Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oh no!

Just checking in briefly to whine a bit...

What's the deal with Mom's sweater vest?  Last weekend I worked all weekend, having the advantage of being able to try it on her every hour to see how the fit was coming.  I got as far as what I thought should be the ribbing, only to find I had started a wee bit too soon.  Mom, not wanting to be too fussy, had acquiesced along the way to my knitting judgements, but when it came down to ripping, I asked her how she felt about the bust darts I had worked.  The response?  "Well, while you're ripping..."

Hint taken. Okay, so the wonderful stitch definition did have a way of emphasizing the wrong bits, and I'm glad for the chance to make adjustments.  Of course, I rewound the yarn into balls and have been working from it, putting in decreases under the arm instead.  It's fitting fine now, and no funky misplaced boobie darts.  Yay!

Things seemed to be going great as I neared the hip increases.  I took my knitting with me on my visit to the Motor Vehicle Services office, to keep me from becoming too anxious that my 6 Points would somehow not be acceptable.  No need to worry; the paperwork passed.  However, a new problem presented itself in the dismal light of the waiting area:


See it?   I had been working from rewound balls of yarn, but somehow I ended up using a ball that does not match the rest of the sweater.  Argh.  Well, more ripping to come.  Maybe I'll try to use this ball for trim, and possibly down at the ribbing.  I have a feeling this is the ball I recently grabbed at the yarn shop on my most recent visit, just for peace of mind.  How ironic, haha!

I've gotta run, as I have a date with the harp tonight.  I'm excited, as it's being held at the Free Library of Philadelphia, just up the street from the art museum.  Woot!  It almost feels like a real gig.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011










Thursday, March 10, 2011

Knitting Emergency!

Man, this has been a rough couple weeks of knitting.  I don't know if I'm getting fussier or sloppier.  Whatever it is, I've seen an awful lot of knitting go into the black hole of ripping.

Honegart seemed so wonderfully straightforward, until I noticed that the gauge in the top section wasn't giving me what I needed.  I ripped the top seven times before settling for the result.  It's like they say, eighth time's the charm, right? After the fact, I realized that my first problem was that I didn't check my gauge and make allowances for the earflap part.  The pattern was so wonderfully straightforward and I was so delighted to work with this yarn that I skipped gaily ahead. Well, for better or worse, I'm letting this one be.  And while I love the proportions on Stephen's original pattern, I like this hat well enough.


On Friday I came across a tutorial that I knew I had to use; I immediately began to whip up an i-cord for my iPod earbuds, partly because I needed better knitting mojo, and partly because I'm sick of the tangles. No complaints there.


As you may notice, I'm wearing a different hat in the picture above.  It's Jared Flood's Habitat. As you can see, it's a gorgeous hat, especially worked up in his new SHELTER yarn.  Once again, poor preparation led to hours of woe.  This time, I got into the first chart before realizing I had inadvertently chosen the smaller size.  I decided to forge ahead, and I even applied an extra twist to make up the 4-row difference.  However, I realized that my attempt to salvage the hat had made it another hat entirely, and it lost the beauty I so admired in the pattern.  So, I ripped back to the ribbing--something I had initially been afraid to do.  I knit the larger size this time, and it went smoothly.  But when I tried it on, I felt like I was wearing a yarmulka!  It's too short.


See?  I was crushed.  I'm not about to rip this sucker out again.  After the initial grieving period, I collected myself and began to ponder...if I could only knit down from the brim to add some length...but I've tried that, and the stitches all shift over a half stitch.  Nope.  But then, the light bulb went on... I think--I hope-- that I can perform surgery on this hat, and no one will be the wiser!

Here's the plan: Cast on for the hat and work some more ribbing.  Cut into the ribbing on the hat, revealing live stitches.  Going by sight, graft the new brim extension onto the current hat.  Sounds great, right?  Wish me luck, and please don't tell me I'm crazy.  It's gotta work!

Other knitting, hopefully not doomed to the same fate as the hats:
Mom's top-down sweater vest.  This one's finally cooking again, after lots of procrastination.  I'm down to only two balls of yarn and three circular needles dangling from the little monster.  I already thanked my mom for having much smaller shoulders than Dad.  After a lot of fussing over a design to go down the front, I consulted my mom again and got a new direction that is, I think, going to do what I want visually.  I can't wait to see it turn out.  And it will turn out!

The mittens I've been itching to knit all winter long.

I'll save the gushing for another time, when I have the second mitten done and I know if I have enough of the variegated yarn for the cuff.  I really don't think I will, but I'm not ripping this back. I'm just not. What I am doing is polling for button opinions.  Yours, please? (metal, plastic, or coconut? or ones that you want to mail to me?)

Random goodie:
Hey, did you know I'm famous?  Check out Stephen West's new book...somewhere near the back you can find me hanging out.  I was delighted to testknit for Stephen, but this is icing on the cake.  It's a great book, and I heartily recommend it.  These mittens are my favorite pattern from the book, but I've been really impressed by all of them.

There's more to say, but it'll have to wait for another time.  I'm knitting up a storm and beginning to count down the days until the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat.  Last I heard there were only two spots left, but that may be old news by now.