Oh friends, what a frustrating hour I've just spent. To start from the beginning: I had a flash of brilliance yesterday while thinking of how I could start my Etsy store (Etsy.com is a place where people sell their handmade things online). My flash went like this: Pillows!! For all you who have seen my name pillows, you will agree that they are pretty cute.
I don't plan on selling name pillows, though, because that would cater to too small an audience, unless I want to put up custom postings, but I don't want to do that just yet-- I'd rather put up stuff that I have made and are ready to be mailed. Anyway, I started doodling some designs for pillows. Standard stripes, bubbles, hearts, plaid, diagonals, a sun, a rainbow, a star, a smiley face... the possibilities were endless! I was so excited that I rushed right over to A.C. Moore to stock up on lots of different colored yarn. I bought a few small skeins and a pillow form to make a test pillow. I wanted to start with the SUN one, which would be a series of circles within one another, i.e., a yellow circle in the center surrounded by an orange one and all of that on a red background.
I got home, did some calculations for the gauge, and happily cast on. The method I used for changing colors was standard, carry-alongs, that is, when I was knitting with one color, I simply carried the other color yarn along behind the row and knit it into the stitch I was working on so that it would stay snug. This is how I've always done color-changes, like for the name pillows. But it didn't take me long to notice that it looked like crap. If I'm going to be selling these things, they need to be perfect, and this clearly was NOT. The knitting where I had carried yarn behind was all bunched up and scrunchy, it wasn't smooth or professional looking, and it was making the knitting all tight. In short, it looked amateur and bad. I ripped it out. I looked up "knitting with colors" online and read about intarsia knitting, which is a different kind of color knitting all together which I will not explain in detail here-- suffice it to say, it looks a lot better though it is a little more complicated.
It also required a tool I did not have: KNITTING BOBBINS. So I went to A.C. Moore today to buy some. Or try to. They didn't have any. I went to Wal-Mart. They didn't have them either. I went to Michael's. THEY DIDN'T HAVE THEM. I am starting to suspect that these things do not really exist. So I bought at Michael's some clothespins, which one website had recommended as a substitute, and some other stuff that I didn't need (can't walk out of that store without spending money). And now I am going to start this intarsia method. I think this will be a long and frustrating road but I must walk it.