Thursday, May 29, 2008

Shaker & misc...

Just a quick update: Shaker is ALMOST done. The sleeve caps are re-knit (turns out I only had to eliminate 2 rows, which I did. But I could have fudged it. Grf. Oh well, I can always claim to be a perfectionist. I'm not one, but I can claim to be one now!) and the shoulder seams are sewn (which I ended up doing twice because I didn't like the way it came out the first time. I'd never done back-stitch on knitting before.) (Are my excessively long parentheticals bugging you yet?) I knit the button band about 4 times. I kept ripping it out. Turns out the first way I did it was the most pleasing and so I did it that way again. (rolleyes). Now the left button band is knit and mattress-stitched on and the 2nd button band with the buttonholes is about 2/3 of the way finished now. Then it's do the neck band and sew the sleeves in and sew on the buttons.

I'm planning to wear it when I go to Portland 6/19. I think I will make it! I even am going to make it with the original yarn I had. I bought 2 more skeins on eBay (different dye lot, but they're pretty close,) 'cause I was getting afraid. But so far I've only used one of the new skeins for seaming (why waste the original yarn?) and it is now clear that I will finish with what I have left. Which is NOT much, I tell ya!

I chose buttons from my "recycled button" stash. I am pleased with them. Can you tell I'm excited to have this finished?

No progress on the Melon Shawl other than the weaving in of the ends. Still need to dye it.

No pictures this post. Next time I promise!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Shaker, and other wips

I am still plugging away on my Shaker from Rowan 25. I've knit the back and one sleeve complete. The other sleeve is knit up to the beginning of the armhole shaping. The left front is knit up to the neckline shaping and the right front is almost to that point as well.

Then, I need to figure out how to re-do the shoulder shaping or the armscythe is going to be too big and I will not like the cardigan. I think the width is actually okay, as I don't want it to have to stretch at all to fit me.

I am going to have to master the math. I can do this. I can. I think. Eep.

Meanwhile, I also have a few other wips to talk about.

Shawl with Melon Pattern from Victorian Lace Today: This is finished. I have a few ends to weave in yet, but otherwise it is waiting to be dyed. I have knit 3 swatches and I ordered "purple" and "burgundy" jacquard dyes from KnitPicks. I got a large pot from the thrift store that I can use for dying and now I just need to dye my test swatches and see which color I want to use for the finished shawl.

Zaftig from All the knitting & crocheteting around the edges is finished. The holdup here is that the pattern requires 2" wide elastic. It's really hard to find 2" wide elastic, and the elastic that you DO find is heavy, thick elastic designed for use in waistbands and NOT for use under delicate breast tissue. Ouch. I did buy some, but the thought of it made me cringe.

Finally, I went to Stone Mountain and Daughter and couldn't find any there either. But I did find some lovely, delicate black mesh 1" elastic that I was pleased with. So I bought double the amount and have been stitching the two pieces together to make the 2" wide I need. Now that's finished and I just need to sew it in place on the brassiere. I keep looking for pretty ribbon I like as well - I like how that's done on the pattern. But I can't find a nice narrow ribbon that looks good with the purple yarn I chose. But that's just window dressing. (Headlight dressing?)

I have been very naughty and bought myself a giftie. I have an earring weakness, and when these flashed by me on Ravelry I clicked on them and had to buy them. I wore them today and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Aren't they great?? There are a couple of pairs left, check Sassafracreations out!!

I also have been a little naughty stash-enhancement wise, I found this really ugly sleeveless XXL full length dress at the thrift. Hand knit, clearly (the knitter even threw a couple cables down the front and knotted all her yarn joins.) And it's in a heavy worsted weight itchy wool yarn. What was she thinking? It looked to have never been worn. And it never will be now. 'Cause now it's all frogged and washed and dried and ready to be wound into lovely little balls of fabulously tweedy yarn. What do you think? Felted bag? Slippers? Both?

Well, time for me to toddle off to bed. I have a lot of work to do tomorrow replacing a bathroom sink and caulking a bunch of bathroom tile. And it's been BLOODY HOT here. I do not handle heat well, and all I want to do is lie on the bed with an ice pack on my forehead and the fan going full blast. But, no dice. Gotta work! Have a great weekend, all.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

First, the good!! Recognize that amazing gal in the middle?

We went to the Maker Faire on Saturday. We went last year and LOVED it and we had always planned to attend this year as well. Come to find out that the Yarn Harlot was appearing there in the morning! It seems to have been a last-minute addition because the Harlot did not mention that she was attending in her blog until a few scant days before the event. And traffic getting into the event was AWFUL. Since she spoke at 11AM and the event opened at 10AM, her talk was pretty poorly attended, IMO, for a Harlot Event. We planned to get there in plenty of time and I ended up missing 1/2 of her talk. But what I heard was great!!

She came back to the craft area to knit with people and talk, so I got her to sign my book. And I got to ask her a question that resulted in her giving a detailed explanation of how she knits, which was fascinating. Someone got behind her with a camera, so I'll be checking YouTube for that footage.

The bad: I bought yarn. It's so much more breathtaking than this photograph. Colinette Jitterbug. I'm in love. Move over, Socks that Rock.

The ugly: I've been knitting furiously on a Kim Hargreaves pattern, "Shaker", from an old Rowan magazine (Number 25.) I had stitch gauge perfectly. Well, I knit the largest size 'cause I am a 38" bust. Turns out, it's much bigger than I wanted. I wanted a loose fit, but not a baggy fit and that's what was designed, apparently (though that's NOT how it looks in the photo. Grf. And besides that, my row gauge is off. AGAIN.

This seems to be my curse. My row gauge is always off. By a LOT. It is not possible for me to get remotely near row gauge. I always have far too few rows per inch. For example, the gauge for this sweater is 25 sts x 38 rows in 10cm. I am getting 25 sts and 32 rows. There's no way I can go down enough needle sizes to fix that without killing stitch gauge. It's not a problem in the body or sleeve length 'cause I can always measure that, but it destroys armhole shaping.

This problem nearly made me crazy while knitting my Elizabeth I but I took out some rows whenever I could and hoped for the best. It turned out okay, but the armscythe is still larger than I would like.

I see why people turn to designing, I really do. What joy to just use the gauge you HAVE and make a pattern to fit YOU. Sadly, I am terrified of the math and not confident enough.

But faced with the knowledge that I have knit the entire back and 2 sleeves of this cardigan and now have to rip it all out... I am going to have to get there. I do want this cardigan. I do. But I'm beginning to think it's too much heartbreak to follow patterns that really need to FIT.

I'm going to have to Find The Way.

And frog. *sob*