Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The saga of couch

Last night I bought some yarn and knitted swatches. I'm trying to decide on a color for my couch.

I know, I know. Years ago a very dear family to me gave me a really spectacular, comfy couch. It's down-filled, hardwood, extra super gigantic, silk damask. (Their three-year old at the time helpfully drew all over it with markers, but that's mostly hide-able.) The problem You can't actually clean it - the color runs. By the time I figured this out I'd made a nice brown stain on one armrest. Eek.

So I have an interior designer friend who's helping me through the process of getting a custom slipcover made for it. The couch will last for years and years, so it's a good investment. I want something machine-washable so I can get the cat off it when needed. She and I are going to Sir Fabrics this weekend - discount shopping, really - and I want to have some ideas.

So somehow in all these months of searching for colors I've managed to pick about seven that are all the same color. Different shades, but all the same nutmeg-y, caramel-y tone. A week or so ago I found some old fabric samples I'd picked up years ago - a light nutmeg twill and a dark nutmeg chenille with red pattern. (Those colors are very "me".) A few days ago I got to really looking at some GGH Safari at the yarn shop and decided it might be worth a shot to try to match it. And last night when I went in to buy it, a ball of Zara just jumped into my hands.

So I spent last night knitting swatches, and miracle of miracles, I actually liked it. I loved seeing the color it was becoming and how it looks totally different flat than on the ball. I love how the GGH thinks it's suede. I love the hand and the drape of the Zara, and depending on the colors I find it's a candidate for Jemima.

I knitted two enormous swatches in the round and I'm just going to cut them to lie flat. I know - it's sacrilege - but I really did not want to purl back all those rows. I'll stitch the sides down first.

Remember the baby cardi, the one with the pattern error that I emailed the designer about? She still hasn't addressed it. I have to admit that's taken some of my enthusiasm for knitting it. But I'm nearly finished, so I'm going to finish it. The problem is - as Sheila can attest after seeing it last night and saying "Wow" over and over again - the sleeves are picked up and knitted in the round after the body (knitted flat) is done. And my gauge is startlingly, strikingly, mind-bogglingly different in the round with this yarn. Like two needle sizes (Sheila thought at least). (So I also bought a #8 Addi Natura last night.)

This really could not be more timely. I'm reading the Harlot's chapter on gauge and she says "tension is often very different in the round than knitted flat." (Or something.) I didn't know this, so I had a gauge accident. And what's most timely of all is that Madame Yarn Harlot herself is going to be doing a booksigning in Nashville tomorrow night, and I'm going to be there (I may just take my sweater in to show her).

So the sleeve will be riiiiipped and reknit on a #8, I'll keep knitting those couch swatches (that has to be proof that I'm at least down a few bricks from the proverbial load), I'll try not to embarrass myself in front of knitting greatness, and eventually I'll get that slipcover made.

(Yeah, it's Wednesday, but foggy and damp and cold and it feels like Monday.)


Blogger Chris said...

Wait, are you KNITTING the slipcover?? Or just making swatches for pillows or something?

Bummer about the designer not getting back to you. That's happened to me before. Grrr.

Oh, have fun in Nashville!!

4:35 PM  
Blogger Peevish said...

I can't swatch. There must be a self help group for people like me somewhere!

5:23 PM  

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