So, enough about those sweaters. Let's talk about MY sweater. During the opening ceremonies, I was able to knit part of the back and enough of each front to pick up the sleeve stitches first thing Saturday morning.
We spent Saturday morning at ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) Solo & Ensemble. Tori was performing with a flute ensemble and a solo. Her two performance times were about an hour and a half apart. Needless to say, I brought my sweater. But, before we get to that, allow me to brag on Tori for a moment. While she had the experience of performing with an ensemble last year, she had never gone to S&E with a solo before. For her first solo, she performed at Division I level, which is the most difficult. She got gold!!! Which means she will go to State Solo & Ensemble in March. I'm so proud of her!!!!
In the interest of giving equal time to my kids, I would also like to share that last Saturday, Aaron competed at S&E and earned gold for his Division V piano solo. He's been taking piano lessons for less than a year, so that's why the Division V. BUT, we're equally proud of him even though Division V golds don't get to go to state.
So, what's a knitter to do? We don't want our projects to look like this when we change skeins:
Briar Rose Wistful, which I love so much there aren't even words.) This drastic line could have been avoided if I'd just taken a few extra precautions.
I know you've heard it before. When knitting with hand painted yarns, alternate between skeins to even out any color differences.
What does that really mean? It does NOT mean choosing two skeins and alternating every two rows between them until you have used them up and then switching to two more skeins. It means alternating between all of your skeins more or less equally. If you are using something that is feltable, you can spit splice every time you join a new skein to avoid an abundance of ends. However, if you are using a machine-washable yarn, this probably means you will have a lot of ends to weave in. It's a small price to pay for a finished garment that looks amazing. Here's how I'm doing it: I use two skeins to work 6 or 8 rows, alternating between them every two rows. Then I switch out at least one of the skeins, but sometimes both. I also make sure the skeins I'm alternating between are significantly different. Like I'd use a more green skein with a more red skein. This also helps avoid any pooling of colors that can sometimes happen with hand painted yarns.
The only real drawback I can think of with this method (other than the potential of many more ends to weave in) is making sure you reserve enough yarn for sleeves and front bands/collars. With a garment using industrially dyed yarn that is all the same dye lot, it's easy to set aside three skeins for the sleeves and not touch them until you are ready to do the sleeves. But, with this method, you want a little bit of each skein in all parts of the sweater. I'm planning to work around that by knitting the sleeves once the body is about 2-3" beyond the underarm. Remember, I'm knitting this sweater top-down, so I'll pick up the sleeve stitches and knit both sleeves before completing the body. Then, I'll just have to make sure I have enough yarn for the bands of ribbing around the fronts and neckline. We'll save that math for another day, though.