Bind Off and I-Cord Stripe. In particular, I-Cord Stripe. Why do I hate these? Let me count the ways:
1. When you work the I-Cord Bind Off you work each stitch in the row three times. So, if there are 54 stitches in the row you actually work 162 stitches. That’s like an entire fucking sweater, you know?
2. When you work the I-Cord Stripe you work each stitch in the row four times. That’s 216 stitches in that 54 stitch row for those of you keeping track.
3. Each time you work either one of these monsters you end up doing I-Cord all the way around which means that the stitches are all inordinately tight, because you’re pulling the yarn around the back, every three to four stitches, to form the I-Cord.
4. And lastly, when you work the I-Cord Stripe there’s actually a stitch that stays on the needle (as opposed to being bound off or becoming part of the I-Cord.) I could never get that stitch tight, no matter how much I tugged or how I created the stitch. Which meant that, at any given time, one or two of my needles was trying to fall out of my work while I was working the I-Cord Stripe row and when I was working the next row. Which really sucks ass.
So, what would convince me to knit yet another tea set from hell? Nothing less than a request from my sister and my niece, Gwendolyn (2). So I knit another motherfucking tea set. And you can see it above, in all its glory. For those of you who care, the tea set stands up okay on its own once it’s blocked (on the jars) but stands up much better if, once its dry, you spray it with heavy duty starch.